ResearchPaper about Education
ChallengesFaced by Teachers, Teaching Methods, and Lessons for the Society
Theresome challenges faced by both students and teachers in the context ofcross-cultural education. Some of the problems include the atmosphereof the school, the community involvement, attitude towards diversityand a culturally responsive curriculum. However, the most substantialchallenge that teachers may face is their relationships with studentswhen trying to impact knowledge because they are all from differentperspectives. Instructional strategies and individual behaviorsenable teachers who handle classes with students from variouscross-cultural backgrounds to build a stronger teaching-learningrelationship. Some of these strategies and actions exemplify goodteaching practices (McKay 8). The aim of this paper is to address theissues faced by teachers when teaching students from differentcultures, the teaching methods these teachers use, and finally whatthe community learns from this experience.
Issuesof International Teaching
Differences in Identities and Perspective
Teachersface some different challenges when teaching students from distinctcultures. About the interview that took place with Mr. Ramirez, hedecided to become a teacher so as to help those students that find ithard to interact with students from different cultures. As aHispanic, he can relate to the challenges the students are facingbecause he was also once a student and found it hard to learn in suchclasses. Therefore, he decided he would make it his duty to helpstudents learn in setting f different cultures the best way he knowshow. Mr. Ramirez together with other teachers in this practice makesuse of instructional practices that they found useful when they werestudents. To make students adapt to general classes where there aredifferent cultures, teachers should try and listen to the needs oftheir students although this is quite challenging. Because there arecertain requirements that a student from a different culture wouldhave and this would conflict with a student from another culture(McKay 14). So as a teacher it is up to you to find solutions forthese challenges because they are not written in the class syllabus.
Anotherissue faced by teachers of English in imparting knowledge in thesetting of cross cultures is when students are given homework wheretheir parents should help them when they come back from school, andthe homework was not done. Such is the case because the parents ofstudents are not English speakers so there is no possible way theycould help their child with the homework. Because of this, teachersend up doing the homework during classroom pushing classwork to thefollowing day, putting a strain on the syllabus that was to becovered programs have limited time projected for their completion.Alternatively, teachers try to create time after classes to helpthose students that were not able to do their homework (McKay 13).This affects the personal time of teachers because they postponedoing their things at the expense of making time for their students.
Thisis a problem because teachers are not guided, and there are noresources for planning the lessons. One has to come up with lessonplans themselves and decide what students should be learning at aparticular time. This would be very challenging for new teachersbecause they need to be provided with instructional resources.Teachers who have experience teaching view curricula freedom as anadvantage because they can manage themselves well.
DifferentMethods of Teaching
Severalfactors greatly affect the success of culturally diverse students.Kathryn gives examples which include the atmosphere of the school,attitude of the teachers towards diversity, community involvement, acurriculum which is responsive in the cultural sense, teachingmethods by the teachers and so on (400). In all these mentionedfactors, one of the most influential ones is the teaching methodsthat the teacher uses. Below are some of the teaching methods thatMr. Ramirez uses in his classrooms, as he stated in the interviews.
Engaging Students in the Learning Process
Itis worth to note that to achieve the success of the learning process,the teachers have to accommodate and appreciate both the differencesand similarities among the cultures of the students/learners (Bankset al. 6). Such teachers establish the differences in a positivemanner, which in turn facilitates the rise of instructionalstrategies as well as effective communication as the basis fordevelopment among the teachers.
Drawingfrom the interview conducted by the ethnographer, it is clear thatMr. Ramirez has social skills which include cross-culturalunderstanding as well as respect, whereby he also models, trains,prompts, and reinforces it to his students. In this light, he guidesthe students through reading texts, whereby they take turns readingpassages out loud. This method of teaching aids the students to becomfortable with one another and respect one another despite the factthat they come from different cultural backgrounds (McKay 44). Thisis the exact way that he prompts respect among his students andindirectly teaches them that various cultural backgrounds should notbe the basis for disrespect.
Building Relationships with Students
Ifa teacher builds a good rapport with the students, the students willhave no problem making known their problems to the teachers. Forinstance, one of the methods used by Mr. Ramirez in his classrooms isencouraging the students to hold discussions on the experiences thatthey find challenging and need his help in solving or navigating it.In this case, the teacher has apparently built a good relationshipwith his students, in the sense that some of them let him know theirproblems and in fact, hold discussions about the same problem. One ofthe problems faced by the students is difficulty in getting help withhomework since their parents don`t understand the English language.In this case, if the students were uneasy when communicating with theteacher, they wouldn`t have told him their problems. In fact, nostudent would ever say any of the problems they face because he wouldnot have created a good relationship with his students. In essence,this method of teaching works well only when the teacher hasestablished a good correlation.
Lessonsthat Society Should Learn
Asa society, people can learn to accommodate and appreciate thedifferences and similarities among the different cultures, just asMr. Ramirez does. This is because if Mr. Ramirez did not have thisvirtue, his methods of teaching would have miserably failed becausehe would not be accommodative of the different cultures. In additionto this, the society can learn to understand the challenges thatstudents face, through asking their children what they go through inschools. This will help them to be accommodative of other cultures.We can also learn that we all have different identities and ways inwhich we view things (Banks et al. 43). Therefore, it is important totry and accommodate each other and help one another in areas where wecan. For instance, if you can be able to help a student understandanother culture then be free to do that. In doing so, you will behelping someone by making their life a little bit easier.Additionally, what we have learned as a community is that teachershave hard work trying to impart knowledge to our children somethingwe take for granted. Therefore, we should appreciate our teachers.
Ona daily basis, teachers face different challenges. Some of theproblems include the differences in identities and perspectives,barriers brought about by various languages and curricular freedom aswell. Mr. Ramirez faced some of these challenges as well. Teachersuse several methods of teaching, and some of them are explained inMr. Ramirez`s interview. Some of the methods include engaging thestudents by guiding them is through reading texts, whereby they taketurns and read passages aloud. Another approach is creating healthyrelationships by motivating the students to hold discussions on theexperiences they find challenging and require his help. All thesemethods are useful because they increase the chances of the students`academic success, and teach people to respect one another (Banks etal. 52). The community learns to appreciate teachers, and beaccommodative of one another, despite the fact that people come fromdifferent cultural backgrounds.
Au,Kathryn H. "Multicultural factors and the effective instructionof students of diverse backgrounds." Whatresearch has to say about reading instruction. Newark, DE:IRA (2012):393-409.
Banks,James A., and Cherry A. McGee Banks. Multiculturaleducation: Issues and perspectives.John Wiley & Sons, 2015: 5-21.
McKay,Sandra Lee. TeachingEnglish As An International Language: Rethinking Goals andPerspectives.New York: Oxford University Press, 2012:7-19.