Culturally Relevant Teaching:
A WebQuest

A WebQuest for EDU 380

Designed by:

Dr. Barb Beyerbach
and Thurman D. Nassoiy

Introduction | Learners | Standards | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion |
 


Introduction

As an effective teacher in the 21st Century it is important for educators to have a conceptual understanding of diversity.  This understanding must go beyond just clarifying differences and begin to develop into a layered, social justice-oriented multicultural perspective.  This can only be achieved  thorough exploration of historical/political/socio-cultural factors that contribute to America's various ways of learning and living.  Teachers must understand the roles of power, privilege and oppression and the complicated fashion in which they permeate our society. 

Teachers should process this information with great care and reflection so that they can make appropriate and socially just classroom decisions (both curricular and non-curricular).  Teachers who acknowledge the relevancy of various cultural contributions instill cultural pride in their students and a sense of personal connection to curriculum. 


Learners

This WebQuest has been designed for upper level undergraduate students to both increase their awareness of the influence of socio-cultural factors on the field of education and to help them to create curriculum that reflects the ideals of equity and social justice.

 

Curriculum Standards

From Course Overview - Syllabus for EDU 380

" Culturally relevant teaching combines an examination of the cultural and socioeconomic influences on teaching and learning (KNOWLEDGE) with a commitment to challenging social (and educational) injustice (SOCIAL JUSTICE)...Candidates will identify obvious and subtle individual, institutional, and cultural actions (REFLECTION) that perpetuate social structures."


Process

Students are to explore the history of their assigned socio-cultural group.  They are to create a comprehensive historical perspective of their group with special consideration given to issues of power, privilege and oppression. 
Questions to consider may be as follows: (but don't feel limited to these!)

- Who has the power?  Who does not?
- Who benefits from that power? 
- Who is disenfranchised by the privilege of others?
- How did the group you are investigating experience oppression throughout history?
- What are the major historical inequities and how did these develop over time?

Secondly consider current issues related your group of peoples.  How has the history of your group contributed to the concerns of today?  What role has the past played in the oppression of today?  Some questions to consider may be....

- How have issues of control, power, privilege and oppression throughout your groups' history contributed to modern day concerns?
- What are the foremost issues concerning your group?
- What strides or advancements have been made by your group?

 


Resources Needed

General

First Americans

Native Americans 

Native Hawaiians

African Americans

European Americans

European Ethnic Groups

Jewish Americans

Hispanic Americans

Asian Americans

Arab Americans

Curricular Resources

 


Evaluation

From Course Syllabus for EDU 380

"Single Group Study -- Group Investigation. (25%) You will participate in a group investigation researching a particular ethnic group in our country. Your group will

  • Research the history and current issues relating to this group including issues of power, privilege, and oppression.  You will present this history to the class, including a descriptive handout with major findings and resources used.
  • Examine curricular materials in your classroom to see how this group is (mis) represented in children's literature, visual materials, texts...and suggest more inclusive, authentic curriculum resources that could be used.
  • Develop a Learning Center or WebQuest for your Grade Level(s) that can be used with students about the group you have investigated.


Conclusion

This WebQuest will help you as a responsible professional to engage in a dialogue about cultural relevancy in a more profound and thoughtful way.  This search for information should allow you to dig deeper into personal misconceptions as well as well engrained societal misconceptions in a search for a more socially just mindset and teaching philosophy.


SITE Presentation on Preservice Teachers Respond to a WebQuest on Culturally relevant teaching 


Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page