5-Step Action Plan to Foster Cultural Inclusion, Understanding & Respect

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5-Step Action Plan to Foster Cultural Inclusion, Understanding & Respect by Mind Map: 5-Step Action Plan to Foster Cultural Inclusion, Understanding & Respect

1. 1. Conduct a teacher self-assessment

1.1. who

1.1.1. teacher

1.2. what

1.2.1. take a self-assessment

1.3. when

1.3.1. prior to the start of the school year, in preparation for creating a culturally inclusive classroom

1.4. where

1.4.1. in privacy or with other staff from the school for the purposes of discussion

1.5. why

1.5.1. in order to create a classroom that embraces culture and diversity, a teacher must first better understand his/her culture and identify any cultural biases that he/she may hold (according to research done by Bromley and Patton in 1998. Bromley designed a questionnaire that can help a teacher identify this information, reflect on their responses and think critically about how to adjust in order to embrace culturally diverse students in their classrooms.

1.6. how

1.6.1. with pen and paper, or in an online format

2. 2. Use a wide variety of culturally sensitive materials and instructional strategies

2.1. who

2.1.1. teacher, school administration and curriculum coordinators

2.2. what

2.2.1. make sure that both instructional materials and instructional strategies are culturally diverse and inclusive.

2.3. when

2.3.1. at all times, as an ongoing rule, learning activities should incorporate these strategies

2.4. where

2.4.1. in the classroom / during learning activities

2.5. why

2.5.1. using many different instructional materials and strategies helps ensure that a wide range of students will succeed. Students gain respect for each other’s cultures and pride in their own when materials come from diverse traditions. They also start to recognize similarities across the different cultures (the “humanity” of their peers) as well as to value difference.

2.6. how

2.6.1. Instructional materials should come from diverse cultural traditions; pictures on classroom walls should be culturally diverse. Students should learn about role models / historic figures from a wide range of cultures. Include instructional strategies like explicit instruction, interdisciplinary units, instructional scaffolding, journal writing and open-ended projects.

3. 3. Create classroom environment that respects individual students and their cultures

3.1. who

3.1.1. school administration, teacher, students

3.2. what

3.2.1. promote understanding and respect for different cultures through the physical learning environment as well as the classroom atmosphere

3.3. when

3.3.1. at all times

3.4. where

3.4.1. in and around the classroom

3.5. why

3.5.1. students who see examples of their own cultures firmly incorporated into the classroom develop self-esteem / respect for their own backgrounds. Students who see examples of other students’ backgrounds reflected in the physical and cultural environment of the classroom develop understanding and appreciation for one another.

3.6. how

3.6.1. use pictures/posters from a range of cultures / diverse groups, have students mark their countries on a map, include several languages on the walls, ask students to share stories about their heritage, highlight role models from many cultures during learning activities, bring in guest speakers with culturally diverse backgrounds.

4. 4. Encourage interactive learning

4.1. who

4.1.1. teacher, students

4.2. what

4.2.1. give students frequent opportunities to interact with and learn from each other

4.3. when

4.3.1. as a frequent feature of learning activities

4.4. where

4.4.1. in and around the classroom / during learning activities

4.5. why

4.5.1. engaging in “shared inquiry and discovery” is an important part of learning / developing 21st century skills. Doing so with culturally diverse peers is an even more important step in breaking down cultural barriers / establishing not only cultural understanding but cultural inclusion and intercultural collaboration

4.6. how

4.6.1. group projects, paired learning, cooperative learning groups, guided discussions, online pen pals

5. 5. Conduct ongoing, culturally aware assessments

5.1. who

5.1.1. teacher, students

5.2. what

5.2.1. conduct regular assessment of students’ academic competencies, ideas, opinions, interests and social capabilities

5.3. when

5.3.1. during class, at least 1-2 times per month

5.4. where

5.4.1. in the classroom or via an online assessment platform

5.5. why

5.5.1. it is important to take the pulse of the classroom and to understand if the classroom is becoming more inclusive and where/ how students’ views are changing. Also, giving students the opportunity to participate in the process of assessing their views/ feelings helps them to understand these viewpoints and feelings and to alter them more readily.

5.6. how

5.6.1. daily observation of students, evaluation of student portfolios, formative assessments, student self assessment, teacher self assessment

6. Italy

6.1. Summary

6.1.1. Italians are known to have a warm culture with some of the world’s greats - history, art, food, and la dolce vita. They are beloved for the organized chaos of their streets. In his guidebook, Rick Steves cautions readers: if you loved Rome - thought it was beautiful, historic - go south to Napoli. If you thought Rome was dirty, chaotic, etc., stay north. Judging by the Hofstede Center’s information, this is an accurate assessment. Cultural norms change from the north to the south. Where in Italy your student comes from may impact how they respond to inclusion and instruction. The north is more individualistic and values equality. As you move south, it becomes more collectivistic with rigid power structures. Italians are not comfortable with ambiguity. Thus, their society is governed by an overabundance of rules that are seldom followed. This causes anxiety. Italy has a socially conservative culture. Social norms govern the actions of people. People still engage in little indulgences, like great meals and regular coffee breaks. Italians speak Italian and use the Latin alphabet. They often treat their children like “suns” around which the family rotates. They will have high hopes for the success of their children. Italians living in Zürich will have residency / work authorization. One major difference between UK/US/Swiss counterparts would be the attitude towards rules. Italians have way too many rules and so only follow some of them. US/UK/Swiss have fewer rules but tend to follow all of them.

7. Singapore

7.1. Summary

7.1.1. Coming from a country that has its own bilingual education standards, many Singaporean parents will want to make sure that, in addition to their own language, their children are learning English to a high proficiency. Singaporean students may find entering into a bilingual classroom in Switzerland to be an adjustment. Cultural values are likely to center on Swiss, UK and US norms, as team teachers are likely to come from these places. Unlike these cultures, Singapore is a collectivistic society with a strong hierarchy in place. Due to Confucianism, individuals are supposed to recognize and respect power relationships. It is also a cultural value to suppress the individual for the benefit of the family or society. Singapore is a high-achieving culture and parents will expect their children to work hard / do well in school. However, self-promotion, speaking about success and being too persistent all conflict with cultural values of humbleness, modesty and caution. Singaporean families are likely to have recently immigrated, but they are likely to have residency status and work authorization. Students may find it hard to participate in classrooms that are governed by much more individualistic norms as well as by a culture of participation, asking questions and risk taking. While English is a national language of Singapore and is taught in the bilingual school system, there are 4 national languages with different alphabets (Malay – Latin/Malay script, Tamil – Brahmic Script, and Chinese – Chinese script).