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Culturally Responsive Teaching

The issue of cultural responsiveness in our classes .. 

 Scholarly resources on the topic of Culturally Responsive Teaching 

Leadership approaches in education regarding cultural diversity and cultural responsiveness is closely associated with the need we feel as educators to prepare our students for the 21st century. Our learners need appropriate skills to function in their diverse cultural communities and beyond their cultural borders. (Banks, 2012)

 Title: Culturally responsive practices as whole school reform. Authors: V.M. Mayfield University of Colorado, Denver & Dorothy Garrison-Wade University of Colorado, Denver. Date of publication: 2015 Journal: Journal of Instructional Pedagogies.

The purpose of the study is to outline successful culturally responsive practices in a Middle School in the US which appears to be closing academic opportunity gaps between White and Black students. Data collection techniques : observations, interviews, and focus groups. There has been a fairl…
Recent posts

Online coverage of the Annual International IATEFL Conference

Teaching according to Learning Styles and ..the evil eye

Identifying and catering to individual students learning style is a belief held by many educators around the world. It seems that it's one of the popular misconceptions.
Research suggests that learning styles don't actually exist!

How can a common, generally accepted notion be wrong ? Confirmation bias seems to be the reasonable answer to this. People tend to look for information that confirms their belief and ignore data that challenges their idea. (think of astrology and zodiac signs, evil spirit, populist politicians etc)

4 interesting links to the topic

No evidence to back the idea of learning styles

Learning styles misconception

Howard Gardner: ‘Multiple intelligences’ are not ‘learning styles’ - The Washington Post

Promoting positive social change related to healthy development and learning
‘When I was getting my teacher training masters I was told, you’re a teacher, not a social worker. But there is a social work aspect to the job.’  (Ledra Sun teaches at Delair elementary school in New Jersey, US.)
The power of motivation coming from the feeling that what you do as a teacher can make a difference in someone’s life is evident in teachers who claim to enjoy being in this profession. Indeed, It can be an inspiring profession, rather than simply a job, because you use certain tools along with a set of moral standards and values which can literally change people’s lives. 
Societies have the school systems they deserve.
Emile Durkheim, the French Sociologist, argued that educational systems reproduce society’s values, norms and beliefs, and therefore he rejects the idea that education can transform society and resolve social problems.( Durkheim, 1897/1951: 372-373). In essence, Durkheim questions educat…
Reassessing Teacher-Parent Conferences

It all started when I started experiencing those Teacher-Parent conferences as a parent, about a decade ago. I just couldn't believe that feedback from professional teachers could be so shallow, with flimsy, oversimplified comments like 'she's smart, she can do much better if she tries harder' So I started a number of workshops with my colleagues, analysing ways of making those meetings more efficient and meaningful. In the last couple of years we've been looking at student-led conferences. I've been reading a lot about what's been happening around the world and how SLTPCs work in various schools in the US, UK and Finland.
I thought of sharing my reflections on 2 of the resources I have used in my little research.
here goes:
Journal :Students Take Center Stage. By: Tucker, Kaylen, Principal, 02716062, Jan/Feb 2016, Vol. 95, Issue 3 
Introduction : Sonora Elementary School (California, US) principal Regina Stewman is intervi…
Thoughts on the idea of being a Reflective Teacher

 ‘Reflection’ is certainly not an unfamiliar concept in my profssional life. With the support of excellent and motivated teachers in our language school, I feel that, as a director of studies, I have managed to implant the seed of reflection both in and out of the classroom.         As teachers we help our learners become responsible of their own learning. We try to do this on various levels (setting learning goals with our students, working on tasks which are based on critical thinking and not merely on presenting new language, getting regular feedback on both the material and the approach used in class, showing them simple reflection strategies) Needless to say, we do not always succeed.
        As professional teachers we have created a ‘sharing’ culture which allows us to be more reflective even as we plan our lessons. We upload and share all our LPs and resources ,and we have set up an informal ‘peer observation’ system and/or recor…
December 2016
         Being a reflective professional 
       Being able to interact with professionals who are involved in education from different backgrounds and from various countries is indeed a valuable experience and a very exciting prospect.         It helps professionals gain a wider perspective on various challenges we face, but also realise how similar our concerns might be. Themes such as possible challenges of class  learning and teaching, managing time, incorporating technology in class, the importance of critical reflection and how that would help teachers develop professionally are issues I'd like to explore.           The idea of critical reflection is by no means new to me as a teacher. Actively engaging learners and helping them personalising and reflecting on new material is one of the main features our my EFL classes. The American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer, John Dewey, argues that ‘we don’t learn from experience, we learn form re…