Oswego, New York


Dr. Barbara Beyerbach

255  Wilber          Office hrs. Monday 11:30-12:30 and by appt.     Phone: 312-2650

EDU 380 - 3 sh.    Monday 430- 730, 328 Sheldon


To all students: We at the Lanigan PDS are committed to meeting your needs as a learner. If you have a disabling condition that may interfere with your ability to successfully complete this course, please contact the Disability Services Office (226 Campus Center, 315-312-3358, Please also discuss your needs with your instructors and let us know how we can support your learning in our courses. I would like to acknowledge the support of Dr. R. Deborah Davis and Dr. Arcenia London in preparing this syllabi. They have shared resources, assignments, wording, and teaching strategies that have greatly contributed to the development of this course. 


Culturally Relevant Teaching




 Culturally relevant teaching combines knowledge of the influence of the socio-cultural context in education with a commitment to teaching for social justice. In this course students develop pedagogical content knowledge and curriculum that reflect culturally relevant teaching theories.




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).  In this course we will make use of common experiences (AUTHENTIC LEARNING) to examine the social/cultural, political and economic characteristics of educational settings.  We will also examine social structures of race, class, gender, (dis)ability, and sexuality, which create dominant and subordinate groups, privileging some and denying opportunity to others.  Candidates will identify obvious and subtle individual, institutional, and cultural actions (REFLECTION) that perpetuate social structures. 


Curriculum and pedagogical practice that is not culturally relevant tends to ignore or misrepresent the contribution and worth of people from subordinate or marginalized groups, while falsely inflating the contribution and worth of people from dominant or centralized groups.  It is important for educators to use curriculum and teaching strategies that reflect the needs and interests of all children and to present the world as truthfully and completely as they can. It is also essential that educators understand how the social cultural context of the school and the learners mediate learning and teaching.  Candidates will collaboratively generate ideas (COLLABORATION) for challenging social structuring in the classroom (PRACTICE) and developing culturally relevant practice and curriculum.


Course Objectives:  As a result of completing this course, candidates will:

A.  Develop an analysis of how the social and cultural context mediates teaching and learning.

B.  Explain how social structures of race, class, gender, (dis)ability, and sexuality work to create relations that privilege some and deny opportunity to others.

C.  Explain and provide examples of anti-bias teaching strategies.

D.  Describe culturally relevant teaching in terms of teacher characteristics, teaching strategies, and assumptions about teaching, learning, and knowing.

E.  Define culturally relevant teaching and provide examples of this approach.

F.  Develop curriculum and teaching strategies that challenge unjust social structures and allow all children to learn and grow into citizens who will be actively involved in this democracy.


Course Outline:

A.  The relationship between teaching, learning, and the social cultural context of the learners

B.  Social structural relationships in the United States 

C.  Anti-bias teaching within the context of multicultural education

D.  Culturally relevant teaching theoretical framework

E.  Culturally relevant teaching practice

F.  Teaching for social justice

G. Rethinking Globalization, Sustainability, and Teaching for Social Justice



Required Texts:


1.       Schniedewind, N. & Davidson, E. (2006). Opening Minds to Equality. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.

2.     Grayson, D. (2003). GESA participant Book. Graymill.

3.     Derman-Sparks, L. & Ramsey, P. (2006). What if all the kids are white? NY: Teachers College Press.

4.     Book of Choice: You will choose one of the following selections and participate in a presentation and dialogue relating to this selection:

·        Bigelow, B. & Peterson, B. (2002).Rethinking Globalization: Teaching for Justice in an Unjust World.  Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.

·        Bigelow, B. The line between us. Teaching about the Border and Mexican Immigration. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.

·        Menkart, D., Murray, A. &, View, J. (2004). Putting the movement back into civil rights teaching: A resource guide for k-12 teachers. Teaching for Change and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council.

·        Gutstein, E. & Peterson, B. (2005). Rethinking Mathematics.  Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.


Assignments and % of Grade


1.       Class attendance, participation, reflective journal, and facilitation. (15%) You are expected to be present, participate actively, and will have responsibility for directing some class discussions and presentations.  This is a discussion class, dealing with sensitive issues, and all discussions are considered confidential. Students are responsible for contributing their analyses, thoughts, feelings and opinions on issues throughout the semester. You will keep a weekly journal reflecting on the required readings in which you summarize main points in one column, and reflect on these in the second column. You will bring this journal to each class to prepare for discussing the readings. When you sign up to co-facilitate discussions of the readings, be sure to jot down the emails and phone numbers of co-facilitators. Your facilitation of the readings should include presenting one model lesson from Opening Minds to Equality, along with ideas on grade level it could be used with, and how it could be integrated into the existing curriculum. Where possible, try out ideas from the selection you read and report back during discussions.

2.    Cultural Autobiography. (15%) You will bring an artifact to class that reflects your cultural practices, values, history, or beliefs. You will explain to the class how this artifact can be used to tell who you are. Later in the semester, you will turn in a 3-5-page essay where you identify your cultural heritage followed by a discussion of your culture. In the paper you will explore questions such as: What cultural groups do you identify with? What are some verbal and non-verbal communication skills you have learned from your family? How has your cultural background affected your present beliefs about yourself and others? How has your culture helped or hindered you in your schooling/teaching? You will discuss your family culture in terms of values, beliefs, and goals about life success/failure that you have learned. You will talk about how your cultural background has shaped your views about race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality.

3.    Context Study. (15%) With your practicum partner you will complete a context study of the school community, the school and your classroom, as described in the Teacher Work Sample Assignment for Methods and CRT. In this assignment you will collect data on and describe the community in which the school is located (demographics, history, business and industry, shifts in socioeconomic conditions, culture), the school culture (how the school is organized, programs implemented, history, culture), and classroom context (describing the range of individual students, the structure of the classroom, rules and routines, programs implemented). You will use this to plan your lessons you implement for methods.

4.    Book of Choice Presentation. (10%). You will choose a book from the above list, read the book, and with your group plan to present a sequence of lessons from the book. Discuss implications for your culturally relevant teaching, including how you could modify the lessons presented and infuse them into the elementary curriculum. You will be given class time to discuss your book with your peers.

5.    Multicultural Encounter. (5%). You will participate in a hands-on multicultural experience that takes you out of your own culture to learn about another culture. You will complete a cross-cultural experience and describe the experience in a 2 page, typed paper. The paper should describe the experience and explain how it expanded your cultural awareness, knowledge about a cultural perspective, or growth towards greater understanding and tolerance for a cultural group different from your own. Examples might include attending ORI events, religious services, fine arts and dramatic performances or exhibitions, a gay community event if you are straight, speeches with cultural themes, and ethnic festivals and performances. The best cross-cultural experiences are those that explore deep culture rather than surface culture and those that involve personal social interaction rather than observation from a distance.

6.    GESA Observation and Reflection. (5%). As part of ongoing class activities you will learn about the equity program, Generating Expectations for Student Achievement, studying five areas of disparity linking teacher behaviors to differential learning outcomes for students. You will choose one area of disparity to work on in your own emerging teaching practice, and will have your practicum partner observe your teaching recording data on that area. You will reflect on the data and what you have learned about your teaching, and formulate goals to move towards a more equitable practice, in a 2-3 page typed paper.

7.    Popular Culture Study and Social Action Project. (20%) With your practicum partner you will survey and/or interview students in your class to get an understanding of what they are reading, viewing, engaging in via video games, etc. You will use this survey and interview data to analyze how individuals are represented or misrepresented in this media with regards to gender, race, or class, or ability. You will develop a social action plan that suggests culturally relevant media appropriate for that grade level, and that includes a lesson plan in which you have your students critically analyze reading/viewing/gaming materials they are using with regards to how a particular group (gender, class, race, ability) is represented. The lesson must focus on awareness of bias and include a social justice focus.

8.    Single Group Study-- Group Investigation. (15%) You will participate in a group investigation researching a particular ethnic group in our country (e.g. African-Americans, Euro-Americans…). Your group will

·        Research the history and current issues relating to this group including issues of power, privilege, and oppression.

·        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.

·        Research religious and cultural holidays and plan appropriate holiday diversity activities and implement these at Lanigan Elementary’s Holiday Diversity Night Nov. 29

·        You will present this history, resource list, and holiday diversity night activity summaries to the class, including a descriptive handout with major findings and resources used.


Evaluation and Grades: assigning points for each assignment to a possible total of 100 will determine a course grade. A=95-100, A- = 90-94, B+=87-89, B=83-86, B-=80-82, C+=77-79, C=73-76, C-=70-72, D=65-69, E= below 65

Daily Outline and DUE DATES:



Readings Due

Assignment Due

Sept 8

·        Culturally Relevant Teaching

·        Multicultural Education and Teaching For Social Justice

Intro to Cultural Autobiography Assignment


Begin reading, record notes and reflections in journal and continue all semester.

Sept. 15






·        Sharing Cultural Artifacts

·        Race and CRT

Intro. Context Study Assignment


Derman Sparks p. 1-21, Sch. Ch. 1

Bring Cultural Artifact and Introduce self.

Sept 22

·        UnDoing Racism

Virginia Chapter


Sept. 29

·        Anti-Racist Teaching

Intro Pop Culture and Social Action Project Assignment

Derman Sparks Ch 2, Sch. Ch 2


Oct 6

·        Gender and Culturally Relevant Teaching

·        GESA Unit 1

Derman Sparks Ch 3 and 4, Sch Ch. 3


GESA unit 1


Oct 13



·        Working session for group presentations

Derman Sparks Ch  5 and A tale of 2 Centers, Sch Ch. 4 (written reflection)


Oct. 20

·        Gender-fair teaching

·        GESA Unit 2

Derman Sparks Chapter 6 and 7, Sch. Ch 5



The Line Between Us group presents


Oct. 27



·        Class and CRT

·        GESA Unit 3

·        Intro Single group study

Derman Sparks

Chapter 8-9, Sch. Ch. 6



Rethinking Mathematics Group presents


Nov. 3

·        Class-conscious teaching

·        (Dis)ability and Culturally Relevant Teaching

·        GESA Unit 4

Derman Sparks p. 142-179, Sch. Ch. 7


Putting the Movement Back…group presents

Context Study Due

Nov 10

·        Sexuality and Culturally Relevant Teaching

·        GESA Unit 5

·        Sustainability and Globalization issues

Reading for your single group study, Sch. Ch 8, 9

GESA 5 Rethinking Globalization Group presents

Pop Culture and Social Action Project Due

Nov 17

·        Ethnicity and Culturally Relevant Teaching : The Color of Fear film

Sch. Chapter 10,11

Cultural Autobiography Due

Tba Nov 24

Holiday Diversity Night at Lanigan Elementary 

Research for single group study

GESA reflection due

Dec 1 & 8

European Americans: European Ethnic Groups, Jewish Americans

Hispanic Americans: Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans in the US, and Cuban Americans

Asian Americans and

 Arab Americans

The First Americans and African Americans: American Indians, Native Hawai’ians, African Americans

Teaching for Social Justice Panel

Research relating to group

Group presentation and written report on single group study

Multicultural Encounter Due




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AAUW. (1999). Gender gaps: Where schools still fail our children. New York: Marlowe.


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Alpert, H. (Ed.). (1988). We are everywhere: Writings by and about lesbian parents. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press. (Classic).


Anzaldua, G. (1999). Borderlands: La frontera, The New Mestiza (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books.


Banks, J. A. (1991). Teaching strategies for ethnic studies (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Banks, J. A., & McGee Banks, C. A. (2001). Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Bell, L. A., & Blumenfeld, D. (Eds.). (1995). Overcoming racism and sexism. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.


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Byrnes, D. A., & Kiger, G. (Eds.). (1996). Common bonds: Anti-bias teaching in a diverse society (2nd ed.). Wheaton, MD: Association for Childhood Education International.


Casper, V., & Schultz, S. B. (1999) Gay parents, straight schools: Building communication and trust. New York: Teachers College.


Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. L. (1993). Inside/Outside: Teacher research and knowledge. New York: Teachers College Press.


Curwin, R. L., & Mendler, A. N. (1999). Discipline with dignity. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


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Derman-Sparks, L., & A. B. C. Task Force. (1989). Anti-bias curriculum: Tools for empowering young children. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children. (Classic).


Derman-Sparks, L., & Phillips, C. B. (1997). Teaching/learning anti-racism: A developmental approach. New York: Teachers College Press.


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Frieman, B. B. (2001). What teachers need to know about children at risk. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.


Froschl, M., Sprung, B., & Mullin-Rindler, N. (1998). Quit it: A teacher’s guide on teasing and bullying for use with students in grades K-3. New York: Educational Equity Concepts, Inc. & Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College Center for Research on Women.


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Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dream keepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

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McIntyre, A. (1997). Making meaning of whiteness: Exploring racial identity with white teachers. Albany, NY: State University of New York.


Meier, D. R. (1997). Learning in small moments: Life in an urban classroom. New York: Teachers College.


Mills, G. E. (2000). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.


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Sapon-Shevin, M. (1994). Playing favorites: Gifted education and the disruption of community. Albany, NY: State University of New York.


Schlank, C. H., & Metzger, B. (1997). Together and equal: Fostering cooperative play and promoting gender equity in early childhood programs. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Shorris, E. (1992). Latinos: A biography of the people. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. (Classic).


Sleeter, C. E. (1996). Multicultural education as social activism. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Sleeter, C. E., & Grant, C. A. (1999). Making choices for multicultural education: Five approaches to race, class, and gender (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

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Teaching Tolerance. (1997). Starting small: Teaching tolerance in preschool and the early grades. Montgomery, AL: Southern Poverty Law Center.


Weinberg, M. (1997). Asian-American education: Historical background and current realities. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.


Wood, G. H. (1992). Schools that work: America’s most innovative public education programs. New York: Penguin Books USA. (Classic).


Woog, D. (1995). School’s out: The impact of gay and lesbian issues on America’s schools. Boston, MA: Alyson.