ERIC Number: ED368521
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr-22
Reference Count: N/A
Encouraging Diversity in the Rural Classroom.
Dooley, Elizabeth E.; Savage, Luise B.
This report addresses the need to assess teacher attitudes toward teaching culturally diverse youth in West Virginia. West Virginia ranks as the second most rural state in the nation, with a 64 percent rural population. Nevertheless, West Virginia's culture is becoming increasingly pluralistic, and many students are finding that they cannot identify with the middle-class values, perceptions, and expectations of their teachers. To address this problem, teacher training programs should provide teachers with the awareness and the competencies to meet the instructional needs of students from diverse backgrounds. The Cultural Difference Theory suggests that minority children are unsuccessful in school because schools do not capitalize on the experiences that these children bring to the learning environment. Therefore, teachers should integrate experiences from the students' culture into the curriculum, place less emphasis on ethnicity and social characteristics, and accentuate the individual strengths of students. Also discussed is the importance of creating an effective learning environment and developing special programs to encourage acceptance of cultural diversity by both teachers and students. (LP)
Descriptors: Cultural Differences, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Change, Educational Environment, Elementary Secondary Education, Minority Groups, Multicultural Education, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Student Needs, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Education
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Diversity (Student); West Virginia
Note: Paper presented at the National Alternative Certification Conference (Washington, DC).