Accommodating cultural differences and commonalities
The article also explores the literature on instructional design and culture for guidelines on addressing the cross-cultural challenges faced by instructional providers.
University of Colorado-Denver United States Jennifer A.Highlighting the potential for collaborative relationships, the authors describe how mothers’ concerns, understandings, and participation changed across intervention and how the clinician and mothers developed shared goals and informed one another.The case studies portray mothers’ beliefs about language and literacy development, perceptions of their children’s abilities, and the mother—child relationship around speech-language therapy.Many of these behaviors and strategies exemplify standard practices of good teaching, and others are specific to working with students from diverse cultures.A number of these behaviors and strategies are listed below.As the comments in the previous section imply, accommodating to cultural diversity involves more than adding cultural content to the curriculum—more than celebrating Mexican holidays in an American social studies class, for example, and more than discussing the history of slavery of African-Americans.
These are useful actions, but they are only a starting point for truly education (Banks, 2009).
In addition it is important to engage students in exploring the culturally based assumptions of whatever subject they are studying.
In studying the “Westward Movement” (the settlement of the American west), for example, it is important to point out that this movement was “westward” only from the point of view of the white Americans living in the eastern United States.
By allowing for various styles of learning, teachers can accommodate a wide range of students, whatever their cultural backgrounds, and whatever cultural background the teacher herself may have.
And flexibility has an added advantage: by honoring students’ individuality, it avoids the danger of stereotyping students’ learning needs on the basis of their cultural background.
This article explores research into cultural differences to identify those dimensions of culture that are most likely to impact instructional situations.