How Teachers Can Foster Culturally Responsive Virtues In A Classroom Setup
A teacher should begin understanding other cultures once they have mastered his or her own cultural values,beliefs, and even biases. Researchers have shown that even though cultures can be different, they still have similarities in thought patterns as well as community behaviors. In order to stay relevant and be able to be of help to learners in a culturally responsive classroom,an educator should read widely and observe extensively about the various cultures from which the students were brought up.
For an educator to fully understand and meet the needs of their learners in a culturally responsive environment they need to widen their knowledge and do extensive research about the diverse cultures from which they are brought up in. A teacher is expected to familiarize themselves with the traditions, cultural values, learning preferences, communication styles and relationship patterns of their learners as a good basis of being sensitive and helpful to their learners in a culturally sensitive classroom.
It is not enough to read about the culture of a people but time should be set aside for interaction and observation of the cultural aspects of a society so that a teacher can be ready to effectively handle students in a culturally sensitive classroom. Howevver, the books on cultural aspects of learners are valuable resources when designing learning materials and during the preparations of lesson plans. Understanding the cognitive patterns of various cultural groups from which the learners were raised helps the teacher to interpret their interpersonal attitudes and behaviors in the context of their cultural background. Culturally responsive classrooms demand that a teacher becomes fully aware of how the culture from which the students originates affects the learners’ cognitive and behavioral patterns.
Initially,the application of the cultural knowledge to classroom situations might sound to be drifting to overgeneralization and stereotyping. A thorough examination and evaluation of the general cultural practices of the learners is one way of overcoming the fear of stereotyping and over generalization. It is through this evaluation and examination that the teacher can clearly understand how these cultural aspects are expressed in the culturally responsive classroom.
A teacher in a culturally responsive classroom should only view each learner’s cultural beliefs and attitudes as a dynamic and individualized conceptualization so that learning can be effective in a culturally responsive classroom. An individual’s culture encompasses a sum of many aspects and as such every teacher should see each learner as an individual with his or her personality first and not as a member of a member of a group in order to avoid stereotyping.