In what ways does multicultural education exist in your school?To understand different ways in which multicultural education exist in Hawthorn School of Dual language, it will be important to define multicultural education. Multicultural education is the process of promoting a deep understanding and embracing of differences in culture, gender, race, ethnicity and religion in the society Garcia et al (1994). It ensures that minority children get equal education opportunities as others and probes out issues that may be paralyzing the process of learning. It is important that classroom teachers promote awareness on the connection between different cultural groups.
First, my school consists of students from diverse populations. These populations are White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, America Indian and other races. In the school setting, there are teachers who can listen and understand the language of each learner. By enhancing this, the institution aims at bringing harmony in the world. The school also helps students develop social, cultural, gender and racial identities. Students are able to learn and appreciate the diversity of life. The school also admits 45.5% of its students from low-income families. The school further extends its services to students with special education needs (7.9%) through special education services.
The school also offers transitional bilingual program to Limited English Proficient students. The LEP students constitute about 41.8% of the total school population. These students pass through native languages classes for about three years to help them in content areas such as Mathematics, Social Studies and Science as they learn English through the ESL program. Students’ native language develops their literacy skills and academic knowledge before they proceed to English only classrooms.
How do your school's leaders support learning styles?
School leadership is core to the success of every activity that happens in the school environment Christopher Day, (2011). Strong school leadership promotes effective teaching and learning activities. Teachers and students are motivated. Leaders in my school use different styles and strategies to provide what it takes for effective learning. They search for good practices from outside and motivate teachers to adapt to their appropriate context (Ofsted, 2003). Leaders also make systematic changes through which the school provides learning. They evaluate different learning styles appropriate in a particular level and further give guidance to teachers on how to incorporate them.
School leaders support this learning style by employing staff from a diversity of backgrounds, who can understand and implement the bilingual program. For the program to run effectively there’s need for teachers who will teach content areas in the native language of each learner. The leaders ensure that these teachers are available. The school also provides the staff with development programs that expand their knowledge and capacity to serve students from this variety of populations. They motivate staff by incorporating cultural and racial content in their teaching through provision of necessary resources. In addition, school leaders encourage teachers to display the content in a way that distinguishes the languages. They also encourage the learners to use different notebooks for each language. Leaders give new direction on different education programs that address various challenges faced by students in their learning. Through this, students are able to participate actively and benefit from classroom instruction and other activities in the program. Finally, we can say that leaders formulate and implement school policy that accommodates the learning styles. The policy gives guidelines to teachers towards offering students with equitable education.
Usefulness of culturally relevant and culturally responsive pedagogy in the school
One of the usefulness of this type of pedagogy is that it enables people to maintain their culture. This is because the school recognizes each learner’s culture and language. The learner’s language acts as a foundation to acquiring academic knowledge. This is useful because the goal of education is not to destroy the diversity of people’s culture and language while socializing them into a universal one.
Another importance of using culturally responsive pedagogy is the hope that when students learn their own as well as other people’s culture, they will develop respect and appreciation them. This knowledge and appreciation goes a long way in creating a harmonized society. As such, the students will understand their position in the community while maintaining their identity.
According to Geneva Gay (2003), Multicultural education is important to students of color, and to the preparation of youths in a pluralistic country. It is important for students to understand how these issues affect the country.
Gay also states that many students who come from diverse backgrounds find the school to be unexciting and unwelcoming. They feel alienated that much of the content taught does not reflect who they are. Have a culturally responsive program would ensure that this is reversed. Each of the student’s culture becomes important and part of the learning process. This ensures that no learner is alienated from the process. By far, using such a method to encourage learners from diverse cultures ensures that education is all-inclusive.
ReferencesChristopher Day, (2011). Successful School Leadership: Linking With Learning and Achievement. United Kingdom: McGraw-Hill International.
Fred Schultz, (2001). Multicultural Education. Dushkin: McGraw
Garcia,J.,Margalef-Boada,S.,&Pugh,S. (1994).Multicultural trade books in the Social Studies classroom.