ERIC Number: EJ954571
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 22
Crossing Borders by "Walking around" Culture: Three Ethnographic Reflections on Teacher Preparation
Sparapani, Ervin F.; Seo, Byung-In; Smith, Deborah L.
Issues in Teacher Education, v20 n2 p53-66 Fall 2011
The United States of the twenty-first century is possibly the most culturally/racially diverse country of any nation in history, and families that are culturally/racially different from mainstream society do not always see that schools are meeting the needs of their children. This diversity in culture and language means that each person is different and students bring that difference into the classroom. It is essential for teachers to recognize that a person's cultural/racial background is not checked at the classroom door. Culture is communal and shared. To fully understand that communal, shared culture, and to connect to the customs, traditions, thinking, spirituality, social activity, and interactions inherent to the varieties of cultures and races teachers encounter in their classrooms each day, the authors suggest that teachers must learn to "walk around" culture. By "walking around" culture, they mean that teachers need to put feet to pavement and purposefully "walk around" the neighborhoods of their students, similar to ethnographic study. They believe teachers and teacher educators should use this method ("walking around" culture) to effectively cross borders. In this article, the authors aim to present the idea of "walking around" culture. First, each of the authors tells their stories (their ethnographic reflections) of "walking around" culture and how those experiences have helped them cross borders to become better teachers. Then, they provide five key principles for teacher preparation.
Descriptors: Cultural Awareness, Ethnography, Reflection, Cultural Differences, Ethnic Diversity, Educational Principles, Multicultural Education, Teaching Experience, Teaching Skills, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Teacher Education, Asian Culture, American Indian Culture, Culturally Relevant Education
Caddo Gap Press. 3145 Geary Boulevard PMB 275, San Francisco, CA 94118. Tel: 415-666-3012; Fax: 415-666-3552; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.caddogap.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States