Sunday, June 14, 2015

A to Z: Cultural Perspectives in Education

Vaughan M. Blaney
BSc(UNB,Canada), BEd(UNB,Canada), TEFLA(University of Cambridge), MEd(HKU, Hong Kong)

Book: "A to Z: Cultural Perspectives in Education"

The Letter 'R'...

Rules, laws, right, wrong
Values, judgments, and policies to pass
Different in each country
But just one set in class

Real differences - they do exist, still all can agree that we: 
  • uphold special rituals
  • follow the rules of the classroom
  • like eating delicious ripe fruit
  • try to be responsible individuals
  • dislike having a runny nose
  • know we have 'rights'
  • dash for cover when it starts to rain
  • like to run
  • try to correctly respond to a friend's questions
  • know how to print the letter R

For myself, I have found a way that allows students to freely say what they desire in a non-threatening situation by using the discussion board and their web page. Too often I have heard teacher educators who consider themselves multicultural, yet point to the lone Asian student and say, "Let's hear this from the Asian perspective" or when I encountered a multicultural-ist as a student being told it was "too bad" I didn't know Spanish, and I should consider myself a "spokesperson" for "my" people. The voice we need to allow our students to use is the one that empowers them to think in a non-obtrusive, non-stereotypical environment that freely allows for discourse. If students do not offer any verbal commentary in class, yet participate within the discussion board and feel empowered by this, then the class has been a success...

There are some issues I have had to face regarding web-enhanced courses: the web page being down, students not being able to access the page, limited knowledge in technology by my students and myself, and students not trusting their technological ability. But after thinking about the road that was traveled for many students, and the voices that may not have been heard if not for something like the discussion board, I get caught thinking back to the "the editor" who stated, "A little change does me good." It has.

Ramirez, A.Y.

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