IMG_0001We live in a global society, which means that we are constantly interacting with cultural diversity. Teachers must be prepared to understand the role of culture in the classroom. How can teachers assist students to share their cultural heritage?
According to Brown effective educators must possess the multicultural knowledge, attitudes and behaviors that appropriately respond to issues of student diversity and cross-cultural acceptance and validation. In order to develop the cross-cultural cognizance and cultural diversity sensitivity they must have the experience to objectivity scrutinize the foundations of their own cultural frames of reference and share their implicit and explicit life perspectives. The educators that raise self-awareness about their frames of reference are prepared to integrate and interact with the diverse students cultures.
The cultural puzzle is a powerful strategy to raise students and teachers self-awareness and at the same time reinforce acknowledgement, acceptance and respect of the culture of others. When you write and share an autobiography you can understand some beliefs and values that are important for the author. In comparison, Cultural Puzzles show the conscious and subconscious cultures of self in a graphic form that open the opportunity to share and observe cultural heritage with the purpose of increasing cultural diverse knowledge, authenticating multicultural tolerance, and increasing cross-cultural communication. This facilitates transforming the classroom into a cohesive community.
One idea from the Brown article that impacts my thinking about culture in the classroom is that developing self-examination activities, such as the Cultural puzzle, can help to explore the influence of the majority culture on my concepts of self as a member of the dominant or non-dominant culture.