The goal of this Web site is to support teachers in their efforts to integrate culturally competent content and educational strategies into their classrooms and school communities, and to make students of all backgrounds, languages and socio-economic levels feel respected, heard, welcome, comfortable and able to learn.
Teachers will understand:
- In order for a school to function as a community, it must acknowledge and understand the diverse influences that affect students.
- What defines culture and the meaning of cultural competence.
- That EVERYONE has culture, history, values and beliefs.
- How culture shapes a person's perspective and style of learning.
- How our personal culture shapes who we are and what we do.
- That cultural competence is essential to a successful school environment.
- The connection between cultural competence and student achievement.
- The qualities that make an educator Culturally Competent.
- How to integrate cultural competence across the curriculum and subject areas.
- How to collaborate with community members to enrich both schools and community.
- Where to find and how to cultivate cultural competence resources in the school community.
- The scope of resources available through OPB and PBS programming and related Web sites.
- Where to find additional resources at many levels, including additional lesson plans, ESL learning modifications, multilingual and multicultural materials, books, videos, music, arts, games, food, community resources, etc.
- Specific ideas for making cultural competence a regular part of the classroom.
- Study their national heritage and culture, and the diverse cultural traditions that other nations contribute to that heritage.
- Study relationships around individuals, groups (e.g., ethnic, age), institutions (e.g., schools, family) and systems (e.g., political and economic)
- Understand that everyone has a cultural history — even people who are born in America and are part of the dominant culture are shaped by their family background.
- Study how various cultural/ethnic groups express distinctive values, experiences, struggles and contributions as well as give voice to the commonalities of the human condition.
- Give voice to underrepresented groups in areas of curriculum, which are typically represented by majority populations.
- Learn that our culture and background shape who we are, what we believe and many of the things we do.
- Explore continents and countries on a map.
- Determine their family origins.
- Mark their "point of origin" on a map of the world.
- Be motivated to "visit" and learn about many countries.
- Learn words in other languages.
- Experience other countries and cultures through art and music, books, legends and folk tales, food, conversation, film, games, language and more.
- Build an understanding of other cultures through sharing.
- Have opportunities to communicate their findings about their own and other cultures with fellow students and community members.
- Build awareness of cultural resources in the community.
- Experience games, foods, music, art, language, literature, flags and much more from around the world.
- Gain a broader perspective on many issues.
- Compare and contrast cultures, discover the many ways that we are all alike and different, and gain understanding of the reasons for our differences.
The lesson plans and activity ideas on this Web site address the following content standards, which satisfy Oregon Department of Education standards unless otherwise noted.
Students should be able to:
- Demonstrate respect for people of all races, color, creed, origin, religion, age, sex and handicap.
- Interact effectively and work cooperatively with the many ethnic and cultural groups of our nation and world.
- Value differences, respecting the validity of one's own perspective and understanding the interdependency of all people.
- Apply effective interpersonal communication skills across the spectra of ethnicity, nationality, language, culture, gender and political ideology.
- Identify, interpret and apply cultural information and practices gained from a variety of sources.
- Compare and contrast cultural practices with one's own culture.
- Know that the visual arts have both a history and a specific relationship to various cultures. (McRELL)
- Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times and places. (McRELL)
- Analyze a work of art by comparing and contrasting it to another work from a different time or culture.
- Describe and explain how the characteristics of a society or culture influences works of art.
English - Literature:
- Compare and contrast versions of the same stories from different cultures.
- Identify themes in literary works, and provide support for interpretations from the text.
- Analyze a work of literature, showing how it reflects the heritage, traditions, attitudes, and beliefs of its author.
- Generate relevant questions about readings on issues that can be researched.
English - Writing:
- Write biographical or autobiographical narratives or short stories.
- Write descriptive pieces about people, places, things or experiences.
- Use a variety of information sources, including firsthand interviews, reference materials and electronic resources to locate information to support the topic.
- Cite references appropriately.
English - Communication:
- Investigate topics of interest and importance, selecting appropriate media resources and using effective research processes.
- Acquire, interpret and use information from print, visual, electronic and human sources.
- Use basic vocabulary to describe assorted objects (e.g., toys, dress, types of dwellings, foods) in everyday environments.
- Use appropriate vocabulary, gestures, and oral expressions for greetings, introductions, departures, and other common or familiar interactions (e.g., exchanging name, address, phone number, place of origin, general health/state of being; giving and asking for permission; using the telephone; making and responding to requests).
- Know the basic components of culture (e.g., language, social organization, beliefs and customs, forms of shelter, economic activities, and education systems). (McRELL)
- Understand how people and the environment are interrelated.
- Understand how people's lives are affected by physical environment.
- Locate and identify on maps and globes the regions of the world and their prominent physical features.
- Know characteristic similarities and differences of cultures in different regions (in terms of environment, resources, technology, food, shelter, social organization, beliefs and customs, schooling, and gender-based expectations). (McRELL)
- Know family history through two generations (e.g., various family members and their connections). (McRELL)
- Understand personal familial or cultural heritage through stories, songs, and celebrations. (McRELL)
- Know ways in which people share family beliefs and values (e.g., oral traditions, literature, songs, art, religion, community celebrations, mementos, food and language). (McRell)
- Make contributions in class and group discussions (e.g., recount personal experiences, report on ideas and personal knowledge about a topic, initiate conversations, connect ideas and experiences with those of others).
- Make basic oral presentations to class (e.g., use subject-related information and vocabulary; include content appropriate to the audience; relate ideas and observations; incorporate visual aids or props; incorporate several sources of information).
- Understand that language reflects different regions and cultures (e.g., sayings; expressions; usage; oral traditions and customs; historical, geographical and societal influences on language).
- Use credible and relevant information to convey message.
- Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, appropriate and colorful modifiers, and the active rather than the passive voice in ways that enliven oral presentations.
- Use a variety of descriptive words, demonstrating awareness of impact on audience.
Social Science Analysis:
- Identify and compare different ways of looking at an event, issue or problem.
- Examine an event, issue or problem through inquiry and research.
- Gather, use and document information from multiple sources (e.g., print, electronic, human, primary and secondary).
- Analyze an event, issue, problem or phenomenon from varied or opposed perspectives or points of view.
Thinking and Reasoning:
- Identify the similarities and differences between persons, places, things and events using concrete criteria.
- Compare people in terms of important ethnic, religious and cultural characteristics. (McRELL)
- Formulate judgments about ideas under discussion, and support those judgments with convincing evidence.