& Responsibilities of Teachers
Teachers are: cultural organizers, cultural mediators, and
orchestrates of social contexts for learning (Gay, 2000).
Gay (2000) explains that teachers must be
competent in understanding the dynamics and uses of culture in their
classroom. Daily classroom activities should facilitate learning
environments that reflect cultural and ethnic diversity while also
promoting academic achievement for all. Students from different
ethnic groups should be able to voice their cultural expression in order
to enhance content and learning processes.
Teachers should expose students to multiple
perspectives and allow students to critically analyze differences
between mainstream cultural ideals and those of different cultural
systems. Teachers guide students to reflect on their own ethnic
identities and facilitate them in honoring other cultures and developing
positive cross-cultural relationships. Classroom activities should
enhance students' abilities to identify stereotypes and prejudices and
also teach students how to avoid perpetuating racism (Gay, 2000).
Orchestrators of Social Contexts
Gay (2000) also asserts that it is very important
for teachers to appreciate the impact culture has on learning.
Furthermore, they must make their teaching well-suited to the
sociocultural contexts and frames of reference of ethnically diverse
students. They are also guides in helping students know how to
utilize their cultural cognition in order to facilitate their learning.
Following is Spring's (1995) definition of a cultural frame of
reference, "those elements that cause a cultural group to interpret
the world. . . in a particular manner" (p. 5), or the filter
through which perceptions of, encounters with, and understandings of the
outside world are ordered and made meaningful (Gay, 2000).
Gay, G. (2000). Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research,
& Practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
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