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I have learned a lot of helpful things this semester in M300. I know that this will be helpful to me in the future. Moving forward as a teacher is a step that must be taken carefully and energetically to become a good multicultural education teacher in our pluralistic society.
I learned about multicultural education. I learned that multicultural education has focused on goals of “increasing academic achievement and promoting greater sensitivity to cultural differences in an attempt to reduce bias in the classroom.
” (Educational Leadership, 54(7), 74.). A curriculum that will help students of different cultures and races to interact with each other will help the students to become socially involved. I learned that diversity in the classroom needs to be handled with care and respect. There has been an outgrowth in multicultural education. “Culturally responsive pedagogy is founded on the notion that students’ backgrounds are assets that can and should use in the service of their learning.” (Article, Profoundly Multicultural Questions,4th para.
Teachers need to learn how to teach diverse students, no matter what background they come from. I also learned from the article that less qualified teachers are teaching in the poor urban schools, and people in the wealthier areas spend more money on education than people in the poorer urban areas. I found out that there are meetings that teachers and students can go to that will help them with diversity and multicultural education. “The meetings included both faculty and students. Findings revealed that faculty participation in the Institute was beneficial in the sense that instructors’ personal growth was most frequently evidenced through attitudinal and curricular changes.
” (ERIC, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v10 n1 Article 3 Jan 2016).
It helped students to understand how community, personal growth, and conflict resolution skills are important. The classes were taught by faculty trained in multicultural course development.” (ERIC, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v10 n1 Article 3 Jan 2016). I learned from the article “Profoundly Multicultural Questions” that educators need to ask themselves troubling questions about who is taking calculus because calculus prepares the student better for college. Are programs for disabled, language learners, bilingual, and special education students put in the basement or other isolated area?
The questions who are teaching the children, and what are the children worth are also important to ask. I learned about the meaning of these questions from the article, and they must be answered by me. When I teach, I must try to help get these children where they need to be so that they get the resources and privileges that other students get. Children are worth my time and effort to get them the best education that I can. My pedagogy in the classroom will establish this goal. So, studying about multicultural education in this course has prepared me better for the future. I know that I will can use all the knowledge that I have obtained to help me in the future.
I have also learned about the different classes of people. Classes of people are diverse and different. I knew that there were different classes of people, but I didn’t realize that there were actual classifications and how those classifications are defined. In the book Is Everyone Really Equal, Sensoy and DiAngelo, page 162, define them as the owning class-the wealthy, the middle class-those who use their hands, bodies, and minds to work for income and usually have advanced education, the working class-blue collar workers who do physical labor for work and usually have just a high school education or trade school, and the poor-those who rely on assistance such as welfare and could be homeless and without jobs or making minimum wage.
There is no specific rule to put someone in the working class, middle-class, or poor class, but the owning class is dominant over all other classes. I know that I am not in the owning class, but I could be in the middle-class or the working class. Since I am retired and have had higher education, I suppose I would be middle-class. As far as pedagogy goes, it has explained to me the different classes of students so that I will be able to treat them all with respect and teach them without prejudice. I know the diversity is there, and I can teach to diversity by having a good curriculum. I should know how the different classes live so that I can teach societal needs and social interactions to students. This chapter helped me understand classism.
Another thing that I learned in the class was about racism, prejudice, and sexism. With all of these, you need to be concerned with to teach. Pedagogy should include a classroom atmosphere that excludes racism, prejudice, and sexism. I need to know about each child’s life, language, thoughts, and feelings. Sometimes, a student can teach you a few things about life. Rita Kohli, in her article from Eric, Breaking the Cycle of Racism in the Classroom, she stated, “Eddie came up to us and asked,” “Ms. Wright, I don’t get no lunch money, can I sit in your room and use the computer?
Ms. Wright was a seventh-year White teacher who received a lot of respect for the high academic standards that she held students to at this underperforming school. Ms. Wright immediately responded, “I am not going to answer that question until you speak correctly. How can we say that in proper English?” “We both looked at Eddie, waiting for him to rephrase his words, but, instead, he calmly replied,” “Maybe not in your house, but in my house that is how we speak correctly.” ( Eric, Breaking the Cycle of Racism in the Classroom.) I could see by this that we need to know our students.
I can’t hold his language problems against him. I must help him, and I couldn’t be prejudiced toward him. In my classroom, I should have pictures of all races of students playing and laughing with each other. Learning about racism and sexism helped me understand that everyone is different, and there is no place in the classroom or society for sexism or racism. I learned to show respect for students and faculty. If I have racism in my classroom, I am going to have trouble teaching the kids the right way to be. There will be disturbances and lack of concentration by all students. We should treat boys and girls alike in the classroom to avoid sexism. There should be no prejudice anywhere with girls and boys. Treat them both with respect. I learned that one group shouldn’t be prejudice over certain types of people. When a group says that a teacher is gay and shouldn’t teach, I would say, “If he was capable and qualified then he should teach.” This has influenced me to use pedagogy in teaching students to respect all others regardless of their race or sex.
I learned many things about poverty that I did not know. I know there is a lot of poverty in the world, but I did not know of poverty being classified. Learning about poverty has helped me to realize that I must be able to recognize the poor in my classroom so that I can teach them accordingly. “Poverty in the United States is at 12.3% based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 estimates.” (Center of Poverty Research, University California Davis.). The poverty rate does not include homeless people, so the rate is much higher. The poverty rate is based on levels of income of people who just meet their basic needs.
From the book Teaching with Poverty in Mind, page 6, I learned the six classes of poverty: situational poverty- divorce, disasters, severe health problems cause temporary poverty, generational poverty-where two generations have been born into poverty, absolute poverty-people have little water, shelter, or running water, relative poverty- people have insufficient income to meet their society’s average standard of living, urban poverty- populations of at least 50,000 and deal with chronic and acute stressors such as violence, crowding, and noise, and rural poverty- populations less than 50,000 that are usually single family households that have less access to services, education, or health care, and jobs are scarce. Absolute poverty could also include the homeless people.
Even people in poverty can overcome it with help from others. In the book I beat the odds: From homelessness, to The Blind Side, and beyond, it told of a homeless boy, Michel, who had lived in a rural area with crime and violence but became homeless. He had been in and out of several institutions. Michael was found walking on the streets in the cold by a lady named Leigh Anne Tuohy. She took him into her home, and she treated him like a son. Michael was helped in school with his schoolwork and his socialization by her and her family. He had no-one else in his life. Michael graduated from school and became a college football player. He then became an NFL football player. Michael shows that anyone can beat poverty with a little help and encouragement.
I learned that poverty can cause stress disorders and emotional disorders. It can also cause cognitive laps and health disorders. (Teaching with Poverty in Mind, page 7). The idea that pedagogy should include knowing how to handle these poverty classes in the classroom is absolute. Knowing about these classes of poverty will help me in teaching my students. It has influenced me to build my classroom around these diversities. It has influenced me to realize that these students of poverty need me to show them respect, care, and love. I need to help them as much as possible. If it takes up more of my time, then it will be worth it.
I learned about oppression. Oppression is the “prejudice and discrimination of one social group over another, backed by institutional power.” (Is Everyone Really Equal, page 61). The group or institution in power can control other groups. The group in power is called the dominant group, and the group that is oppressed is called the minoritized group. A dominant group is backed by historical, social and institutional power, and legal authority. For instance, when women tried to vote, men voted against. Men held the advantage over women because men had institutional power.
Men controlled all the major institutions, such as government, media, religion, education, and military. This information influenced me to want to relay to groups, that I am in, that oppression should be discussed and not automatically put into effect. I would let the group know that we must not use social stratification to judge one person over another. Just because that person may be lacking the things that we may have dominant over him doesn’t mean that he is not equal to us in attitude, caring, and striving for a better in life. I will be able to use this knowledge in the pedagogy of my classroom.
Oppression occurs all around the United States. In Mississippi, oppression is very noticeable. The state oppresses people of color, low income, and women. For instance, “a Black queer woman, in a low income family, especially if she lives in the rural areas or Delta region, would be especially vulnerable to oppressive measures.” (Oppression and Resistance in Southern Higher and Adult Education: Mississippi and the Dynamics of Equity and Social Justice, page 8, 2nd para.) The lady is oppressed because she is a woman and queer. The people in Mississippi and other states suffer oppression.
Oppression is racialized and extends to include any “identities other than White, straight, cisgender men of moderate or high income.” (Oppression and Resistance in Southern Higher and Adult Education: Mississippi and the Dynamics of Equity and Social Justice, page 8, para 2). Mississippi is being used as a case study for how oppression operates and might be resisted elsewhere. (Oppression and Resistance in Southern Higher and Adult Education: Mississippi and the Dynamics of Equity and Social Justice, page 3, para 2). So, I can see how oppression is spread throughout the United States. It has influenced me to be able to recognize oppression in the classroom and beyond.
I learned about culture. Culture is the norms, values, language, customs, and communication shared by people at certain times and places. (Is Everyone Really Equal, page 36.). Culture can be how you dress, what foods you eat, and what kind of music you listen too. Culture in the classroom can sometimes be hard to see. A student is born into a certain culture, and teachers must find out what that culture is. The culture of modesty and time are hard to see, such as the fish immersed in water when born. When the fish gains consciousness, he does not know that he is separate from the water. This is the same way with children.
When they are born, they are immersed in their family’s culture. In a changing culture, some things should be left alone. Remember the times when you sat down in a conversation with your mom or dad? This should never change, but it has. “Unfortunately, with e-mail, the Internet, texting, and on-line virtual communities, we may be losing – by our own choices- the opportunities to develop the most meaningful of relationships.” (Tony Dungy, UNCommon, page92). In this book, Tony Dungy expressed how our culture can change. As individuals, he says we should encourage others and mentor them. This influenced me to strive and do this in my classroom. The culture of children can be deceiving.
I, as a teacher must be able to see this and try to help. In the book UNCOMMON, Tony Dungy told of two boys he became friends with. One white boy grew up in a two- parent home in rural Indiana, and the other, a black boy, grew up with just his mother in downtown Indianapolis. The two boys were friends who had a lot of fun and were smart. The two boys were good-looking and good-hearted; However, the two boys, who made poor decisions that they will regret the rest of their lives, are in prison. (Tony Dungy, UNCommon, page x1, x2). This type of story about culture is common today.
With all the diversity in culture, it has influenced me to study about culture more and use my knowledge to use the pedagogy to teach others about it. I should tell my students that you can be who you want to be inside your heart, and you can do what you want to do with hard work and a good education, but part of your culture will always be with you. As a teacher, I will always be happy to see my students graduate. That is my culture. As David McCullough, Jr. said in his book You Are Not Special, “My hope that afternoon -my only hope- was to be helpful to the graduates. This was simply good-bye and good luck to a group of kids I liked very much and knew well, kids for whom I felt responsible. Moments after I sat down, they would be done forever with high school, with childhood and off to the rest of their lives. We were releasing them to the wild, and mine were last-minute reminders, instructions and a fond fair-the-well.” This is the feeling I want to have with my students.
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