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ERIC Number: EJ940125
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Mindful Reflection as a Process for Developing Culturally Responsive Practices
Dray, Barbara J.; Wisneski, Debora Basler
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v44 n1 p28-36 Sep-Oct 2011
Becoming a culturally responsive educator has been at the forefront of the movement to reduce inappropriate referrals to special education and disproportionate representation of students of color within special education. However, for many educators, working with a diverse student population can be more difficult when the student comes from a background that is unfamiliar to the teacher. As teacher educators who prepare educators for inclusionary settings in diverse urban areas, the authors have noticed that issues often arise when a teacher or teacher candidate attempts to make meaning of behavior in the classroom, particularly a behavior that concerns student engagement, classroom management, or discipline of students with whom the teacher has a cultural disconnect. Teachers need to self-reflect to unpack attributions that are potentially linked to racism, power, or privilege so that they can work more effectively and fairly with diversity in the classroom. In this article, the authors describe the process of mindful communication and reflection within a special education context. They believe that the process can be applied across settings to help teachers develop a deeper understanding of students' behavior by reflecting on the environment, cultural underpinnings, and biases that may be interacting to create a mismatch in the classroom. The intention is to support teachers in a process of deep reflection that transforms historically deficit views and responses to students with disabilities or from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, in addition to developing practices that are culturally responsive and ensure that all students are well supported and successful in the classroom. (Contains 1 figure.)
Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A