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What experiences would a teacher have in a multicultural environment?

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lt1017 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted August 9, 2013 at 2:08 PM via web

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What experiences would a teacher have in a multicultural environment?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 9, 2013 at 2:29 PM (Answer #1)

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Teachers in a multicultural classroom could have many "untraditional" experiences in the classroom. One must consider that a multicultural classroom will boast different cultures, ethnicities, religious backgrounds, and societal behaviors.

A teacher can experience some of the following things in a multicultural classroom:

-Students who will not look the teacher in the eye (East Asian and Nigerian)

-Differences in personal space (Middle Easterners and South Americans stand very close when talking)

-Students who will not speak to others of the opposite sex (Islamic)

-Greetings can be different (kissing, hugs, hand shakes)

-Speaking directly (some cultures do not "sugar-coat" things)

Other things which a teacher may experience is uncertainty between students (although the goal is to teach acceptance). Given the vast differences between students (in some classrooms), teachers may experience apprehension between students given the cultural differences they see in each other.

Sources:

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cp4000 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 9, 2013 at 2:33 PM (Answer #2)

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Think of potential problems that could arise in a teaching environment in which there are students whose primary languages might be different from eachother's and from the teachers.  Think about misunderstandings that might arise between students.  Think about how disabilities might be more difficult to detect in an student who refuses to talk because he/she does not know English or is shy in a new environment.

Also focus on the positive aspects of teaching in a multiculture environment.  If the environment encourages student discussion and participation, all the students in the class are exposed to cultures other than their own, to differing worldviews, to opinions.  The challenge would be to keep the environment positive and to welcome every student's opinions and participation equally.

Another aspect you could focus on is the student's PARENTS.  What kind of experiences might you encounter in parent/teacher conference with parents who need to understand something but have language barriers, or who have cultural values in opposition to the mainstream?  How would you deal with that?

These are some discussion points to use as a springboard for your own thoughts and ideas on the subject.    Good luck!

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