Building Culturally Responsive Classrooms: A Guide for K-6 Teachers

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SAGE Publications, Apr 28, 2006 - Education - 166 pages
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Teachers are dealing with increasingly diverse classroom settings, yet the majority of teachers do not share the same culture as their students. Going beyond they typical heroes and holidays approach to cultural diversity, Gaitan shows that real culture is the day-to-day experience of students and their families and involves values, language, kinship, community and social networks, common history, attitudes, and rituals. By honoring "real culture," teachers will be better equipped to reach all their students effectively.

Divided into two parts, this invaluable resource covers the classroom environment and the topics of discipline, arranging the classroom, and parent and community involvement first. In the second half of the book, Gaitan explains how teachers can be culturally responsive in the way in which they teach literacy, math, science, the interdisciplinary curriculum, and other content areas. Based on Gaitan's own interviews, observations, and audio & video recordings with teachers, parents, students, and community leaders, this book shows how teachers can transform the context and content to be culturally responsive to all their students.

Each chapter follows a accessible and user-friendly format, making it ideal for mentoring pairs, group study, or teachers working individually:

Personal reflection from a teacher related to the chapter topic

Discussion of the topic as it relates to the culturally responsive classroom, incorporating the latest research and best practice

Rich case example including dialogues between teachers and students, the author's observations, and teacher reflections about what occurred

Guiding questions

Reflective Questions

Classroom applications

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About the author (2006)

Concha Delgado Gaitan, PhD, is an award-winning ethnographic researcher and professor of sociocultural studies in education. She received the George and Louise Spindler award for her contributions to the field of Anthropology and Education from the Council of Anthropology and Education of the American Anthropological Association. Her early career as a teacher and school principal informs her later work as a practicing anthropologist in communities and professor at the University of California, Davis. Concha has also worked in the field of public health education in Latino communities, combining that interest with her dedication to issues of social justice and education. She is a national and international speaker as well as a consultant on the numerous topics that inspire her work.

Among her many scholarly publications are her books where she presents her work as an ethnographer working with disenfranchised families and communities toward their empowerment and extending practical lessons to educators: (1) The Power of Community, (2) Protean Literacy, (3) Crossing Cultural Borders, (4) Literacy for Empowerment, (5) School and Society, (6) Involving Latino Families in the School, (7) Building Culturally Responsive Classrooms, and this most current one (8) Creating a College Culture for Latino Students. In a different book, Prickly Cactus, she turns the lenses inward to look at the role of family and community in her life during a time of major health crisis. Concha works and lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband Dudley Thompson. For more information, please go to www.conchadelgadogaitan.com  or contact Concha at concha@conchadg.com.

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