e-book Institutional Issues: Pupils, Schools and Teacher Education: 2 (Education, Culture, and Values, V. 2)

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Contents:
  1. What Makes a Good School Culture? | Harvard Graduate School of Education
  2. The Functions of Education
  3. Special Education in the Schools

Evidence also suggests that cultural practices shape thinking processes, which serve as tools for learning cf. Hollins, For education to be effective and to respond to the needs of all students, meaningful connections between the students' culture, the curriculum and education practices therefore has to be made. Moreover, it also requires teacher education students to critically reflect on the relationship between culture and education, especially within the SA educational context.

For SA, insights into the hegemonic nature of culture and the potential role it can play in social injustice in education, is particularly important since culture has previously been misused as a qualifier in education provisioning. During the pre period it was propagated by the state that education at all levels is predetermined by the cultural background of students Schoeman, This not only resulted in various socially unjust and unequal education systems for the various cultural groups in SA, but also in concerted efforts to misuse education to maintain subordinate cultures in oppressive conditions Goduka, a.

With culture as a defining criterion, quality education was limited to only those cultural groups who were regarded as culturally superior, whilst students from marginalised groups were prevented access. The origin of this reasoning is to be found in the Manifesto on Christian National Education and the accession to power of the National Party in Where the former document explicitly framed education for South Africans along cultural and racial lines, the National Party, through the Bantoe Education Act, Act 47 of legalised inequality in education on this basis.

This situation resulted in deep and irreversible social injustices in South Africa. In line with these directives schools in SA were desegregated and a clear educational vision was developed which aimed to advance social justice and equality through education by promoting cultural diversity and integration in schools and in the broader SA society DoE, c.

SA adopted multicultural education ME as a principle of education DoE, c , thus acknowledging the relevance of culture for education. It therefore becomes imperative that we explore the perceptions of education students concerning the relationship between culture and education. This is a compulsory module offered to all B. Entitled "Culture and Education", this module aims at sensitising education students to the close and intrinsic link between culture and education.

Five-hundred-and-forty- nine students are registered for this module. A sample of teacher education students was selected using convenience purposive sampling. Out of this sample We used a structured questionnaire with a four-point Likert scale to investigate the perceptions of teacher education students. The questionnaire comprised various Sections. Section A dealt with the biographical information of the educators, whilst Section B, ascertained the perceptions of students regarding various aspects of culture and education.

Table 1. What follows are the analysis and the discussion of the data. The data are grouped and discussed in two separate categories: positive findings and concerning findings. From the analysis of the data some positive perceptions about the relationship between education and culture were discerned.


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It is encouraging that an overwhelming These education students subsequently felt that they were sufficiently equipped with relevant knowledge, skills and the right values and attitudes to deal with cultural diversity in their classes. This could be because of their exposure to multicultural education practices and how to deal with multicultural classes. Students who attend multicultural education programmes are more inclined to be responsive to social justice issues and therefore appear to be better prepared for the teaching profession Alexander, Similarly, Irvine in Kea, avers that teachers exposed to multicultural education are less likely to embrace culturally deficit views.

Education students also need to know themselves as cultural and ethnic beings. It is knowledge of the self that might assist practicing teachers in understanding their students and to effectively engage with the complexities of teaching culturally diverse students Santoro, Since values influence attitudes and behaviour, education students who are not knowledgeable about themselves might enter the profession with certain prejudices and preconceived ideas about certain students. The majority of the education students seemed to concur that if a teacher's classroom practice reflects the cultural and linguistic practices of only one cultural group, students from other cultural groups are disadvantaged.

Richards, Brown and Forde contend that teachers have a responsibility to all their students to ensure they all have an equal opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability. Education students who demonstrate cultural bias and prejudice are not impartial and can therefore impede social justice. By endorsing the cultural needs of all students, pre-service teachers provide students with equitable opportunities to be successful.

What Makes a Good School Culture? | Harvard Graduate School of Education

Culturally responsive education is a pedagogy that empowers students by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes, thus acting in a socially just manner Ladson-Billing, Intrinsically, it draws on and from cultural markers to ensure student success; cultural responsiveness not only acknowledges culture as significant in student success, but it also builds on students' cultural identities in the quest for academic success.

Participants therefore believe that students cannot be expected to leave their cultural identities at the school gate upon entering. Hayes and Juarez n. Gay also postulates that the academic achievement of ethnically diverse students will improve when they are taught through their own cultural and experiential filters. Similarly, Sleeter blames the poor academic performance of marginalised students on the fact that their home cultures are not sufficiently utilised as a resource for their own learning.

A responsibility therefore rests with education students to accept the different cultural experiences and knowledges students bring to the education setting. A significant number of participants This means that most pre-service students are sensitive to particular social justice constructions which might impact on effective teaching and learning.


  1. What Makes a Good School Culture?.
  2. Effective Teaching Methods in Higher Education: Requirements and Barriers?
  3. View from the Edge?
  4. Services on Demand.
  5. Furthermore, the absence of race consciousness and the desire or ability not to see race also inhibits the implementation of social justice initiatives Schmeichel, Deficit theories see poor students and students of colour as lacking culture, coming from impoverished backgrounds which are not suited to academic success, possessing an oppositional culture, having a disdain for academic achievement, and having parents who lack concern for their children's academic aspirations Howard, In addition, issues of power and longstanding racialized and institutional policies and practices consistently disadvantage marginalised students and could also contribute towards their failure and the continued cycle of social injustice Schmeichel, Scaffolding entails determining what students can accomplish independently and what they can accomplish with instructional support.

    Then design instruction that can be implemented to provide just enough scaffolding for them to be able to participate in tasks that are currently beyond their reach Montgomery, ; scaffolding supposes a bridging between students' existing knowledge and new knowledge. Students from marginalised cultures often experience a disconnection between prior knowledge and experiences, and what is offered and happening in schools to an extent that they feel alienated.

    The Functions of Education

    This requires that teacher education students should be trained in such a way that they find connections between existing knowledge, new content and the experiences students bring to school in order to facilitate socially just learning opportunities. From these responses it appears that the majority of students feel that there is a link between culture and educational equity and equality. Equity in education supposes that there are equal opportunities for all students to develop to their fullest potential Bennett, For Banks and Banks , inequalities in education inevitably help to create economic and social inequalities.

    Amidst inequalities and injustices in education, students from marginalised groups might therefore be robbed of the opportunity to excel in education. Calhoun states that "all the institutions of modernity In this sense, education institutions typically contribute to reproducing and maintaining social injustices. These positive responses suggest that students have some awareness of the relationship between culture and education and of particular cultural aspects that might impact on social justice in education.

    As such, teacher education students might consider during their teaching practice tenure the cultural backgrounds of their students, and implement strategies to ensure that education provides, in a socially just manner the educational and cultural needs of all students. However, on close scrutiny we discovered some alarming perceptions about culture and education amongst the teacher education participants. What follows is a presentation and discussion of these aspects. Although these responses do not per se present a negative perception about the link between culture and education, they are neither optimistically positive and could potentially threaten the advancement of social justice imperatives in educational settings.

    They also demonstrate a particular disjuncture and in some cases a paradox in participants' perceptions, knowledge and more importantly, their understanding of culture and its impact on education. The value of treating culture as a political concept lies therefore in the space created to give voice to culturally marginalised and silenced students, and thus not only affirm their identities, but also respond to their social justice needs. More than half the teacher education participants Learning styles are related to culture and are influenced by cultural orientation.

    Goduka b posits that learning styles are a component of cultural behavioural styles, the habits, the values, predispositions, and preferences that develop during a child's cultural socialisation. Misunderstanding or not considering students' cultural behavioural styles, is problematic and may advance social injustices as teachers may underestimate the students intellectual potential and unknowingly misplace, mislabel and mistreat them as slow individuals who are not motivated or interested in learning Bennett, Accordingly, teacher education participants felt that other factors, rather than the relationship between school and culture and the compatibility with a student's culture should be blamed for the inequality in student success rates.

    Goduka b also asserts that the possibility that some students do not learn because their culture, language, and learning styles are not validated and affirmed in the classroom is often ignored. These responses suggest that respondents favour an educational approach to culture that focuses on and celebrates only the external aspects of culture.

    Special Education in the Schools

    McVee opines that externalised, objectified versions of culture visible and invisible are the norm in educational settings. Therefore, overemphasising the visible culture by celebrating particular cultural aspects such as food, clothes, crafts, and the literature of dominant groups in the curriculum could potentially create perceptions that education settings are sufficiently transformed, whilst in actuality promoting inequity and inequality.

    Social institutions - education, family, and religion - Society and Culture - MCAT - Khan Academy

    From this response, it can be deduced that teacher education students seem to be in favour of assimilation. Assimilation, according to Chisholm and Sujee , denotes a process in which power relations determine that a subordinate group accommodates to and is accommodated by a more powerful group. In other words, assimilation assumes that students from marginalised cultures, adapt to the existing culture of the institution. Hall views assimilation as racist and argues that assimilist practices imply that the dominant or majority culture is superior to the marginalised culture.

    In this way, educational institutions keep marginalised cultures and students in subordinate positions and do very little to accommodate and respond to social justice imperatives. A worrying Colour-blindness assumes that teachers do not see 'colour' only 'children', and that they are able to teach any student irrespective of colour, gender or social status. Meier and Hartell criticise this approach accusing teachers of glossing over their prejudice against students from racial groups other than their own.

    Dallavis also asserts that colour-blindness ignores the realities of social inequality. From these responses one may detect, although not convincingly, an aversion towards culture in education. According to Avery, Sullivan and Ou some teachers do not engage students with questions on culture in education because they see the acknowledgement of cultural differences as counterproductive; thus, a teacher would appear as unsympathetic towards issues of equity and equality in education. Since neither culture nor education is apolitical, and since culture impacts on education, culture and related issues are intrinsically linked to education.