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From: covs_dhc@ACCESS-K12.org
Date: Thu Nov 20 2003 - 10:31:43 EST

  • Next message: Cindysoprano@aol.com: "[Channel-talklearning] Inclusion classroom for emotionally disturbed"

    Hi Kathy:

    I agree with what you are saying about multicultural education. However,
    in my situation, I have a reverse problem. My school is all white, rural,
    and low-income. Most of these kids have never interacted with anyone from
    another culture. We only have three African-American students in our
    school. Many of our students are afraid of people from other cultures.
    One student told me that she would never attend one particular university
    in a neighboring town because there were black people there and she was
    afraid of them. It is so sad that we have no diversity here. Many
    students here are pregnant. A few of them are having their second child.
    Many of their mothers were 16 years old when they had their children. So
    there is a cycle here of ignorance that runs very deep. So many of our
    children live in homes with alcoholic or drug addicted parents too. There
    is such a breakdown in the culture in this community that I see education
    as having a very small effect. Even if the school brought in students from
    other cultures, I think it would be very hard to influence the family
    structures which are deeply ingrained with prejudice. I'm not sure what
    the answer is to these types of problems. Ignorance and poverty usually
    co-exist. However, many people who live in this area have a desire to
    remain ignorant. It's hard to understand. I do have students who confide
    in me about their troubled home situations. At least I try to be someone
    they can talk to even though I feel helpless most of the time.

    Debbie Cogan

    --On Wednesday, November 19, 2003 8:21 PM -0500 estes
    <estesg@bellsouth.net> wrote:

    > Response to Session 6
    > Culture and Learning
    > Kathy Estes
    > I feel after reading the conference paper and viewing the video on what
    > the differences may be in learning; we have a long road ahead. There is
    > enough blame to go around in this gray area of education. I think if you
    > have a multiple classroom of cultures, first find what they have in
    > common. There are several ways to teach these students: one is to find
    > resources on their Country and rituals they may practice. Two seek help
    > through the District for someone who may speak their language. Third you
    > can plan a multi-cultural week. Fourth set aside time for one on one. I
    > think we are more multi-cultural today than ten years ago, this means
    > more work and effort on the teachers. The student will help fill in the
    > missing parts if they are comfortable with their surroundings. The
    > classroom is to be explored and should have flexibility. The learning
    > place should be like a rainbow, with every color. I do not think we as
    > educators should drop the ball with teaching only the elite. In a
    > classroom with multi-cultural you will be able to teach the basics. There
    > will be no getting away from the three R's. You can turn on minds not
    > computers. The students will be learning the core knowledge of education,
    > not the machines of education. I feel bad for American students for not
    > having the experiences of what make the earth turn. There is more to the
    > earth than oxygen, water, and people, but if the students never do use
    > their own brains, how will they know? The student sitting beside them
    > will open the book and dig for information. Our Nation has become so
    > dependant on technology that we do not know how to think out side of the
    > box. The classroom with foreigners will be more productive in learning.
    > These students do not want to be shown as lame.If there were no politics
    > in education I feel we would have more Edison and Graham Bells, Eli
    > Whitney's and Leaders with the back ground of knowledge. The modern
    > student never has need of a book nor Library, just flip a switch. The
    > student without prior knowledge of America will put our students to shame
    > on the information or History of the United States.Yes cultures do play a
    > role in all education. It may be sad to see a foreigner know more about
    > our world than our own students. The Forefathers of our Country cut
    > their teeth on History, who dropped the ball? I know if Washington,
    > Lincoln, and Hoover and all the later Presidents would fall out over at
    > what our children are doing to education. We need to teach them how to
    > read, add, and write complete sentences. I shiver at the thought this is
    > going to be my retirement fund. I hope to live as long as Strom Thurmond
    > maybe then I can survive the mess of Educators. I wonder if anyone has
    > given thought too how the Country will be run in ten years from now. I
    > have and its not a pretty picture. We have more juveniles and drop outs
    > than any Country in the world. If the politics were out of schools we
    > could have learning still today. The classroom educators were good enough
    > to teach the politicians. The modern technology is super if the basics
    > come first. Teachers need to be able to teach, not be robots for the
    > politicians. There may never have been any politicians if there were only
    > one race, culture, and color. I think we need the basics back and the
    > politicians out of the classroom. The multi-cultural classroom will be
    > our only hope at teaching core knowledge. The new modern classroom has a
    > button pusher and no brain to enforce learning. I have been given the
    > opportunity to learn and attain hands on, minds on training, but I am
    > afraid for the young people of today. I really do not know what I would
    > have been with all the new tools in modern classrooms of today. I am
    > thankful for the old school learning, where you had prayer, respect,
    > honor, integrity, and discipline in the schools. I think this is what
    > made our Nation so strong. I think we need a variety of cultures in all
    > work places, schools, and offices. It would be a dull world with only one
    > culture. There is no one cut paper doll for the learners of tomorrow, but
    > there can be one education for all people. This education must include
    > reading, math, and writing. The teachers need to require all students to
    > research other countries and write facts on each. The paper needs to have
    > reasons why they would want to live there or why they would not want to
    > live there. Take back the education and teach to real life in today's
    > world. Teach students how to live not to play a role with someone's
    > knowledge. I think we must teach our students to think, feel, and react
    > to what is going on in their worlds. The future will depend on how the
    > students reacts to knowledge, rather than printing it off of a computer.
    > This technology can come later, after they have the facts to feed the
    > computer. The computer was programmed by someone who acquired the
    > knowledge ahead of the computer. The mind is a terrible thing to waste.
    > We must turn on minds to education and learning to teach trades for the
    > future. There are more papers to write, fill-out, and sort than teaching
    > taking place. Every head or policy maker should be made to teach one
    > class a month. This person would have assess to books only. The class
    > would have the rainbow of students, with all the differences in the mix.
    > If the laws and policy makers would allow teachers to do their jobs
    > without any interference these cultures would benefit the harvest of
    > knowledge. The teachers have taken the test and all the classes to teach
    > the multi-cultural students. I feel that the short end of the stick was
    > given to educators as a Whipping Boy for Politicians. I feel that I
    > earned the right to teach by educating my self for five years, with on
    > going learning. The classroom teacher never graduates. This allows for
    > all cultures to be expanded, but does not allow for bias in the process.
    > The cultures of the world are on-going adventures for educators.

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