Presentation Title

Promoting Cultural Competence in a Majority White Elementary School

Location

Guzman 111, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-17-2019 6:00 PM

Department

Education

Student Type

Graduate

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

To prepare students for an increasingly globalized world, they must develop a high level of cultural competency enabling them to not only better work together but to appreciate their ability to effect positive change in the world. This research seeks to understand how teachers at a majority White elementary school in Northern California, infuse culturally responsive pedagogy into their teaching. Most of the current research in education concentrates on incorporating social justice education and the importance of culturally competent teachers in diverse or majority-minority schools. However, as many schools remain highly segregated by race, ethnicity, and class, this fails to address the significance of teaching cultural competence to students in majority White schools. A mixed methods approach, including open-ended interviews and survey data was used to gain insight into teachers’ understanding of cultural competence, their current classroom practice and the challenges they face. The research also addressed what affect the school’s teacher professional development on White Racial Identity and White privilege had on their classrooms and curriculum. The results of this study reveal that multicultural education still reigns throughout the curriculum, especially in the lower grades. However, teachers are actively working to infuse more age-appropriate social justice pedagogy and cultural diversity into their classrooms and curriculum. Teachers feel a responsibility to ensure students are prepared for the future and despite a shortage in diverse age-appropriate literature, backlash from parents, and an unfamiliarity with strategies to teach cultural competence, endeavor to incorporate more culturally responsive pedagogy to ensure student success.

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Apr 17th, 6:00 PM

Promoting Cultural Competence in a Majority White Elementary School

Guzman 111, Dominican University of California

To prepare students for an increasingly globalized world, they must develop a high level of cultural competency enabling them to not only better work together but to appreciate their ability to effect positive change in the world. This research seeks to understand how teachers at a majority White elementary school in Northern California, infuse culturally responsive pedagogy into their teaching. Most of the current research in education concentrates on incorporating social justice education and the importance of culturally competent teachers in diverse or majority-minority schools. However, as many schools remain highly segregated by race, ethnicity, and class, this fails to address the significance of teaching cultural competence to students in majority White schools. A mixed methods approach, including open-ended interviews and survey data was used to gain insight into teachers’ understanding of cultural competence, their current classroom practice and the challenges they face. The research also addressed what affect the school’s teacher professional development on White Racial Identity and White privilege had on their classrooms and curriculum. The results of this study reveal that multicultural education still reigns throughout the curriculum, especially in the lower grades. However, teachers are actively working to infuse more age-appropriate social justice pedagogy and cultural diversity into their classrooms and curriculum. Teachers feel a responsibility to ensure students are prepared for the future and despite a shortage in diverse age-appropriate literature, backlash from parents, and an unfamiliarity with strategies to teach cultural competence, endeavor to incorporate more culturally responsive pedagogy to ensure student success.