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Thursday, September 08, 2016

What Is 'Culturally Competent' Teaching? (Videos) | Education Week - Teacher blogs > Teaching Now

"Footage from an Education Week video project explores the topic of bridging the cultural divides that often exist between teachers and students." inform Anthony Rebora, Managing Editor of Education Week Teacher and the Teacher PD Sourcebook.

As some of you may have seen, the Education Week video team had a piece on PBS NewsHour last week on the increasingly pressing topic of better preparing teachers to work in diverse classrooms. The segment looked at an ambitious program run by Illinois State University that places education students—mostly white, mostly middle-class—in high-minority Chicago neighborhoods for one month during the summer. The participants not only do a teaching stint in local schools. They also live with host families and work on community-service projects.

The idea is to give these prospective educators a more nuanced understanding of their future students' lives and needs by immersing them in their communities. And there's some evidence that the approach makes a difference: More than 80 percent of the teachers who've come through the program remain in the classroom after five years—far above the average for high-needs urban schools.

You can watch the full segment here. And—bonus—for those you who are interested in digging a little deeper into the topic of cultural competency in teaching, our video team has put together a couple of helpful web-only compilations from the footage they gathered while reporting the story.

The first features excerpts from an extended interview with Carol Lee, a professor of education and African-American studies at Northwestern University. Lee, as you'll see, has a skeptical view of the type of classroom training teachers often get under the banner of cultural competency, saying that it can reinforce racial stereotyping. Instead, she emphasizes the importance of relationships and openness: "Cultural competence means that I have to go into that community with the humility in order to learn," she says. "As opposed to saying that there's a college program that's going to give me a box, because that's the way this stuff works."

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The second video offers a glimpse into a training workshop on cultural competency given to prospective teachers by Kyla Bailenson, the assistant principal of Hibbard Elementary School, on Chicago's West Side.  

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Source: Education Week  - Teacher blog - Teaching Now and

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Nikos Andriotis said...

I understand cultural cometent teaching as precisely teaching that is context-sensitive. And this program seems to incorporate this understanding. Questions of how to convey knowledge, what knowledge is perceived as important in the context of the learners' lives and reality they cope with, what is the purpose of the knowledged to be trasferred.
These are the questions that need bo asked while creating curriculums.

Helge Scherlund said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helge Scherlund said...

Hi Nikos Andriotis,

Thank you for dropping by.
I appreciate your comment.