MD4AssgnJacksonK.docx - 1 Self Reflection on Diversity in...

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1 Self Reflection on Diversity in the Classroom Kristina Jackson Walden University
2 Self Reflection on Diversity in the Classroom Diversity is defined as the wide range of differences among people, communities, and families based on cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and physical and academic abilities (McFeeters, 2018). This definition is one of those involved in education need to periodically review. In this essay, I will discuss how my understanding of diversity has deepened with Modules 2, 3, and 4 of the EDUC 6650 Enhancing Learning for Diverse Population course through Walden University. The questions I choose to reflect on in module 2 were ones that related to my personal growth in the area of diversity and areas that need improvement at my current teaching district. Module 3questions were ones that I made a personal connection with, from the students and families I have served in past years to the ones that will be entering my classroom this year. The questions I choose to reflect on in module 4 are specifically related to my building's expectations in the classroom and an area of growth for me as an educator. Research for each module was driven by my results of both the Common Beliefs and the RWRCOEL Diversity Proficiencies Surveys (Lauraute, 2016). Module 2- Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and Learning The perspective of a culturally relevant pedagogy has evolved and been enriched by many scholars over time, (Pena-Sandoval, 2017). Gay (2010) described CRP (Culturally Relevant Pedagogy) as a different pedagogical paradigm needed to improve the performance of underachieving students from various ethnic groups. For more than twenty years researchers and educators have been inspired by CRP; however, some have questioned if the terms "relevant" and "responsive" are most appropriate, (Pena-Sandoval, 2017). They have considered Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP) to consider new developments that involve languages, literacies, and
3 other cultural practices of communities marginalized by systematic inequalities, (Paris 2012). Cultural pedagogy will continue to change as the diversity in our school's change but can be defined as teaching that integrates background knowledge along with outisde experiences into the curriculum and educational experiences. In my classroom, I incorporate a culturally relevant pedagogy by sharing my personal connections and allowing students to share theirs. This allows me to evaluate their understanding. There are many ways educators can acknowledge students' ethnic, cultural and linguistic differences. Stritikus mentioned that 2 of 5 students are from an ethnic or racially diverse group, (2015h). Neito mentioned that these differences could be addressed by true multicultural education, (2015h). Her framework for effective multicultural educations also lines up with what Shannon-Baker listed as strategies to use in the classroom that focus on multicultural educational experiences. These areas mentioned are defining and framing

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