Today’s devotional will concentrate on being sensitive to students’ families and their culture. Teachers’ relationship with families can be strengthened through the recognition and understanding that the characteristics of each family will be unique based on what they are experiencing individually as well as in areas such as cultural background, socioeconomic level, and geographic location.
Spradlin and Parsons (2008) describe a variety of ways that students can differ including, but not limited to, socioeconomic status, language, ability status, ethnicity, and culture. Culture is important because:
No aspect of human life is not touched and altered by culture. Our personalities, the way we think, and the ways we solve problems, as well as methods we use to organize ourselves, are all given shape, in large part, by cultural experiences. (Spradlin & Parsons, 2008, p. 4)
Interestingly, culture has been defined many ways in various textbooks and articles. Some examples are located below.
“Culture includes values, beliefs, notions about acceptable and unacceptable behavior, and other socially constructed ideas that members of the culture are taught” (Garcia, 1994, p. 51 as cited in Spradlin & Parsons, 2008, p. 4).
“Culture refers to the foundational values and beliefs that set the standards for how people perceive, interpret, and behave within their family, school, and community” (Turnbull, et al., 2015, p. 8).
As you work through this workshop, think about the ways culture has impacted you. This, I hope, will provide you with insight about the ways we can unintentionally make judgments about the cultural differences of our students or their families.
References in Background Information
Spradlin, L. K., & Parsons, R. D. (2008). Diversity matters: Understanding diversity in schools. Wadsworth.
Turnbull, A., Turnbull, R., Erwin, E. J., Soodak, L. C., & Shogren, K. A. (2015). Families, professionals, and exceptionality: Positive outcomes through partnerships and trust (7th ed.). Pearson.
Read or listen(new tab) to Luke 10:30-37(new tab) (NIV).
In a Devotional reflection, respond to the following:
In a two-paragraph discussion, using APA format and at least one citation, respond to your thoughts on how to battle the damage done to students who have been victims of judgement about the cultural differences, or students who feel it is appropriate to do it to others.
Reflect upon the scripture and share how it intersects with students who have experienced these judgments.
Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
When you are finished, submit your devotional response to the 4.1 assignment link by the end of the workshop.