A Successful Parnership to Meet the Needs of Culturally Diverse Students
November 14, 2015
The Research Institute and College of Education at Western Oregon University just completed a successful partnership with Central School District to advance the ability of pre-service and in-service teachers to meet the needs of culturally and/or linguistically diverse students.
Students of color - teachers of color
According to the Oregon Department of Education, in 2014-2015 Oregon’s students of color made up 36.4% of the K-12 population but only 8.5% of Oregon’s teacher workforce was non-white. Finding ways to assist beginning and seasoned educators to be more responsive to students’ cultural experiences is essential to creating successful learning opportunities for all students.
A replicable model
Project High Five: Culture, Collaboration, Commitment, Communication, and Community, is a professional development model that is replicable. There are two key elements to High Five: the contextualized English Language Development (ELD) instruction utilizing a co-teaching framework. Student teachers team teach with their classroom teacher and a university faculty member. Through this collaboration, students receive ELD-focused instruction integrated with the subject matter, which increases learning opportunities for K-12 students and the team of teachers.
1,950 students impacted
Seventy-nine pre-service and in-service teachers were involved in this project, impacting over 1,950 students.
One teacher explains an important bonus
One of the teachers who took part explains, "Culturally responsive teaching means I first must know my students; next I must incorporate my students’ cultural experiences into the learning process. If successful, I will have connected new knowledge to previous knowledge, with the bonus of making my students feel valued.”
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