Chapter Two: Understanding Diversity in the Classroom

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences
Warren Bluemfeld

Educational Psychology, Lecture on September 19 th Chapter Two: Understanding Diversity in the Classroom Group differences,  Stereotype, a rigid, overly simplistic, and inevitably inaccurate representation of any particular group of individuals. Cultural, Ethnic, and Racial diversity,  Culture is a term that describes the knowledge, attitude, values, and behaviors that characterize a group of people.  Ethnicity refers to a person’s common place of origin.  Race refers to the category of people who share biologically transmitted traits such as skin color or hair texture. o There are no biologically pure races. o Now seen in six categories, American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; black or African-American; Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; white, and other.  Culture shock, a term used to describe the anxiety and confusion felt when people have to operate within an entirely different culture or social environment. Language differences,  The number of native languages in the U.S school district ranges from 1- 119 with the average of 8 being represented.  Dialects, a special form of a language with distinctive pronunciations and grammatical structures. o Considered part of a groups identity. Time orientation, us Americans are very time oriented and strict when it comes to turning in work, being in class for a certain time, etc., while in other cultures this could be upsetting. Approaches to teaching in the culturally diverse classroom,  Cultural deficit model, a model used to explain the achievement gap as the result of a home culture that fails to prepare students to succeed academically as compared to the mainstream culture.  Achievement gap, a term used to describe the difference in academic achievement between African-American or Latino students and white, middle-SES students.  Self-fulfilling prophecy, the process by which people’s expectations about a person lead them to elicit behavior that confirms the expectations.  Multicultural education, approach that is a “wide variety of programs and practices related to educational equity, women, ethnic groups. Language minorities, low income groups and people with disabilities. The ultimate goal of this approach is to help students develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to function within their culture, other culture, and the global community.  Culturally relevant pedagogy, o learners must experience academic success. o Learners must maintain their cultural competence. o Learners must develop a broad sociopolitical consciousness to be able to critique the social norms, values, and institutions that produce and maintain social inequities.  Culturally responsive teaching, o “using cultural knowledge”, prior experiences, frames of reference and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to and effective for students. Language diversity,  Language minority, minority group whose primary language is different than that of the majority group.  English Language Learner Programs (ELLs), immerse children into strictly English speaking classes gradually.  Bilingual education, instructional programs where students are provided instruction in their first language as well as in the language of the majority. Socioeconomic diversity,  Socioeconomic status (
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