Bridging Cultures: Teacher Education Module: Volume 1

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Often, in an effort to elicit more parent involvement, schools add insult to injury by offering parenting classes and prescribing behaviors at home. In order to affect change in the amount of parent involvement at their schools, teachers in the project became ethnographers.

Bridging Cultures Between Home and School: A Guide for Teachers

They prepared by researching a particular culture, then carefully asked questions to discover key information, such the amount of education the parent has had, in order to design appropriate ways for that parent to become more directly involved with the school. Guidelines for conducting ethnographic research are also included in the book, since information gathered can impact families negatively if misused. An emphasis on oral expression in the predominate culture versus a strong respect for authority in collectivistic cultures creates a contrast that can lead to awkwardness for students and parents alike in student-led conferences.


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Some of the teachers in the project decided that student-led conferences put undue pressure on both children and parents from cultures that emphasize children listening and showing respect for elders, rather than initiating and leading a conversation in a formal setting. One result of the Bridging Cultures project was the development of group parent-teacher conferences.

Meeting with the teacher as part of a group encouraged parents to talk with each other and resulted in a much more relaxed atmosphere for parents and children. This alternative conference design also allowed more time with the teacher than the minutes typically allotted for individual conferences. This type of innovation following thoughtful research and relationship-based observations is precisely what the Bridging Cultures project aims to cultivate.

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The organization of the study project itself is described in detail in the appendix of the book; chapters 5 and 6 in particular focus on the value of collaborative action research. For readers primarily intrigued by the cultural study theme, these chapters may not hold interest to the same degree as earlier chapters that detail the Bridging Culture framework and illustrate its application through classroom anecdotes.

Materials for training school personnel to use the ideas presented in this book to examine the effects of cultural difference on school improvement are on the way. Future publications that present the framework in a workshop or teacher-training module are expected by March , also through Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. The example of cooperation in educational research set by the Bridging Culture project is inspiring. Hammond Read. Student Behaviour - Louise Porter Read. Talking Teaching - Linda Distad Read. The discovery of India - ehru Read. The Erik Erikson Reader Read.

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Ways of Knowing - Akya Read. Osho - The Zen Manifesto Read. Hastings - The Complete Classroom Read. Cindi Rigsbee - Finding Mrs. Warnecke Read. Classroom Management - Robert Tauber Read.

Effective CRM Read. Creative Illustration - Andrew Loomis Read. Creative Writing - Adele Ramet Read. Critical Thinking - Richard Epstein Read.

Critical Thinking - Tracey Bowell Read. Digital Creative Arts Read. Learn to Think - John Langrehr Read. Mind Tools - Manktelow Read. More Reading Power - B. Mikulecky Read. On Creativity - Lee Nichol Read.

Playdancing - Diane Fraser Read. Socratic Circles - Matt Copeland Read. Thought and Knowledge - Diane Halpern Read. God's Debris - Scott Adams Read. Hope Is an Imperative - David W. Orr Read. Siddharta - Herman Hesse Read. Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder Read. Sophie's World - Rue Nancy Read.

Bridging Cultures Between Home and School: A Guide for Teachers

The Works of John Ruskin Read. Beginning Reading - Yola Center Read.

Critical Literacy - Cheryl Dozier Read. English Learner Handbook Read. Elephant Odyssey Read. Fluency - Anne Vander Read. Fluency in Reading - Zvia Breznitz Read. Grammar for Everyone - Barbara Dykes Read. Literacy Instruction - Carol Beers Read. Super Structures - Oxford Read. Handbook of Teacher Education Read. Instructional Coaching - Jim Knight Read. Easterling selected at least five primary or secondary sources for each supporting question in the Federal Reserve inquiry for a high school economics unit.

Like Ms. Williams, she had trouble choosing which sources were most relevant for the supporting question and ended up with more sources than she would have liked. Because teachers were designing their own inquiries, they had freedom to choose their supporting questions and choose the direction of the inquiry. Which sources they selected was an important step in the design process that had a large effect on the overall content and direction of the inquiry. Content Knowledge. In a follow-up interview Ms.

Bridging Cultures: Teacher Education Module: Volume 1

Williams had taught a unit on the Civil War previously, she did not possess the depth of content knowledge necessary to design an inquiry. In another follow-up interview, Ms. Easterling similarly included various scaffolding resources as she designed her inquiries, knowing that she would need to use more such supports with her general students and fewer with her advanced students.

For each supporting question, Ms. Easterling included a handout to guide students as they worked through the sources; these included questions for each source and graphic organizers on which students would record information across sources. Despite challenges associated with their initial development of their inquiry lessons, participants each believed that their work paid off in terms of effective instruction. The participants found that students were engaged in the inquiry process in the manner in which they had intended. From classroom observations and interviews about classroom implementation, several themes emerged: instructional time, the need for scaffolding, and student engagement.

An examination of the inquiry documents and classroom observations suggested that supporting students to take informed action was challenging. Instructional Time. All three participants grappled with how to balance the integrity of the inquiry and allowing students enough time to engage meaningfully with sources, the incessant ticking of the clock reminding them they had a limited amount of time.

The first supporting question contained four sources, the second three sources, and the third five, for a total of 12 sources in 45 minutes. While some sources were no longer than a sentence, others were up to one and a half single-spaced pages in length, and all but one were text based. Shortly after class began, students began to work with the goal of analyzing all 12 sources in 45 minutes.

As Mr.