ERIC Number: ED238662
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Professional Development Seminar: A Model for Making Higher Education More Culturally Sensitive.
Scollon, Suzanne Bau Kam
A weekly professional development seminar, designed to help University of Alaska education professors (four White, one Alaska Native) become more culturally sensitive in multicultural classrooms and discover ways teaching may construct barriers to participation by Alaska Native students, was supplemented by videotapes of participants' teaching behaviors and by student opinions, obtained by third-party observers. Factors affecting class participation were instructors' expectations, relationship between instructors and students, professors' efforts to increase reticent students' participation, domination of class discussion by a few individuals, attitudes of respect for elders and teachers, spatial arrangements of classrooms, eye contact, and different values held by different Native groups. Use of problematic words, intonation and non-verbal cues, and students' and professors' different expectations were involved in role distancing. Concerning logic of presentation, professors generally liked to begin with theory, while students wanted narratives of specific cases and often considered that professors were failing to get to the point. Study of classroom rhythm showed that Native students were slower to raise their hands to enter discussion than were White, urban students, and were often not called on. Obvious seminar results were professors' increased sense of humility and awareness/appreciation of different assumptions about approaches to teaching. (MH)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, American Indian Education, Classroom Communication, Classroom Environment, Classroom Techniques, Cultural Differences, Cultural Influences, Equal Education, Higher Education, Instructional Improvement, Multicultural Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Role Perception, Student Attitudes, Student Participation, Student Teacher Relationship, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Educators, Teacher Role, Teaching Styles, Whites
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: University of Alaska
Note: Paper presented at the Conference of the National Association for Asian and Pacific American Education (3rd, Honolulu, HI, April, 1981).