I knew I wanted to start my summer professional reading with global ideas and No More Culturally Irrelevant Teaching by Mariana South-Manning and co-authors was the perfect match for my reading goal. I love the organization of the not this but that series by Heinemann. They describe and identify the problem, then describe why current things aren't working, and finish with suggestions to support change. I found myself thinking about stereotypes, surface cultural understandings, along with mirrors and doors. I also found myself reflecting on what it means to truly understand cultures that are different than mine and pondering ways to help my own mindset and bring an awareness of the cultures within our classroom community.
These are nudges I found to try within my own work.
- explore our identities as we start the school year together in the first month
- create a class book to share the history of our names
- have the students share cultural artifacts and listen to their stories
- explore and find culturally relevant text from sources sited on p73
- learn and talk with families about their cultures more
Here are some quotes that are sticking with me and might interest you in looking at this book more.
"Becoming "culturally competent" takes time and requires us to position ourselves as learners."
"...what they think qualifies as culturally relevant may in fact be perpetuating certain stereotypes."
"After all, culturally relevant teaching requires us to see teaching for justice as an ethical imperative we must take on and not just something we do."