Equal Opportunity for All Chapter 11 - People Server at UNCW

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Diversity and Differentiation

in the Classroom Chapter 2

Multicultural Education

Multicultural Education

The educational strategy in which
students’ cultural backgrounds are used
to develop effective classroom
instruction and school environments. It
is designed to support and extend the
concepts of culture, diversity, equality,
social justice, and democracy in the
formal school setting.

Gollnick and Chinn

Culturally responsive teachers develop
effective strategies to use with widely
diverse groups of students

Exceptional students

Children with disabilities

Gifted children

Culturally and ethnically diverse


Social class

Language diversity

All of us belong to many different
“microcultural” groups

Ethnic Group






Social Class


The Individual

Why is Multicultural
Awareness Important?

By the year 2020 about half of the
United States population will come from
groups traditionally labeled

African American

Asian American

Native American

Latino or Hispanic

While the proportion of diverse students
is increasing, the teaching force is
becoming more homogeneous. (Harper,
et al.)

By 2010, an estimated 95% of K
teachers will be white middle class

Most teachers have limited experiences
working with cultures unlike their own.

Cultural and Ethnic diversity

Theories of cultural blending

“Melting Pot”

“Cultural Pluralism” or “Salad Bowl”

Cultural and Ethnic Diversity

Teaching in culturally diverse settings

“Culturally assaultive” approaches perpetuate
biases and stereotypes

Discussion of cultures only as they existed in the past

Incorrect or stereotypical versions of how people live

Emphasis on differences rather than similarities

Token representation of the group in the classroom

“Holiday” units on minority groups

Cultural and Ethnic Diversity

Culturally responsive teaching

Acknowledges the legitimacy of the cultural heritages
of different ethnic groups

Builds bridges of meaningfulness between home and
school experiences

Uses a wide variety of instructional strategies
connected to different learning styles

Teaches students to know and praise their own and
each others’ cultural heritages

Incorporates multicultural information, resources,
materials into all subjects

Cultural and Ethnic diversity

Teaching in culturally diverse settings

“Cultural connectiveness” method (infusing
multicultural education into daily learning

suggested steps:

Know your community

Seek family support

Give equal attention to all groups

Fill your room with curriculum materials
from many cultures

Invite visitors to speak

Draw from the arts

Language Diversity

Over 200 languages now in US

Ongoing controversy between “English only” and

Three main terms:

ELL (English Language Learners) students who come to
school speaking a main language other than English

LEP (Limited English Proficient) students who are not yet
fluent enough in English to perform school tasks successfully


students who speak fluently in English at school
and a native language at home

Language Diversity

Guidelines for bilingual instruction

Environmental print

Culturally conscious literature

Literacy instruction through natural use of
reading and writing throughout the

Language buddies

Work with the ESL teacher


Children with disabilities

Many similarities with non

Inclusion and “least restrictive

Federal Legislation PL 94
142 (Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act


Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

Where are we today with Students with
Disabilities? (Data from New Hanover Co.
Schools 1997)

25% of SWD were exempt from state tests

50% of students tested for SpEd did not

10% of students had IEPs

60% of students on special route busses
missed a day of instruction per week

40 children identified with autism

50%+ of SWD were served in sub

Where are we today with Students with
Disabilities? (Data from New Hanover Co.
Schools 2006)

100% SWD participate in state tests

90% students tested for SE qualify

14% students have IEPs

95% students on special route busses receive
full day of school

100% students receive instruction is
classrooms comparable to peers

234 children identified with autism (3


Some Special Education Program

New Hanover County

Intensive Academic Support

Intensive Behavior Support

Intensive Social/Communication Support

Specially Designed Academics
Daily Living

Specially Designed Academics




Teaching children with disabilities


Learn something about specific disabilities

Maximize interactions between children with
disabilities and nondisabled children

Individualize your program

Assess classroom environment

Choose books that help children learn about and
appreciate diversity

Seek assistance from EC teachers!


Gifted Children


1. verbal skills

2. abstractions

3. power of concentration

4. intellect

5. behavior


Gifted Children


Faster paced instruction for skills and
content based learning

More use of inquiry and independent

More advanced materials (higher level

Reorganization of content to explore issues
across curricular areas

Use the Multiple Intelligences approach to
reach the tremendous variety of learners!

Verbal linguistic

Logical mathematical

Visual spatial




Bodily kinesthetic


Word Smart

Math Smart

Art Smart

Nature Smart

People Smart

Self Smart

Body Smart

Music Smart

Howard Gardner’s Theory of
Multiple Intelligences

Bodily Kinesthetic





Visual Spatial

Logical Mathematical

Verbal Linguistic


Verbal Linguistic

Logical Mathematical



Bodily Kinesthetic



Visual Spatial

Gardner’s model suggests that

Every child has capacities in each of the

Most people can develop each of the
intelligences to an adequate level of

The eight intelligences work together in
highly complex ways

There are many ways to be intelligent in
each category

Instruction should help children develop all
eight intelligences


General guidelines

Avoid stereotyping masculine and feminine

Use gender free language when possible

Use classroom materials which present an
honest view of males and females

Balance the contributions of men

and women in social studies


Social Class

Strong relationship between socioeconomic status
(SES) and school performance

Some explanations for lower achievement of lower
SES groups

Health, resources, family stress, discrimination

Low expectations/low self

Learned helplessness

Resistance cultures


Groups to think about: Homeless, migrants, children
in poverty

The majority of children in the
South’s schools (54%) are POOR!

49% of children in NC are low income

This is a great challenge because low
income students as a group begin
school less ready, are the most likely to
drop out, perform at the lowest levels
on tests, and have the least access to

Social Class

What can be done? One suggestion:

Eliminate tracking/ability grouping

Students should be grouped according to
the specific skills they need, and when
instruction is completed, the group should
be disbanded.)

Group children in various way, and
change the groups often.

Social Class

Key Points from

A Framework for Understanding
by Ruby Payne

Schools and businesses operate from middle class
norms and use the hidden rules of the middle

For students to be successful, we must
understand their hidden rules and teach them the
rules that will make them successful at school
and at work.

We can neither excuse students nor scold them
for not knowing; as educators we must teach
them and provide support, insistence, and

An interview with Ruby Payne

What are some common misperceptions educators may
have about children who come from a low
background, especially if they are not accustomed to
teaching low
income children?


That the students from poverty are not intelligent
and that students engage in behaviors that make no
sense. To survive in poverty, you must be very non
verbal, reactive, and sensory
based. To survive in school
and work, you must be very verbal, very abstract, and
very proactive (you must plan.) Abstract means that you
can live in a representational world. For example, when a
check is written, the understanding is that it represents
money that is in the bank as opposed to cash, which is
actual money.

Interview with Ruby Payne

What are some strategies teachers can employ to help make
lessons more relevant and understandable for children of all
social classes?

We recommend these interventions:


of mutual respect with students.

direct teach processes
. This means that you are very
specific in the steps and procedures needed to do something.
For example, a recipe has amounts of ingredients but will also
tell the steps or order that must be followed to make the item.
And in school, often the processes are not identified or written
down so they can be consistently followed.

mental models.

Mental models help translate between the
sensory and the abstract worlds. Just as a blueprint translates
between the conversation about a house and the actual
finished house in the three dimensions, so a mental model
translates between abstract constructs and the sensory world.

Teach that there are
two sets of rules


one for school and
work, one for outside of school and work.

Eight home
based factors correlated with
student achievement and eight that don’t

(data from late 1990s US Dept of Education Early
Childhood Longitudinal Study to measure the
academic progress of more than 20000 children from
grades K

subjects chosen from across the country
to represent an accurate cross section of American
school children.)

The child has highly educated parents.

The child’s family is intact.

The child’s parents have high socioeconomic

The child’s parents recently moved into a
better neighborhood.

The child’s mother was thirty or older at the time
of her first child’s birth.

The child’s mother didn’t work between birth and

The child had low birth weight.

The child attended Head Start.

The child’s parents speak English in the home.

The child’s parents regularly take him to

The child is adopted.

The child is regularly spanked.

The child’s parents are involved in the PTA.

The child frequently watches television.

The child has many books in his home.

The child’s parents read to him nearly every day.

Importance of “connectedness”

“Good teachers possess a capacity for
connectedness. They are able to weave a
complex web of connectedness among
themselves, their subjects, and their students
so that students can learn to weave a world
for themselves. The methods used by these
weavers vary widely: lectures, Socratic
dialogues, laboratory experiments,
collaborative problem solving, creative chaos.
The connections made by good teachers are
held not in their methods but in their

meaning heart in its ancient sense, as the
place where intellect and emotion and spirit
and will converge in the human self.”

The Courage To Teach

Parker J. Palmer