The article Culturally Responsive Classroom Management: Awareness Into Action by Carol Weinstein, Mary Curran, and Saundra Tomlinson discusses the importance of teachers being aware of their students’ cultural backgrounds when making and enforcing classroom rules and atmosphere.
I liked this article because it stressed the importance of open communication between teachers, students, and parents, which I find many articles about culture in education lack. Without this open communication a teacher must rely on stereotypes and generalizations if they want to teach to individual needs and open communication will help both teachers and students understand each other and see what is needed and expected of them. As the article discusses, communication between the teacher and the students guardian allows for both sides to see where the other is coming from as well as giving an opportunity for any questions or confusion to be dealt with.
The article also focuses on how teachers who are unaware of their classroom diversity could be unknowing punishing students for things that they cannot help. It discusses how different cultures have different beliefs about how their students should act or behave in a classroom setting. The article states that “parents from traditional Asian and Latino backgrounds may expect students to be quiet and obedient, not to contradict the teacher, and not to ask questions” (5). In a classroom where the teacher marks for participation and has not explained why, this student will be penalized for something that they have been taught as good for their entire life. I believe that students who experience this often give up in school, as without the open communication they may not understand why they are losing they are being penalized.
I plan to use the ideas presented in this article in my own teaching as I feel that all students deserve to learn in the best possible way for them. Individuality is so important in the elementary and high school years that I feel treating students all the same is doing a great disservice to both them and the classroom teacher, who does not get to know their students on a meaningful level.