Culture implies to the cumulative deposit of ideas, customs, knowledge, experience and social behaviors of a particular person or society as a whole. We all are born and brought up enveloped in a culture which serves as a foundation of our identity. It shapes our attitude, behavior, perception and personality thus, showcasing the ways of our thinking and living. Since, we all come from a well diversified culture and form a community, it becomes imperative for all of us to have an ardent reverence for the distinguished likes, dislikes, opinions, tastes and preferences. This form of development must be embedded in children as well so that they know and praise their own and each other’s cultural identity and heritage. The incorporation needs to be carried out not only by parents but, teachers and schools should also make a substantial contribution towards the same. And, this can be done by enhancing culturally relevant teaching in the classroom along with developing social and emotional learning.
Following are the few simple steps for teachers and schools to enhance Culturally Relevant Teaching in the classrooms.
Establish Inclusion of Students
An atmosphere of Inclusiveness in the classroom provides a platform for the students to be upfront about their intentions, ideas and thoughts. This helps students behave like a member of an extended family honoring multicultural information, beliefs and ideas. Thus, it is supreme for teachers and schools to enhance the involvement of students in the classroom like treating them equally, asking them to collaborate for any assistance or cooperation etc. Consequently, this will help the teachers in enhancing culturally relevant teaching in the classroom.
Develop Positive Attitude
A positive attitude is a belief that one can surpass one’s accomplishment or catastrophe through optimistic approach. Thus, it needs to be imbued in the students leading to a transparent insight in their thinking. This will encourage them to make choices among justice or injustice, right or wrong on personal as well as social front. Thus, impregnating a positive attitude in the students will supplement their acceptance towards enhancing culturally relevant teaching in the classroom.
Enhance the Meaning
The inner meaning of the word Culture needs to be appropriately imparted by teachers and comprehended by the students. It will enable them to relate their relevant course content with their cultural context by providing a learning experience of higher order thinking and enquiry. Thus, enhancing culturally relevant teaching in the classroom will help the teachers in educating the students about the absolute meaning of the word Culture.
Encourage Group Discussion
Group Discussion assembles students on one platform communicating to each other, assessing the ways they exchange their ideas and information. This helps in transforming and reshaping their preconceived notions as individuals as well as groups. Hence, it is paramount for teachers and schools to enhance culturally relevant teaching in the classrooms. Due to this, the students will be able to comprehend and revere the disparate opinions, perspectives approaching from diversified backgrounds.
Encourage Self Assessment
Self Assessment itself says that it is the process of evaluating one’s own actions, attitude or performance. Self Assessment is the prime key to navigate from the unrefined perceptions and attitude of distinguished culture to a newfangled and amiable climate of multicultural resources, information, beliefs and perceptions. Hence, it is essential to encourage Self Assessment in students from the teacher’s end through various means like debates, extempore, cultural projects etc. This in turn will help the teachers and schools in enhancing culturally relevant teaching in the classroom.
Nourish with Respect
Promoting respect among students regarding cultural or racial diversities is a prime factor in enhancing culturally relevant teaching. This will help students maintain the cultural identity of their own as well as that of others. Thus, it will enable them to take and enact reflective decisions as and when required. And the best way to nourish the students with respect of multitudes of culture is to engage them in various classroom wide activities where they can come out of their agitation and consciousness while facing the unfamiliar.
Establishing a Sense of Equality for Counterpart
It is imperative for schools and teachers to establish a sense of equality among boys and girls for each other. Also, teachers should make the students have respect for the likes, dislikes, tastes and preferences of their counterparts on all grounds. This can be done by sheer and equal participation of both the genders. Thus, enhancing culturally relevant teaching will help them share their creativity with each other. This will provide a dimension for guaranteeing freedom and respect for expression towards any task or challenges given in the classroom.
Hence, enhancing Culturally Relevant Teaching focuses on assuring that all the teachers understand the cultural background of their students. This will display multi-cultural competence and settings in the classroom thus, developing a sense of belonging and honoring their human dignity.