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Feb 5, 2013 (4 years and 6 months ago)

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Diverse Learners

Fall 2011 Diverse Learner FIG

Caren

Kongshaug

Rachel Long

What is Diversity in the Classroom
Look Like?


• Race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, sexual orientation


• ESL



At BTC: Latino, Russian, and Native culture


• Learning Disabilities: ADD, ADHD, dyslexia


• PTSD, veterans


• Domestic violence, single parents, child custody battles


• Displaced workers, chronically unemployed and underemployed, L&I


• Criminal background, reintegration from the criminal justice system,
house arrest, frequent court dates


• Substance addition/recovery, stress
-
induced self
-
destructive behavior


• Cultural attitudes on academic demands, such as personal writing,
plagiarism, and documentation of sources


Homelessness, lack of transportation, lack of income for basic needs and
expenditures

Our Focus: Poverty


We will focus on generational rather than circumstantial
poverty.


Poverty is a specific culture with implicit and explicit codes
that differ from middle class and wealthy cultures.


Codes include: interpersonal interaction, public conduct,
thought processes, speech patterns, emotional intelligence,
gender roles, and conflict resolution.


How do the dynamics of poverty culture manifest in our
classrooms? Is it our job, as teachers, to “modify” this
behavior? Does “modification” lead to successful workers?


Our Mission Statement: Why this Conversation Matters


Our understanding of generational poverty should inform our
teaching practices. Students may come to our classroom with
varying abilities to code
-
switch.

Students who have lived in generational poverty do not know
the codes of the middle class, and therefore the expectations
within educational institutions are often unclear.

A classroom environment, which belongs to a middle
-
class
institution, by nature can alienate these students. We should
take this into account when creating our classroom
community.







In the Classroom…

Teacher /expectation

Challenge/

conflict of
interest

Adjusted Process

Assignment

& due date

Time occurs only in present

Lack of planning

Lack of organization

15% of grade

attendance


Family needs

first

Write

a narrative essay
with a clear thesis and
supporting details

Casual language (not
academic or formal
language)


Circular thinking over
linear thinking. Too many
details without reference
to a point.

Grammar & punctuation
problems

Teacher /expectation


Challenge/

conflict of
interest

Adjusted Process


Appreciation for financial

aid

Drop class equals money in
pocket

money is more
important

than education


Sobriety & Lawfulness

Cycle of
punishment/forgiveness is
valued

over change in
behavior


Repeated offenses

Teacher /expectation


Challenge/

conflict of
interest


Adjusted Process


Students

should complete
entire assignment,
carefully read and follow
directions, and keep
organized

Lack

of school supplies,
organizational techniques,
no study environment at
home

Teacher /student rapport is
implicit

Lack

of trust in authority

Family/friends first

Teacher /expectation

Challenge/

conflict of
interest

Adjusted Process

Syllabus

is a contract



Lack

of value in contracts

Lack of self esteem

Set goals


Lack of control

over food,
clothing, shelter, friends &
family

Feeling of helplessness

Discussion Questions


How do we adjust the process without
lowering standards?

• How do we ask students to “code
-
switch” in
non
-
oppressive ways that value their culture?

• What aspects of poverty culture could we
incorporate into the classroom?

• What aspects of poverty culture are relevant
to an effective healthcare worker?

Bibliography


Bridges out of Poverty
(2001) Ruby K. Payne,
Phillip
DeVol
, and
Terie

Dreussi

Smith


A Framework for Understanding Poverty
(2005) Ruby K.
Payne