Fifty-six years after the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court decision, a clear divide can still often be seen between students of different races. That is, on the school bus, students tend to sit next to someone of the same race; or at recess, groups of students often play and socialize only with others of their same race. In addition, this display of self segregation is frequently seen in the lunchroom. In a situation where a new Black student is called racist names and told by a white student that she cannot sit at the table for white students, both immediate and long term action need to be taken.
Furthermore, the long term action involves both teaching the students about cultural awareness by incorporating it into all aspects of school; and also, getting the students involved in different activities where cultural learning and acceptance are promoted and extend beyond the classroom. Without delay, it is the teacher’s responsibility to object to the idea of segregated tables, have the student give up their seat to the new student, and implement some sort of disciplinary action.
There would be no tolerance for any type of racism in the school.
In addition, this response would be witnessed by the other students, setting an example of what is acceptable and what is not. The next step would be to address the issue of racism and the need to create a more diversified community with the principal. The teacher should propose bringing the school community together by raising awareness of the differences within it; and also, by raising the point that the new labor force will require students to understand cultural differences around them.
Teachers can present cultural lessons and themes throughout the year by highlighting the accomplishments of other cultures and preparing students to have a better global perspective. Additionally, the teacher should not only bring the issues to the principal’s attention, but should also have a “Cultural Awareness Action Plan” prepared as well. This plan would break out the different steps that need to be taken, reference the staff member that would be responsible, set goals and timelines for each step.
A list may be created highlighting staff members who support this idea, who are willing to help, and who are committed to bringing about cultural awareness. Cultural awareness can be incorporated into all aspects of the school. In the classroom, each class should aim towards incorporating cultural awareness whenever possible. For instance, the students may discuss inventions and inventors in science class and discover George Washington Carver who was an American scientist, educator, humanitarian, and former slave.
A math class could highlight and reference discoveries made by different cultures. That is, the students may find it interesting to learn how African people were first people anywhere in the world to us counting to keep track of their things, or maybe to keep track of time. Furthermore, English classes could incorporate stories of race and racism such as Bud Not Buddy or The Watsons Go to Birmingham for the class to read and discuss. History class is an area where students can really gain perspective on different cultures.
A school should place a strong emphasis on the background of African American History in order for the black students to have a sense that their history is important. Both English and History classes can also discuss the harsh consequences of ethnic and racial discrimination. Students may read first-hand accounts from those who suffered through Apartheid in South Africa, the Holocaust, or slavery. Students may also watch videos such as Mighty Times: The Children’s March or A Time For Justice. Cultural awareness should also be present outside the classroom.
For example, the cafeteria could highlight a particular food weekly and as the students travel through the line, they could see facts on where the food originated, the importance of the food to its culture, and a map showing where the cultures who eat this food are located. In addition to this, information boards could be placed in hallways showing students sharing their ethnic background. It may include information covering such things as religion, food, games and traditions of their culture, as well as, including pictures of the student and their family and also a map and flag of the country their ancestors come from.
Another way to promote cultural awareness would be to invite students from varied backgrounds to come together in after school discussions based on major issues that affect them all and help them find common ground amongst diversity. In addition to helping the students become educated on the different cultures of the world, teachers should also work towards promoting a cultural accepting lifestyle. There are several activities that can be implemented in the classroom to help the students understand the importance of equality.
One activity that can help students become familiar with other cultures is to have the students take part in a Mix It Up at Lunch Day. The idea behind this day is that by encouraging them to sit by someone new in the cafeteria, the student would be broadening their social circle and be more inclined to meet other unfamiliar people. That is, by interacting with someone who is racially, ethnically, or socially different from themselves, your prejudice against those who are different can be significantly reduced.
Another activity that the teacher can use to broaden the students’ understanding of the impact of discrimination is a game based on different characteristics. In this game, the students are directed to stand either on the right or left side of the classroom. Following this, the teacher calls out a series of pair characteristics such as blue eyes or brown eyes. The students will then reorganize into the group which fits them and this process is repeated with several different characteristics.
The purpose of this game is to point out that people can be grouped based on several different factors and discrimination based on any characteristic such as eye color is just as senseless as discrimination based on skin color. Teacher’s can also encourage students to take a pledge against discrimination. This pledge states, “As a young citizen of the world, I stand with the United Nations against racism, discrimination, and intolerance of any kind. Throughout my life I will try to promote equality, justice, and dignity among all people in my home, in my community, and everywhere in the world. Along with this pledge the student should be encouraged to examine their beliefs about other races and to consider whether these beliefs are based on facts or on stereotypes. In addition, the students may be inclined to take Mix It Up at Lunch Day even further and attend an event or sit on the bus with students from other backgrounds. Students may also organize a school festival that incorporates different culture’s music, dance, art, and food. Teachers should also explain the importance of students speaking up when their peers are judging others based on race.
The teacher should work with the students to put an end to bullying and joke telling based on race. One way to do this is to have the students take part in group skits which help the students practice responding to racist remarks. Furthermore, the teacher may use technology to help the students learn more about discrimination in their state. That is, The Southern Poverty Law website allows the student to select their state from the map and view the hate groups and the hate crimes that have taken place in their state. Additionally, students can add themselves to the Stand Strong Map as a voice for tolerance.
Teachers may also want to get students familiarized with different cultures outside of the school. The teacher may plan a class field trip where the students are able to volunteer their services to different groups. The teacher may also get the class involved with Intercultural E-mail Classroom Connections (IECC). Getting your classroom involved with IECC allows your students to join with partners in other countries. Thus, the students are able to set up pen-pal communication with students from different cultural backgrounds.
By taking these steps to both educate and get students involved with different cultures, we can fully incorporate ethnic awareness into the school setting. In order for the students to become tolerant of all cultures and for the students to be able to demonstrate equality towards everyone, it is important to bring diversity out into the open, instead of keeping its taboo status where unspoken divisions have been made.
“Foundations and Assessment of Education. ” Wikibooks. 10 August 2009. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. “Lesson on Discrimination Based on Race. United Nations Cyberschoolbus. 2010. Web. 3 Oct. 2010. Malloy, Wendy. “Anytown Fires Up Teens To Foster Acceptance. ” Tampa Tribune. 13 June 2003. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. Oldenburg, Ann. “I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown V. Board of Education”. Parents’ Choice. 2005. Web. 30 Sept. 2010. “Stand Strong Against Hate. ” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2010. Web. 3 Oct. 2010. Steindorf, Sara. “A school faces its own segregation. ” The Christian Science Monitor. 18 June 2002. Web. 1 Oct. 2010. “Teaching Tolerance. ” Southern Poverty Law Center. 2010. Web. 3 Oct. 2010.
Cite this Multicultural Teaching Scenario Analysis
Multicultural Teaching Scenario Analysis. (2017, Mar 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/multicultural-teaching-scenario-analysis/