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ERIC Number: EJ1015028
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
Avoiding the "It's a Small World" Effect: A Lesson Plan to Explore Diversity
Endacott, Jason L.; Bowles, Freddie A.
Multicultural Education, v20 n2 p43-48 Win 2013
Classroom instruction about other cultures all too often resembles the Disney version of "It's a Small World" with Fantasyland-like cultural stereotypes, ceremonial activities, and traditional dress that can lead to serious misunderstandings about the depth and complexity of global societies. Social studies instruction presents the perfect venue for guiding young learners on their own journeys toward cultural competence in learning to understand and accept themselves, other people, and all of society. Young learners need to be given opportunities to discover "culturally-based likenesses and differences" and to "explore and ask questions about the nature of various cultures, and the development of cultures across time and place." Providing these experiences at the intermediate elementary school level is developmentally ideal since students in grades three through five are most open to people different from themselves. This article presents a lesson that goes beyond Banks' (2008) four-step curriculum transformation model, known as the Contributions Approach, through the use of cultural universals. This lesson asks fourth-grade students to consider cultural universals and cultural values as depicted in authentic images of families from around the world. Upon completion, the students should understand that while it is possible to make valid cultural contrasts and comparisons through those aspects of culture that are universal, the cultural values that partially guide our lives are far more complex. The lesson described herein takes place in a fourth-grade classroom over two or three days and consists of three parts: (a) introducing and defining culture and cultural universals, (b) inquiring about cultural values across cultures, and (c) exploring cultural universals. The lesson concludes with a writing assignment that asks students to reflect upon their understanding of cultural universals, their discoveries about cultural values, and the best way to study other cultures. (Contains 5 figures and a link to a PowerPoint presentation with images of cultural universals.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A