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The Culturally Responsive Teacher

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    The Culturally Responsive Teacher

    Introduction:

                This article is written to challenge the teaching profession. The editors of the article are concerned with the integration of culture diversities in the classroom. It focuses on the side of the teacher. The teachers are urged to value the child’s performance. This can only be achieved by teachers who are sensitive to the cultural background of the students.

    Objectives of Journal Article:

    Ana Villegas and Tamar Lucas have the insight to focus on the teaching strategies that teachers can apply and suit the different cultural needs of the learners. The teacher has to bear the knowledge of actively integrating the vision of the society’s diversity in the education program. The teacher who is culturally responsive, he or she is capable of systematically guiding the learners to live and learn in a multicultural environment. Villegas and Lucas view the teacher as the key initiate of the culturally responsive curriculum. According to these editors, teachers through pre-service curriculum can be equipped with the required knowledge for cultural sensitivity. Such a teacher is socioculturally alert, has a positive view towards students from different cultural backgrounds, is an icon and a facilitator of equity in the education system of school, understands the psychological diversities brought about by the cultural background of the student, and he or she is capable of building the child’s knowledge development. This teacher will therefore build teaching program and construct a design that will suit the needs of the diverse students, (Villegas & Lucas, 2002).  Such a teacher will teach the learners concepts that are familiar to them, then move towards the unknown, introducing the learners to different cultures. Generally, the objective of this article was to enlighten teachers on the need to be culturally oriented and responsive. The article lighted on the ways that a teacher could become culturally responsive.

    Description of the Experimental / Study Design/ Problem:

                The most important way of preparing the culturally responsive teachers is by instituting a study design that will address the issues of culture diversity in the curriculum. Villegas and Lucas suggest the study designs that can lead to the preparation of culturally responsive teachers. The teachers should be subject to pre-service studies in a culturally diverse environment where they are offered curriculum whose contents have cultural diversity integrated. Villegas and Lucas urge the states education administrators to come up with the strategies to prepare education curriculum for teachers with cultural diversity.

                The pre-service preparation for the culturally responsive teachers should start as early as at the academic level. The education majors should be informed of the availability of study opportunities abroad, (Villegas & Lucas, 2002). It is not necessarily abroad but in a culturally diverse environment. They should be informed of culturally diverse curriculum and its importance to the teacher. This will help in building a positive attitude towards cultural diversity. The teacher student is exposed to the knowledge of the world’s geographical differences, cultural, and socioeconomic differences, and the impact these factors of diversity have on the psychological development of a child. The teachers should be informed of the complexities and the interdependency of the world’s cultural issues. The teacher has to achieve knowledge on the historical forces responsible for the cultural diversities in the world today.

    A culturally responsive teacher should have a mastery of intercultural communication concepts. The teacher should be prepared to withstand cultural ambiguity and unfamiliarity. They should learn to acknowledge and respect other people’s culture. The teachers should be prepared in a way to produce a critical and comparative thinker. Villegas and Lucas (2002) state that, the task of preparing a culturally responsive teacher entails supporting future educators in developing fundamental orientation and cultural sensitivity. They should be facilitators of equality and social justice.

                Theoretical Framework:

                The editors of this article have set up a theoretical framework in quest to make vivid the need and mean to prepare culturally responsive teachers. The editors aim at embracing the theory of multicultural instruction. Villegas and Lucas insist that, through this theoretical framework, the cultural diversification will be integrated to the programs in order to prepare culturally responsive teachers. Such a teacher will be able to teach effectively in a culturally diverse society. The editors insist on producing of teachers who are student focused in their teaching activities. The theoretical framework of ‘culturally responsive teacher’ is to ensure that the trained teacher is capable of guiding his or her students into being successful academically, exhibit cultural competence, and be socio-politically critical.

    Summary of Journal Article:

                This article is about preparing culturally sensitive teachers who can satisfy the needs of the culturally globalize society. Villegas and Lucas (2002) address the issue of integrating diversity in the schools through teacher preparation. They say that teachers must possess the vision of teaching and learning in a culturally diverse society and realize this vision by systematically guiding the infiltration of multicultural issues throughout pre-service curriculum. The culturally responsive teacher is the one who is socio-culturally alive, accommodates students from diverse backgrounds, bears the responsibility and the capability of influencing change towards equality in schools, understands knowledge construction in students and can help promote knowledge construction, identifies with the lives of his or her students and designs instruction strategies that suits the students.

    Discussion/ conclusion of the article:

                According to Villegas and Lucas, (2002) a culturally responsive teacher is the greatest treasure that the field of education needs in this multicultural society. The continual globalization in the world today requires global citizens. Global citizens can be produced at the baking oven of culturally responsive teachers. Such teachers have to be prepared and sustained through integrating cultural diversities in the curriculums prepared for teacher education. The curriculum must contain content that make the teacher historically informed of the current world’s situation. They should be made to understand the importance of the diversity in schools and be taught on ways of infiltrating it the school and classroom activities.

    Reviewer’s application:

                My personal view in accordance to this article concurs to the recommendations made by Villegas and Lucas in the article. A culturally responsive teacher has to understand the needs of different students in any culturally diverse society, so that he or she can comfortably prepare these students to meet future challenges comfortably. For a successful future generation of teachers, the education sector needs to come up with teacher preparation programs that prepare culturally responsive teachers, (Villegas & Lucas, 2002). A culturally responsive society can be born from learning institutions that values involvement of cultural responsiveness in the teacher education curriculum, which transfers the knowledge and practice into classroom through the teachers.

    Conclusion of the article review:

    I recommend Villegas and Lucas for this article. They have shade a brilliant light in the educational sector of any society that aims at achieving a healthy culturally diverse environment. Culturally responsive teachers are icons of unity in any society.

    Reference:

    Villegas, A.M. & Lucas, T. (2002). Preparing Culturally Responsive Teachers: Rethinking the Curriculum. Journal Teacher Education, Vol. 53, No. 1, p. 20-32.

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