Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
How can we reach all of our students -- especially those who have been ignored and underserved in America's classrooms? The authors of Writing Instruction in the Culturally Relevant Classroom suggest that culturally relevant pedagogy can make a difference. The upcoming day honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is just one opportunity to take advantage of the many great multicultural texts out there and to connect their messages to the lives and communities of the students. The following resources from NCTE and ReadWriteThink.org offer suggestions on those connections.
In "Welcoming Their Worlds: Rethinking Literacy Instruction through Community Mapping" from Language Arts, the authors look at how a community of practice in one midsize urban K-12 school district engaged in a community-mapping process to discover, gather, and analyze a rich array of community and home resources. Creating classroom practices and curriculum that integrated the literacies of home and school led to transformed student learning. Want to learn more about community mapping? View this archived Web seminar presented by the authors of the article.
"A Community-Centered Approach to the Teaching of Multicultural Literature" from Voices from the Middle describes how a professor of preservice teachers challenges her students to expand their understanding of "culture" beyond racially specific contexts and into the many roles people play within their communities.
"Taking a Cultural-Response Approach to Teaching Multicultural Literature" from English Journal presents several activities that can give teachers confidence to explore the cultural differences in diverse texts and provide "ways to help their students discuss these differences and enhance cross-cultural understanding." A further example of this idea can be found in the ReadWriteThink.org lesson plan Gaining Background for the Graphic Novel Persepolis: A WebQuest on Iran.
Discussions of urban fiction and multicultural literature hold great potential for transforming the practice of beginning English teachers in diverse school settings. Read "Urban Fiction and Multicultural Literature as Transformative Tools for Preparing English Teachers for Diverse Classrooms" from English Education. Find practical classroom applications in Promoting Diversity in the Classroom and School Library through Social Action.
Looking for resources to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.?
Visit the NCTE Connected Community for more on Classroom Activities to Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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