Don’t Put Me In A Box (Culturally Responsible Classroom Management)

I loved this article because in Canada we have so many different cultures, backgrounds, religions and differences that need to be celebrated and recognized. I agree with culturally responsible classroom management and the article makes a great point however I believe that this only touches the surface. The article tends to generalize how certain students act and while that may be a norm, every child is different. I connected more with the article on getting to know your students. You can be culturally responsible without doing the things that this article says. Not all African American people are more confrontational or speak out more often and not all Asian children find it respectful not to speak during a lesson and this is my problem with the article. I love the idea but the article itself is still being stereotypical in many ways. Instead of making this about cultural differences it should be about adaptive dimension and reaching every student on a level that they are able to connect to. I think the very first step is getting to know your learners. The second step is being culturally responsible yourself. There are a LOT of things that I still catch myself thinking stereotypically about other people. It’s easy to fall into the whiteness paradigm but culture is about so much more than skin colour. It’s easy to think that the western way of thinking is best but you only grow as a person by opening yourself up to new things, new values, new people, new norms. The third step is opening your mind and heart to these new ways of thinking and values. I’ve heard many people complaining about treaty education and they think it’s a thing of the past but It’s very relevant today and very important as a part of our history and diversity. I was once guilty of thinking that First Nations studies were all the same topics every year but now that I actually am paying attention to the world around me and my views, I understand that this culture is a unique part of my own personal history and very enriching and exciting for myself. It’s easy to simplify culture through race and a flat picture of the culture but the real culturally responsible classroom management comes from changing yourself first. I agree with this in the article, it’s just hard to give credit to this when there are so many generalizations. Ever classroom atmosphere is different and every learner is different, diverse and unique and should be taught as such.

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