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Cognitive Type and Learning Style in Community Building in the Classroom

by
Pedro Mendia-Landa


Contents of Curriculum Unit 97.04.07:

To Guide Entry


“In order to compete successfully in the World economy, America has got to revamp all of its human talent and not only sections of it. Schools need to offer their students the needed tools to function successfully and harmoniously in a new world”(1)

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Purpose

This curriculum unit is designed to introduce elementary teachers, to the effects that diversity and culture have on the learning styles of students and teaching methods.

The unit is based on a horizontal approach(2) to multicultural education where the learning styles of each student are explored. This will be accomplished through the use of cultural universals such as housing, food and dress, as an example, where the children are introduced and given choices and opportunities to bring back from home their cultures and expressions of self. This approach focuses upon the similarities among cultures, instead of studying them vertically, where the differences between the cultures are highlighted.

The unit is to be used as a framework to the different areas of the curriculum and integrated with other curricular content areas having as their core the six developmental pathways (psychological, language, ethical, cognitive, and social) as stated by James Comer.(3)

Through out the unit a series of lessons will help the students to strengthen their self-identity, develop greater self-understanding, improve their self-concept, and to better understand themselves in light of their ethnic and cultural heritage. A different perspective and way of looking at children based on a theory of individual learning preferences and teaching styles, and rooted on the developmental pathways is offered.

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Objectives

The unit explores the most important resource within the school, in the neighborhood and in the New Haven community at large: its people. The main objective are the enrichment of the students’ individual learning styles as part of a multicultural pluralistic curriculum and provides an opportunity for experimenting with the concepts of diversity and ethnicity.

Other objectives of this unit are:

to meet the social studies and history performance standards regarding diversity.
to help children explore and understand what cultural diversity and values are, and how their lives and those of their community around them are affected by such values.
to develop strategies that will enhance the teachers’ and students’ awareness of teaching and learning preferences.
to provide the teacher with a series of activities targeted towards each of the learning styles.

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Introduction

Much has been written within the last decade about demographic changes in the nation and how multiculturalism is a solution to the problems brought by these changes. Cottrol(4) warns us of the dangers of designing multicultural education programs for minority students as a quick fix for the many problems of inner-city education.

Multicultural education attempts to actualize the idea of e pluribus unum (out of many, one) and to create a society that recognizes and nurtures the cultures of its diverse people within a democratic frame. Up until now such an idea often meant that incoming new groups would be assimilated into one single American culture. An opposing perspective views e pluribus unum from a very different perspective. Its goal is cultural pluralism. Cultural pluralists promote the value of retaining cultures, not just tolerating them or melting them down. According to Janzen(5)

“multiculturalism . . . should not only develop appreciation for the perspectives of others, but should sustain a value-tolerant acceptance of diverse cultural understandings, belief systems, costumes, and (perhaps) sociopolitical traditions.” It is essential that all members of society become multiculturally literate if we are going to accomplish and actualize the idea of e pluribus unum. There is no other goal in education as important for the well being of the American society in the 21st century, as acquiring the knowledge, skills, and values essential for functioning in a cross-racial, cross-ethnic, and cross-cultural situations. It is with this context in mind that we must take action in helping our students learn how to go beyond their own cultural borders so they can function in a democratic, pluralistic, nation-state. It is my hope that through the implementation of this unit we will be taking a step towards this goal.

Of Sleeter’s (1993)(6) five different approaches to multicultural education, it is the Human Relations approach with which I identify most. This approach tries to foster positive interpersonal relationships among diverse ethnic groups present in the classroom, and to strengthen student’s self-concept. This approach adds to the curriculum lessons on stereotyping, individual differences as well as similarities, and different contributions to society by the members of each of the represented groups. I would go a step further by including other minority and ethnic groups which are not represented in the classroom, school and community. This approach should be integrated in the rest of the subjects such as language arts, social studies and social development. The main purpose of such activities is to challenge the different stereotypes the students bring to school about each other and encourage them to feel good about the contributions each of them make to society.

Language is an integral part of self-discovery and the filter through which sociocultural understanding takes place.(7). Do to the fact that my classroom is part of the bilingual program, where teaching a second language is one of the central objectives, we could say that for at least the Hispanic children cultural diversity does permeate the total school environment. However, often their behavioral patterns, learning styles, and orientations are not openly accommodated do to a lack of understanding/ knowledge of such differences. It is here that the main focus of this unit lays. It seeks to give a response to the question: what role does ethnicity, etc. play in the cognitive and learning style of students?

Sandhu (1994) describes in detail the comparisons between Eastern and Western values and the effects that each culture has on its people. The Western World places emphasis on self control, glorifies the individual and makes use of analytic thinking. The Eastem World encourages self-expression, glorifies the family and values holistic thinking. Since Euro-Americans generally base their decisions and behaviors on Western values, while most of the other ethnic groups use Eastern values, this creates for some difficult situations when working with children of diverse ethnic backgrounds. It is thus important that the teacher is aware of these differences and acknowledges them as part of what makes each of us who we are. Such differences are also present in culture-based preferences for the learning environments between diverse and traditional students. Traditional students, mainly of European cultures, prefer a competitive learning environment, individual study, express emotions selectively and value analytical thinking. Their counterparts, belonging to diverse ethnic backgrounds, prefer cooperative learning environments, group study, expresses emotions freely and utilize relational and affective learning styles.

Ogbu (1994) classifies cultural differences in the educational context into three types: universal, primary and secondary. The first differences are universal in that all the children must make the transition from the home culture to school culture. Primary cultural differences arise due to the fact that those differences were present already before they came in contact with each other. Secondary cultural differences are based on qualitative differences in the nature of the relationship between the dominant culture and that of the minorities. These secondary cultural differences are affected by and have an effect on those differences depending upon if they are voluntary or involuntary. The teacher needs to be aware of such distinction if he/she is to understand the reasons why some minorities behave in specific given ways.

Currently a variety of instruments and techniques are being used in the classroom (i.e. cooperative learning, individual learning, lectures, hands-on activities, etc.) in order to accommodate the different learning styles of children and meet the largest number of learning preferences possible.

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Social studies and history content standards

In the new social study and history performance standards recently approved by the New Haven Board of Education, content standard 1.0 explicitly focuses upon diversity:

Students will understand the roles played by various racial, ethnic, and religious groups in the development of American Society.(8) While performance standard 1.1 focuses upon how the various groups transmit their values and beliefs, 1.2 does so on the study of the origins of the community though its neighbors and city life and 1.3 looks for an understanding of the people, events, problems and ideas that each of those groups bring to the community.

Although this unit will focus upon the subsections of content standard 1.0, it will also give some attention to the subsection under performance standard 1.1 relating to the comparison and contrast of various cultures within a classroom with respect to family life now, over time, and between cultures.

It is important that teachers, administrators, parent groups and students participate in an open dialogue, about the assumptions and different interpretations that underlie the various multicultural curriculum approaches and the effects that cognitive type and learning style have in the way that children perceive and discover their community. While ethnic and racial diversity is a challenge, it also provides the opportunity to enrich us with the possibility of offering different perspectives and problem solving strategies by all the participants of the community. In order for the children to become more literate and effective citizens in an increasing and diverse nation and world, our children need to be more sophisticated in their understanding of race and ethnicity in America. It is my hope that in writing this unit I will be able to reach this goal.

Our community in the bilingual classroom is composed of a diverse group of students belonging all to the same ethnic group but, with very distinct and different characteristics exhibited by each of its members. This unit will fit in a larger theme on ourselves as individuals. First, we will study who we are and will learn about us in relation to our families. Then, we will compare ourselves and families to other members of our cooperative groups. This will be followed by comparisons to the rest of the members in the classroom. We will then proceed comparing ourselves and families to the students in the classroom next door, with whom we share lunch everyday and play in gym and music. Here the race similarities as well as the differences will be highlighted. The age similarities and differences will be the focus of our comparisons to the members one grade above and below ours. Finally we will make comparisons and make generalizations among the members surrounding our community, to other ethnic and minority groups not represented in our community but part of the society we live in. Here I like to emphasize the point that Gomez (1991) makes about how children could develop stereotypes when there is not enough emphasis placed on the similarities among all the individuals. At the same time he also dispels the myth that multicultural education is only necessary with those members that are part of the cultural or racial groups to be studied.

I propose to meet these standards through a series of ongoing activities through out the year with the learning style of each of the individuals and the developmental pathways serving as a guide. In order to accomplish this goal some preliminary observations about individual preferences will be necessary. I propose to use Mamchur’s (1996) Action-Oriented-Reflection-Oriented Inventory (AOROI) as the tool and instrument that will help me in the discovery of each of those learning style preferences.

As stated earlier, the instructional strategies indirectly reflect the cultures and cognitive styles of the various groups in the school because they include a diversity of strategies. The learning materials I used also reflect the cultures and learning styles of the various groups.

The importance of interdisciplinary curriculum which integrates the concept of similarities and differences among cultural groups in all content areas allows the student to view, interpret, and compare events and situations which will develop into generalizations thus constructing their meaning. It is however a prerequisite that the individual identify and clarify their values and compare them to what they have learned through a process of self-reflection and inquiry. Thus, appropriate time will be given for such a purpose after each of the activities outlined.

Banks (1987) feels that the concepts of culture, ethnic group, and ethnic minority would be developmentally appropriate for elementary school children to study. He states that their definition should be introduced early in the primary grades before continuing with much more complex concepts. He suggests that a point of departure in any integrated unit on diversity should be started with the definition of culture, followed by the concepts of microcultural group, ethnic group, and ethnic minority group. Banks(9) states that:

“Culture consists of the behavior patterns, symbols, institutions, values, and other human-made components of society. It is the unique achievement of a human group that distinguishes it from other groups.”

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Cognitive Type Theory and Learning Style

As teachers and educators we know and understand that individual differences, regardless of membership in an ethnic or cultural group, distinguishes us from others and makes us unique. We are also aware that each student is a different human being and we try to meet their individual needs. In my classroom this is accomplished by providing students with choices and opportunities to express some of their differences in small groups, individual work, whole class as well as in the activities in which they participate. Thus, up until now, I hoped that through the diversity of strategies and methods their individual needs would be met. My reading for the creation of this curricular unit has drawn my attention to those individual preferences which will be discussed. For a much more detailed and thorough discussion I suggest A Teacher’s Guide to Cognitive Type Theory and Learning Style (Mamchur, 1996). She provides more clear and concise definitions and includes an instrument, the Action-Oriented-Reflection-Oriented(AOROI) designed to develop a new frame of reference for observing and understanding students.

I begin the discussion of learning style based on Mamchur’s work with a brief history and description of each of the learning styles. This is followed by how each type influences one’s interaction, communication, and teaching. Then, the role of culture and ethnicity is discussed and conclude with a description of strategies and lesson plans, with the topic of diversity in mind, for each of the psychological types of the Myers-Briggs Type indicator.

Carl Jung divided all human behavior as being either perceptive or judgmental. As human beings we are constantly choosing between the acts of perceiving, that is discovery, and the act of judging, by which we internalize and evaluate, make decisions and act. According to Jung the perceiving type prefers doing so through either their senses or intuition while judgmental type prefers to do it through their thinking or feeling process.

This doesn’t mean that only one or the other types of preferences is present and the others are absent. Though we have certain preferences we all have those four functions present. Jung labels them as dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior or shadow function, which is the weakest of the four. We all look at facts through the senses, then we consider the possibilities through intuition, we come to a logical analysis of the consequences and follow by an examination of the consequences.(10) Carl Jung added the final dimension of extroversion and introversion. Thanks to Isabel Myers, for creating the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator we are able to determine with its use the accuracy of our preferences in cognitive type.

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The eight psychological type preferences

The following is a broad description of each of the psychological type preferences as outlined by Mamchur (1996).

The extroverted learner needs outside stimuli and enjoys open interactive interactions. An extroverted teacher wants to have a very busy classroom. The preference for extroversion makes the student think out loud, learn by doing, likes to learn in groups, enjoys variety and needs feedback from teachers and peers.
The introverted learner focuses inside and looks inward for satisfaction and safety. Enjoys intense, relationships and events. An introverted teacher likes a quite class were all the children are working in one project at a time. The preference for introversion makes the student think everything through before taking a risk, are private, and self motivated.
The sensing learner seeks immediate relevant experiences in steps through the senses. Most interested in the concrete and the here and now. A sensing teacher moves the children carefully from one level to the next using a direct and straightforward developmental system. The preference for sensing translates onto procedures for learning based on previous knowledge, disliking abstract theories. They learn best when using all the senses and are distrustful of most forms of evaluation.
The intuitive learner is most interested in theories and possibilities. This learner searches for relationships in things as a source for inspiration and invention. The intuitive teacher is motivated by the vision of how education should be as well as how the class might be. They enjoy big projects and challenge students to grow, experience and discover. They are inventive, making up possible hypothesis and explanations. They are risk takers. They also seek variety and get bored easily. They don’t like repetition and work unevenly and in spurts.
The thinking learner looks at situations from outside while making decisions objectively and logically. The thinking teacher works through goals and objectives. Task oriented, ignores feelings if she/he feels they are unimportant and lets the student know exactly where they stand in his/her expectations. The preference for thinking translates onto valuing honesty and fair play; they appear confident, and are competitive, independent learners who need well organized and developed study guides.
The feeling learner makes decisions subjectively based on feelings, relies on sense of value which guides behavior. The thinking teacher is oriented towards relationships and places special attention to personal values and human needs in the creation of programs. The preference for feeling translates into creating a harmonious environment in which learning takes place, values cooperation, and helps children grow at the personal level.
The judging learner strives for closure, places more energy in controlling than understanding. The judging teacher aims to create an ordered classroom, dislikes surprises, and uses well-developed programs to meet planned goals. This preference translates in closely following schedules, timelines, and well structured events; closure to anything they start; demand feedback and want all their work to be evaluated.
The perceiving learner enjoys open-ended situations, delaying making any decision until all they have explored all possibilities. The perceiving teacher resists structure and likes to be spontaneous dealing with the needs as they arise. A preference for perception translates into being driven by curiosity and uncovering new ideas. They need help being “on task”, show flexibility, and make use of a variety of different styles.
One of the first questions that I asked myself after reading about cognitive type and learning styles is: are there are any cultural differences and do they effect learning and teaching styles?

It seems clear from reviewing the literature that there are certain values that clearly differentiate between the majority Euro-American culture and African, Asian, Latin-American, and Native-American societies. These are the dimensions between individualistic and interdependent orientations on one side and the goals of socialization from “commercial” to “infant survival and childhood subsistence” on the other. Each of these orientations views the person and how they develop their particular cultural perspective.(11)

There is statistical evidence that suggests African Americans who have been taught according to their learning styles significantly increase in their academic achievement. (For a review of this and other studies showing similar gains see Dunn and Griggs.(12)). The following are some points based on Dunn and Griggs research about how students learn:

All people, regardless of cultural or ethnic group membership, learn differently from each other and other people in the same group.
There are more learning differences on learning type based along gender lines, specially in the primary grades, than learning styles of people in different cultures.
Many elements of style change with maturity.
Most students can learn anything if they begin the learning process by using their preferred style, then, they reinforce it through their secondary and tertiary one, and finally apply that information by using it in a meaningful way.
Students who learn through their learning style preference achieve significantly higher than when they don’t.
The only way to discover one’s cognitive type and learning style is through the administration of a valid and reliable instrument set to measure just that.

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Unit Overview

These curriculum lesson plans are designed using the learning styles and cognitive type theory previously outlined to introduce the concepts of culture in all the areas of the curriculum to children at the elementary level. They are designed to be implemented through out the year in all the areas of the curriculum taking into account the individual child’s developmental stage.

To facilitate the discussion about diversity the classroom is physically set-up to allow for those learning preferences by providing the students with a comfortable setting where they can participate at will. Thus I have laid out the classroom following (Ingraham, 1997 p. 24) classroom layout. This physical layout will provide the students with opportunities for formal as well as informal activities, whole class and small group instruction; self-directed and teacher directed discovery lessons. It divides the classroom into five physical areas to meet the social-emotional, literacy, cognitive, creative and physical developmental needs of the children. Each of this general areas in its place is subdivided into specific centers in that developmental area. Thus, there would be two centers, one for art and another for an easel, in the creative development area. The curricular areas of geography, math and science would be the center focus of the cognitive development area. The literacy development area encompasses the classroom library, a writing center, an area to specifically work on journals and a language skills center. The skills performed at the centers would not be exclusive to the areas and would be integrated through out all the centers. Therefore, I would expect the children to do reading and writing in all the centers. Their social emotional growth would be monitored through cooperative learning groups and direct teaching of necessary social skills. The advantage of thinking of the physical lay out in this way, and by providing engaging activities at each of the centers, will guarantee that no developmental area is left out and that the learning styles and preferences of all the children can be better met.

Since it would almost be an impossible task to create lesson plans that would introduce each of the concepts towards each of the 16 different combinations of learning types, it is suggested that, in the process of teaching a given unit, each of the eight preferences would be explicitly targeted. This way, by systematically making sure that all preferences have been addressed, no types would be at a disadvantage.

This unit represents a sample lesson regarding the topic of diversity. Specific activities targeted towards each of the individual children’s learning styles are listed as extensions. These activities are rather general and serve the purpose of at least meeting some of the individual preferences of learning. Many of the strategies and structures used through out the unit are based on cooperative learning techniques. For an extensive discussion on the methods and structures see (Kagan, 1992).

The overall goal of targeting as many of these individual types in a given lesson can be achieved by making use of some simple strategies outlined here.

To begin each lesson, the major objectives will be written on the board and stated orally so as to let the students know what it is important that we are about to learn.
Prompting through out the lesson will give structure to those students that require it. Samples of this would be: “This is important . . . . . . ”
Writing down in the board or overhead projector a sentence that summarizes the most important information of the lesson so that the visual learner can see it and others have a chance to copy it down
Use graphic organizers, charts, drawings as you talk about the concept of diversity or any other topic of discussion.
By providing the students with small group as well as whole class instruction.
Making use of different color chalk and markers when writing.

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Lesson Overview

One of the first and most appropriate times to implement the core of this unit regarding diversity would be during the morning meeting. Since this is an ongoing activity that takes place everyday and due to the fact that takes place right after children arrive to school it will serve as a structured, teacher directed activity. It is during this time that the teacher gives an overall plan of what will take place during the day. The lessons are cumulative and build on the previous days activities. Each day the teacher repeats the previous day song and poems and build upon it by adding new activities to the centers or areas in the classroom following a two week cycle. These extensions at each of the centers are in the form of task cards that the children have to read and follow the directions. Each of the following lesson are divided in sections listing the objectives for the teacher directed activities, strategies to meet these objectives, resources needed, engaging activities, exploring activities, lesson extensions for specific centers, and lesson extensions exploring the topic for the different learning preference types.

Day 1-Hello to all the children of the World

Learning Objectives:

Children will learn to say hello in five different languages.
Children will learn to sing a song.
Children will make comparisons and list four ways in which children around the World are the same.

Strategies:

Guided reading, singing, whole class instruction, pair-share.

Resources:
Tape recorder, chart, cassette tape (Nipp, 1994)

Engaging Activities

1. Since this is the first time the class gets together at group time, the teacher gives directions to form a circle by holding hands. Then asks them to greet the child to either side in any known way. The teacher continues by asking the children to share some of the ways we have of saying hello. She writes those responses on chart paper.
2. The teacher writes as he/she speaks the objective of the lesson. The teacher shows the children the chart with the lyrics to the song and asks the children to listen to the song as she points to the words.

Exploring Activities

1. Read ‘Hello to all the children of the World’
2. Have the children turn to the person to their right, and greet them using any of the words in the song or some other way they know how.
3. Is it always easy to say hello? Why or why not? Have the children talk to the person to their right. After a minute or so have them share with the rest of the group some of their impressions as you write them on the chart paper.
________What are some of the ways that they know of greeting people. How does their mother greet them? Do all the people greet each other the same? Why or Why not?
4. Bring attention to the phrase “we’re children just the same”. What does that mean? How are we all the same? Have the children list as many similarities as they can think of. Write all the responses on the chart paper.
5. Have the children listen to the song once again and have them join in the chorus.
6. Read the chart and have the pairs share with their partner at least two other ways in which they are the same to all the children in the World.

Lesson Extensions. (Task cards for centers)

Literacy Development:

Writing. Make a listing of all the different games and songs that you would share with the children in the song. Select one and describe in detail through writing the rules on how to play such game. If it is a song, find all the words to it and copy it.
Journals. In their journals children either write or draw pictures of the people who would use greetings other than the ones they use. How are they different? Same?

Library. Read one of the following books:

Black White, just right (Davol, 1993). After, write four or five sentences describing your parents and yourself.
Everyone Cooks Rice (Dooley, 1991). Look at two of the recipes to make rice. Write the name of the recipes and make two lists. I one write the items that both have in common and the other the ones that are different.
How my family lives in America (Kuklin, 1992). Write which of the families in this story is closest to the one you live in. Describe your family. Write how that family is the same and in which ways is different to yours.
Houses and Homes (Mountfield, 1988). Read the book and then draw a picture of your home. Write labels for each of the parts. In another piece of paper list each of the parts of your home and write a fact about that area of the home which you learned from reading the book. Now draw a typical house from one of the countries which is part of the song “Hello to all the children of the World” and do the same. Are all the houses around the World the same? Do they serve the same purpose?

Physical Development:
Read the basic rules to play the hopscotch game from Hopscotch around the World (Lankford, 1992 p. 6-7). Then, continue by reading the directions to play the Texan version on page 44 or find another version from one of the countries where they speak another language other than English. With the use of some chalk, draw the pattern on the playground and teach someone to play it.

Creative Development:

Art. Make a picture of yourself using a mirror. Write down in a piece of paper how you went about drawing the picture. Before you color it, describe what you look like.

Cognitive Development:

Geography. Locate the continent of North America. Color the map. Label it. Write the name of at least three ethnic groups that live in the US.
Math. Count the number of letters in each of the greetings and make a table (i.e. hello = 5). Then, graph the number of letters. Do the same with the names of the countries where those greetings are used (i.e. United States = 12).
Science. Exploring with color. Given the primary colors, plus black and white, the children are asked to come up with a combination of the colors that is the closest possible to their skin color. What colors did they mix? Once they are finished, the children are asked to write in their journals how they came up with their skin color and some of their findings on color combination.

Extensions for learning preferences.

The following extensions can be used as individual task cards or homework extensions with the learning preference of each child in mind. They can be also used with the whole class.

The extroverted learner
Interview four people on the ways that they use to greet each other in their families. Think of two questions you want to ask, write them down, and bring them back to your groups for comments before you try them out.

The introverted learner
Go to the library and find a map of the United States. Look for information on how many people live in the US. Make a list of all the different ethnic groups that make up the United States. Writ next to them the language or languages they speak and the type of greeting they use.

The sensing learner
Act out the song. First read it using the big chart. Then sing it. Continue by acting the way you think that people from different ethnic groups would act when saying hello. Add a different couple of greetings. Next do it through gestures. Put it all together.

The intuitive learner
Make a listing of the different ways of greeting as they appear in the song. In the next column write the language it is in. Continue in another column by writing a country where it is used. Look for any pattern that you may see. How would you greet someone who is deaf in each of the countries? Would you greet the same way someone you know than someone you don’t know?

The thinking learner
Role play going to a country where everyone is the same and you are the only one who is different to everyone else. Think for a minute. How would the people around you act out? You need to write one sentence telling where you are, another stating how you are alike to everyone else, another one saying how you are completely different. Then you need to write five sentences using one of your five senses to describe the people around you ((i.e. they smell like . . . , when you first look at them you see . . . , etc.)

The feeling learner
Work with three other children. Imagine that you are feeling very happy and you find one of your friends. How would you greet them? Now imagine that you are sleepy. How would you greet someone that you don’t know? or someone that you don’t like? Someone that is different than you are? Write down your responses and compare them with the members in your group.

The judging learner
If you could meet each of the children that the song talks about, and you knew how to speak that language, what would you say to each of them? Write down what each of those children would tell you. You have fifteen minutes and than I’ll ask you to read it to me.

The perceiving learner
Draw each of the greetings that the children use in the song. Draw the first thing it comes to your mind when you see, or hear that greeting. Would each of the drawings have the same colors. Why would they be the same or different? Write down under each of the pictures. Show them to two children in the class and let them know what it is before you go on to the next greeting.

Day 2-We are America’s Children

Learning Objectives:

We all have the need to communicate with others.
Children will learn to say hello in five languages.
Children will be able to differentiate between a globe and a map.
Children will locate and name in a map at least three of the countries where they use the greetings in the song (United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada).
Children will list four items that all children around the World need.

Strategies:
Guided reading, singing. whole class instruction, pair-share

Resources:
Tape recorder, chart, cassette tape (Nipp, 1994), globe, World map

Engaging Activities

1. Children sitting in a circle review the previous day song by reading the song first and then singing along with the tape. Then they re-read the chart that they created. Does any body want something else?
2. The teacher writes as he/she speaks the objective of the lesson for today.

Exploring Activities

1. The teacher takes out a globe and asks the class if they know what it is. He/She writes their answers on a chart. Then, follows to explain how if we were to flatten it and opened it we would have a map of the World.
2. The teacher would ask the children to read the lyrics to the song and would point both in the globe and the map the location of some of the countries that use those greetings. The teacher would make a listing on the chart writing the countries down, and the name of the language.
3. Bring attention again to the phrase “we’re children just the same”. Have the children name three or four other ways in which all the children are the same.
4. Introduce the song ‘We are America’s Children’ by letting the children know that we are all live in a country named America. The song was written by Ella Jenkins to celebrate the birthday of the signing of the independence. She felt that the children needed to play a more important role in the celebration, Point in the globe, then in the map where America is, differentiating between North and South America.
5. Play the song and follow the lyrics along as the song is playing. Then read the song with the children.
6. Stop first at the verse that says “listen to what children have to say”. What do you think Ella Jenkins mean by that? Write the responses on the chart paper.
7. What are some of the things that you would say to grow-ups? Do you think that children around the World would say the same kind of things? Write them down and then read all the responses.

Day 3-Other Children by Helen Wing

Learning Objectives:

We all live in a home.
Children will memorize part of the poem.
Children will identify the group of people that the poem refers to.
Children will be able to locate in a map the regions.
Children will make listing of the similarities and the differences in housing among the group of children.

Strategies:
Guided reading, whole class instruction, cooperative grouping

Resources:
One copy of the poem per child, chart.

Engaging Activities

1. Children stand in a circle holding hands. They introduce the person next to them by their first name and list something good about that person. They both hold that hand up in the air. The child that was introduced, does the same with the person next to them, until the whole group has been introduced and everyone is holding their neighbors hands up in the air. At that point everyone in unison says “We are America’ s children, We are brothers and sisters”.
2. Standing up sing ‘We are America’s Children’
3. The teacher writes as he/she speaks the objective of the lesson for today.

Exploring Activities

1. Read the poem ‘Other Children’ by Helen Wing to the class.
2. Choral reading.
3. Have each member of the group select one of the first four sets of verses. The first set of 4 verses is team member #1. Repeat until #4.
4. Call all the #1s to one area of the room, #2 to other, . . . .
________In each of the new formed groups ask them to read the four verses. They draw a picture and discuss the following questions:
________Is housing important? Is it something that you must have? Why do you think the house is that way?
5. Back to original groups. Class rereads the poem but this time all #1 stand up as they read the first four verses, #2 the next four, . . . The last three sets are read by everyone in the class.
6. Using a round-robin structure, each member of the group shares their picture and something they learned in their “specialized” group. As a whole group their task is to answer the following question: What are some of the similarities and differences?

Reflection questions:

Content/thinking: What vocabulary words did you learn? What are some of the places that children live in?
Social: What social skill did you need to work in your “specialized” group?
Personal: How did you feel when you had to move and work with a different group?
Appreciation: The best thing of the activity was . . .

Culminating and ongoing activities on diversity

Learning Objectives:
Through the participation on the following culminating activities the children will be able to experience and celebrate, through personal contact, the cultural values of other children, families, and members of the community. Children will make comparisons on how they are alike and different to other families and to the values and characteristics that represent them. They will discover how each family member plays a different role, and how they are alike and different in their composition and roles to their own.

1. Having a different parent come to the classroom weekly throughout the year to celebrate “diversity day” by sharing family stories, favorite games as a child, etc.
2. Have a fiesta type of celebration where everyone brings a dish using the same ingredient. (A good culminating activity for the book Everybody Cooks Rice)
3. Have a field day for adults to share games from childhood. It would be divided in categories such as: games you play alone, games in a group, hand games with rhymes,etc.
4. Hopscotch Around the World Day. On this day the children would draw all the different boards, would mark them with a flag of that country, and play on them.

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Bibliography for Teachers

Banks, James A. (1987). Teaching Strategies for Ethnic Studies. Newton, Massachusetts, Allyn and Bacon, Inc.

Includes the philosophy, and rational in the implementation and evaluation of a sound multiethnic curriculum. It is divided in sections covering the most important ethnic groups that make up the American society. Great source of bibliographic references including videotapes and films.

Cocking, Patricia M. Greenfield; Rodney R. (1994). Cross-cultural Roots of Minority Child Development. Hillsdale, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

A collection of readings in the field of developmental psychology focused on the study and reflection of findings on cross-cultural and racial/ethnic comparative research.

Cummins, Jim (1993). Empowerment Through Biliteracy. The Power of Two Languages. Literacy and Biliteracy for Spanish-Speaking Students. Josefina Villamil Tinajero and Alma Flor Ada. New York Macmillan/McGraw-Hill

A critical view of the way that the education status-quo perseveres in creating and maintaining the power structures. In this article, Cummins challenges the coercive relations of power in the educational system and offers solutions.

Delpit, Lisa (1995). Other People’s Children. Cultural Conflict in the Classroom. New York, The New Press.

A collection of essays which address controversial issues challenging popular approaches to literacy. Includes a description of the results of research on the views and attitudes of teachers of color about their teacher education, and provides some thoughts on solutions and directions for the future as educators.

Gibbs, Jeanne (1994). Tribes. A New Way of Learning Together. Santa Rosa, CA, Center Source Publications.

Based in the idea that we live in a society with a wide diversity of cultures and that we need to create safe environments that reflect the society at large. The book provides the reader with the philosophy and background of this approach to teaching. It also includes a series of lessons and their rational in a classroom based on the idea of a classroom as a tribe.

Ingraham, Phoebe Bell (1997). Creating and Managing Learning Centers: a Thematic Approach. Peterborough, New Hampshire, Crystal Spring Books.

Walks the teacher through the creation and implementation of learning centers tied to curriculum requirements in the classroom. It includes examples and activities.

Kagan, Spencer (1992). Cooperative Learning. San Juan Capistrano, CA, Kagan Cooperative Learning.

Originally titled Cooperative Learning Resources for Teachers, has proven to be a great source of methods and designs in creating and implementing a safe, environment open to diversity where learning can take place.

Mamchur, Carolyn (1996). A Teacher’s Guide to Cognitive Type Theory and Learning Style, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

As the title implies, this books is an up to date guide on the latest theory on cognitive type and learning style which will be a center point of my study as it reflects in other areas of the curriculum.

Marantz, Sylvia and Kenneth (1994). Multicultural Picture Books: Art for Understanding Others. Worthington, Ohio, Linworth Publishing Inc.

A great source of children’s literature divided by continents and within continents by countries. It has a good introduction on the rational of having picture books depicting many cultures, as well as how to define and evaluate a multicultural picture book.

Robert Slavin, Shlomo Sharan, Spencer Kagan, Rachel H. Lazarowitz, Clark Webb, and Richard Schmuck, Ed. (1985). Learning to Cooperate, Cooperating to Learn. New York, Plenum Press.

This is a revised collection of papers presented at the 2nd Conference of the International Association of Cooperation in Education, in July 1982.

Samples, Bob (1994). “Instructional diversity.” The Science Teacher 61 (February 1994): 14-17.

Based on brain research findings, the article describes in brief learning modalities, learning styles, and how to foster diversity into the science curriculum. It offers a very concise and helpful figure which can be used in the planning of all curricular areas.

Sandhu, Daya Singh (1994). Cultural Diversity in Classrooms: What teachers need to know, ERIC Document Reproduction Service.

Through the use of tables, describes the comparisons and differences of global values, between East and West cultures; between diverse and traditional students; learning style differences in cultures; cultural differences in communication as well as taboos. It is followed by a three-step model geared towards the development of culturally responsive teaching.

Sandhu, Daya Singh (1994). Culturally Specific Learning Styles: Some suggestions for teachers., ERIC Document Reproduction Service.

A review of literature related to learning styles including useful summaries with comparisons of people in different domains, cognitive styles and learning styles. A good beginning in learning about culturally specific learning styles.

Shaw, Vanston (1992). Community building in the Classroom. San Juan Capistrano, Kagan Cooperative Learning.

The premise of the book is that cooperative learning is a powerful tool to teach students the relational skills they will need to function in the 21st century. Includes a how-to guide to instruction on team building and conflict resolution skills in the creation of a cooperative learning environment. A very good source of already created cooperative lessons and activities ready to be implemented for all grade levels.

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Bibliography for Students

Anno, Eric Carle; Raymond Briggs; Nicolai Ye. Popov; Akiko Hayashi; Gian Calvi; Leo and Diane Dillon; Zhu Chengliang; Ron Brooks; Mitsumasa (1986). All in a day Philomel Books, Inc.

A picture book by ten well known illustrators with brief text captions. It shows a day in the lives of a child from eight different countries emphasizing the commonality of humankind.

Davol, Marguerite W. (1993). Black, White, Just Right. Morton grove, Illinois, Albert Whitman and Company.

The young daughter of an interracial couple explains to us how both of her parents are different in color, have different tastes, and how she too is different, but just right. It is a great book to observe how we all have the same human characteristics and needs and how unique we are.

Dooley, Norah (1991). Everybody Cooks Rice. Minneapolis, Carol Rhoda Books, Inc.

A child goes searching for her brother at dinnertime and is introduced to various cultures by tasting the many ways that rice is prepared by the diverse families that make up their neighborhood.

Jenkins, Ella ( 1976). ‘We are America’s Children. Songs, rhythms and moods reflecting our peoples’ history’. Washington, Smithsonian Folkways Records.

Issued for the 200th birthday celebration of the signing of the declaration of independence. Contains a wide diversity of musical melodies and rimes appropriate for song and movement activities reflecting the many ethnic groups and flavors of the United States.

Johnson, Lois S. (1967). Happy Birthdays Round the World, Rand McNally and Company.

Birthday celebrations are festive occasions for all cultures around the World. This book provides us with a way to include the costumes of twenty-four different cultures in the classroom around such special days.

Kuklin, Susan (1992). How my family lives in America. New York, Bradbury Press, Macmillan.

Sanu, Eric and April present us to their families. Sanu’s heritage is Senegalese and African American. Eric’s father is from Puerto Rico, while him and his Mom, of Puerto Rican descent, are born in the United States. Finally, April’s, Chin Lan, family is of Chinese descent born in Taiwan. A great book to discover our likeness and differences. Has all the recipes of the foods that each of the families eats in the book.

Lankford, Mary D. (1992). Hopscotch around the world. Hong Kong, South China Printing Company.

A great book for social studies in the playground! The author describes the rules to nineteen different variations from around the World of the popular hopscotch game.

Mambazo, Ladysmith Black (1994). ‘Gift of the tortoise. A musical Journey through southern Africa’. Redway, California, Music for Little People.

This CD recording provides us with a collection of stories, sounds and melodies which talk about the day to day living, with its costumes, games, music, and folklore in South Africa. My favorite has to be the hands game and song of Shabalala.

Morris, Ann (1996). The Baby Book. Parsippany, New Jersey, Silver Press. A photographic essay of children around the world showing what babies do.

Includes an index in the back describing each of the pictures.

Morris, Ann (1996). The Daddy Book. Parsippany, New Jersey, Silver Press. A loving, positive look at fathers around the World and how they relate to their children.

Morris, Ann (1996). The Mommy Book. Parsippany, New Jersey, Silver Press. A photographic essay of mothers around the world showing relationships with their children. Includes an index in the back describing where each of the pictures was taken and the ethnicity of each of the members of the family.

Mountfield, Anne (1988). Homes and Houses. Needham, Massachusetts, Schoolhouse Press.

Describes the different homes and houses from around the world; its make up, uses and history. A great reference book to find the many similarities in purpose for homes, as well as the differences among them. Includes a glossary of terms related to homes.

Nipp, Pamela Conn Beall; Susan Hagen (1994). Wee Sing Around the World. New York Price Stem Sloan Inc.

A collection of songs in different languages from around the world sang by a chorus of children with musical accompaniment. The first song “Hello to all the children in the world”, teaches us to say hello in eight different languages as it talks about the universality of friendship, music and games.

Snowdon, Lynda (1986). Children around the World. Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dillon Press.

Includes photographs of children from fourteen different countries with short captions describing them. They depict children in all different kinds of situations. The pictures speak for themselves of the commonalties among different cultures.

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Notes

1. Hugh B. Price. “Multiculturalism: Myths and Realities.” In Annual Editions: Multicultural Education 94/95. Edited by Fred Schultz, 21-24. Guilford: The Dushkin Publishing Group, 1994
2. Foran, J. Thomas. What Connecticut Teaches Need For Effective Schooling. Professional Issues in Public Education. CT Education Association. January 1993. page 18-19
3. James P. Comer, Norris M. Hines. Rallying the Whole Village. The Comer Process for Reforming Education. Teachers College Press, 1996
4. Cottrol, J. Robert. “America the Multicultural.” In Annual Editions: Multicultural Education 94/95. Edited by Fred Schultz, 25-28. Guilford: The Dushkin Publishing Group, 1994
5. Janzen, Rod. “Melting Pot or Mosaic?.” In Educational Leadership, May 1994. Pag. 10
6. Sleeter, E. Christine. “Multicultural Education: Five views.” In Annual Editions: Multicultural Education 94/95. Edited by Fred Schultz, 147-149. Guilford: The Dushkin Publishing Group, 1994
7. (Alexander, Schallert & Hare, 1991) in Literacy Instruction through Spanish: Linguistic, cultural, and pedagogical considerations.
8. Social Studies and History Content and Performance Standards in New Haven Content and Performance Standards (1997)
9. Banks, James A. (1987). Teaching Strategies for Ethnic Studies. Newton, Massachusetts, Allyn and Bacon, Inc. p. 60
10. Gordon, Lawrence. In A teacher’s guide to cognitive type theory and learning style. ASCD. 1996
11. Greenfield, Patricia M. (1994). Independence and Interdependence as developmental scripts: Implications for Theory, Research and Practice. Cross-cultural Roots of Minority Child Development. Patricia M. Greenfield; Rodney R. Cocking. Hillsdale, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.: 1-34
12. Griggs, Rita Dunn; Shirley A. (1995). Multiculturalism and Learning Style: Teaching and Counseling Adolescents. Westport, CT, Praeger Publishers.

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