Learning About Cultural Diversity Essay

655 words - 3 pages

During this semester, I had the opportunity of working with a class of 2nd Graders in the Long Beach area. Even though in my last two serve rotations I was exposed to students from different linguistically and cultural backgrounds, this year I had the opportunity of truly experiencing multicultural diversity in the classroom. Since Jane Addams is located in the ghetto area of Long beach, the majority of the students are the so called minorities. Mrs. Chavarria classroom represented pluralism and world cultures; in her classroom there were Filipinos Samoans, African Americans, Latinos a couple of white kids, and a Hispanic/Chinese boy. This last serve rotation gave me the opportunity to experience my mentor teacher's pedagogical approaches which engage cultural multiplicity in many effective ways. My mentor teacher as expressed earlier in my journals has been teaching for the last thirteen years and has been open to learn about new concepts and ideas central to addressing cultural pluralism in the core curriculum and have tested some practices that have proved to be useful. Some of these practices include multiple centers which allow groups to occupy the center of attention for specific times, and new pedagogies that seek to build on student experiences.

While reading some of the journals from my classmates in this class, I realized that cultural frictions exist, as stated in their own words, not only in the upper elementary levels but as early as in kindergarten. Hence, it is our responsibility as the future teachers of this nation to make sure that we make culture and social justice part of our curriculum. This of course, might not eliminate the cultural borders that presently exist in our society but certainly will help us to move towards a more equitable and democratic society. Because contemporary relations between groups cannot be understood without an examination of the images members of these groups have of themselves and of...

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