Reflection and Review

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Course Four: Reflection and Review

Part 1: Personal Reflection and Group Discussion

1. Before getting into small groups, take a moment to reflect on the following concepts:

  • Multiculturalism
  • Inclusion
  • Diversity
  • School culture

What do they mean to you as an educator? How do they manifest themselves in your classroom or school? Be specific.

2. Is Multicultural Education part of the curriculum in your country, region, or school? If not, can it play a more prominent role? Would it be easy to implement? If it is an approach that is currently used, how can it be made more effective? What is needed to help teachers make it an integral part of their practice?

3. Do your students have opportunities to define, explore, and share their own cultural identities in your classroom? Do students have opportunities to explore other cultures and ethnicities? If so, describe these opportunities. If not, how can they be brought into the classroom?

We encourage you to write down your answers and discuss your responses in small groups (three to five participants). Then, also in a group, discuss the following:

One of the ideals of multicultural education states that "Educators, activists, and others must take a more active role in re-examining all educational practices and how they affect the learning of all students: testing methods, teaching approaches, evaluation and assessment, school psychology and counseling, educational materials, and textbooks." Having completed four of the five courses in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery, you should now be ready to start thinking about assuming this active role. Do you feel ready? If so, how would you begin to re-examine educational practices in your own classroom and in your school? What are some of the key changes that you hope to make? Why? 

If you do not feel prepared for this role, is there something that Teachers Without Borders can provide to help you prepare? Is there something that could be added or modified in the Certificate program? What kind of support would ensure better preparation for this role?

Also, consider addressing the following questions:

How would you include your colleagues, the students, and the community in this process of re-examining current practices? Is there a specific practice that you would focus on first? Why? Is there likely to be resistance to change among your colleagues? If so, how would you encourage them to assume a critical stance and start reflecting on their classroom practice?

Part 2: Review

1. Review the ideals and goals of multicultural education. Which ones resonate most strongly with you? How can these ideals and goals help learners? How will you use them in your teaching?

2. One of the key principles of multicultural education is that students must feel included and validated, and have opportunities to see that their culture and other cultures around them and around the world have value. How would you accomplish this in your school? How would you motivate and support all teachers at your school to work together towards this goal?

3. How would you define the two concepts listed below?

a) Sensitive Eye
b) Compassionate Listening

Develop a lesson plan that would support students in developing both of these skills. In developing your lesson plan you should draw upon the approaches, theories, and skills that you have already explored in the first three courses of the CTM.

4. How would you define Appreciative Inquiry? Give two or three specific examples that you would give to explain its advantages in the classroom and potential impact on students and their learning.

5. Explain the key features of Cooperative Learning. How would you encourage your colleagues who are not familiar with this approach to try it in their classrooms? What kind of support would you provide to the ones interested in implementing it?

6. In your opinion, what are the greatest benefits of Service Learning? How would you implement Service Learning as part of a course that you teach or as a cross-curricular, school-wide initiative? In your answer, identify the community need that would be addressed, the learning objectives, and the potential impact of this project on student learning. How would the students, the community, and the teachers benefit from this initiative?

7. Building the right culture and climate in classrooms and schools takes time. What do you think is needed to create a strong professional community and a strong learning community at your school? What kinds of questions need to be asked? What  kinds of practices and attitudes need to be in place to support this?

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource. fred. (2008, June 13). Education for the New Millennium. Retrieved May 04, 2010, from TWB Courseware Web site. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.