ERIC Number: EJ981708
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Crossing Borders by "Walking Around" Culture: Ethnographic Reflections on Teacher Preparation
Sparapani, Ervin F.; Seo, Byung-In; Smith, Deborah L.
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v77 n7 p46-52 Mar 2012
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) documents that the world has become increasingly multicultural and multilingual as international migration rates grow each year. The cultural and language diversity in the United States exemplifies this worldwide phenomenon. It is the authors' belief that teachers have the responsibility of learning how to cross cultural boundaries. If teachers can learn to do that, they will begin to understand the culture of their students and, perhaps, be more effective as teachers. It is essential for teachers to recognize that a person's cultural/racial background is not checked at the classroom door. Often attitudes and experiences are different, which can result in a communication disconnect between teachers and students and communication is at the heart of any learning community. The authors suggest that teachers must learn to "walk around" culture like ethnographers do. Teachers need to put feet to pavement and purposefully "walk around" the neighborhoods of their students. In this article, the authors present this idea of "walking around" culture. First, each of them tells their stories of "walking around" culture and how those experiences have helped them cross borders to become better teachers. They then provide five key principles for teacher preparation.
Descriptors: Cultural Awareness, Teacher Student Relationship, Multilingualism, Migration, Ethnography, Reflection, Teacher Education, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan; United States