VS 1.1: Belief Statements and Intro to Inclusive Pedagogy

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Think About

Conceptual Outline Meaning Making
In 1996 The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future argued that what mattered most in educational reform was "a caring, competent, and qualified teacher for every child." Indeed, one of the best ways to improve student achievement is to improve teacher expertise. A surprise?
Content-area teachers who complete the following six courses and a practicum will be qualified to work with linguistically and culturally diverse learners in the regular classroom in ways that will support all learners.
  • Foundations of Bilingual Education
  • Understanding Language Acquisition
  • Assessment for Linguistically Diverse Students
  • Developing Second Language Literacy
  • Integrating Language and Content Instruction
  • Family, School, and Community Partnerships
 
BEEDE's foundation rests on these beliefs: My beliefs?

Belief Statement One:

We value all languages and recognize that being able to function in multilingual and multicultural settings is necessary in today's world.

Mutualinguism a must?

Richard Gomez (State Board of Education)

"Having multilingualism and multiculturalism woven into the American fabric is in our best interest, particularly if we want to be part of the global economy and continue as a world power. These children are a rich talent pool for helping us, and we should encourage them to maintain their language ability as they master English."

 

Belief Statement Two:

We recognize that English language proficiency is essential, but we also believe that the primary language should be retained and developed.

Retain primary language?

Ray Graham (Brigham Young University)

"Competence in English is essential to educational success. Unfortunately, some people believe promoting the development of a child's native language won't help their development of English language skills. The truth is, the better children do in their native language the more likely they are to develop high levels of English language skills. This program aims to educate teachers who can support students in developing skill in both English and their native language."

 

Belief Statement Three:

We feel that all students should have the opportunity to learn a second language.

Second language for all students?

Ramona Cutri (Brigham Young University)

"We have a double standard in the United States. We encourage native English speakers to learn a language other than English - 'Study Spanish! Study Japanese! Study French!' But to non-native speakers we say, 'Wait! Stop! Don't speak that language. Only speak English.' Later we may spend money to reteach them the language they spoke as a child. This is a waste of one of our national resources: Students who speak languages other than English."

 

Belief Statement Four:

We feel that learning English through learning academic content is vital to the success of students' growth in both academics and language development.

Language and content?

Annela Teemant (Brigham Young University)

"Teaching children in a K through 12 setting always focuses on both language development and learning academic content. The two cannot be seperated. This is even truer with a second language learner. They're learning English their second language and content simultaneously. We cannot afford the luxury of waiting until they are fluent in English to teach content. If we did this in science, for example... the second language learner would be taking fourth grade science in 7th or 8th grade. It's too late."

 

Belief Statement Five:

We feel that teachers need to model lifelong learning and that participation in a bilingual/ESL endorsement program contributes to that goal.

Lifelong learning?

Melanie Harris (BEEDE, BYU-Public School Partnership)

"As an educator, my own path to lifelong learning began in Hawaii. ...I became an advocate for children who have come to strange cities, strange places, and needed a comforting, caring teacher. I tried to be that teacher. And I feel that all teachers would benefit from going to other countries and having this experience. That isn't possible in most cases, but there are other opportunities for learning. ...One of them has been the Bilingual/ESL Endorsement, and through that process, I've gained an appreciation, in addition to what I had in the very beginning, about how we can work with kids, make them feel comfortable in our classrooms, and value the resource they are."

Students as resource?
BEEDE is committed to advancing the education of language minority students through teacher development that enriches what you already know and do as professionals. My knowledge about ESL learners?
Educators may share a building but may not share their frustrations, concerns, or expertise for working with students of diversity. This kind of isolation is problematic. Teachers are cut off from the very knowledge and resources they need to enrich learning for students of diversity. Isolated?

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(This model is given in greater detail at the end of the guide.)

 

Inclusive Pedagogy works across student groups and disciplines to make possible:

1. Common understandings

2. United advocacy

My view of advocacy?

John I. Goodlad

"How far should [schools] go with special programs and arrangements? To what lengths should teachers go to reach the diversity of students in their charge?"

How far?
Students may interpret classroom directions, activities, and assignments differently depending on their backgrounds.  

Inclusive Pedagogy

  1. Responds to the question: How can I learn and grow as a professional?
  2. Results in better education, not just for students of diversity, but for all children.
 

Annela Teemant (Brigham Young University)

Today's classrooms are filled with learning diversity.

"We've really learned in the last few decades how to pay attention to that diversity in more meaningful and substantive ways in the teaching-learning process."

Students "don't walk into your classrooms with a label. ...We have to figure those things out and then accommodate all that diversity that we see in front of us in the process of teaching, in a moment's notice."

Learning divesity? Linguistic diversity? Cultural diversity?

Torri Nill (Elementary School Teacher)

"I have taught students with all levels of language proficiency. As a result, I have learned to assess the skills of every child who enters my classroom.

"Sometimes that means with native speakers I have to sit down, ask them a question, help them draw out an oral response in the form of a sentence and then go ahead and help them write that sentence just like you would with an ESL student.

"It's a challenge to meet the needs of all students and try to find out exactly where they are."

 

John Goodlad asks:

"How far should teachers and schools go to reach the diversity of students in their charge?"

How far should I?
Students may experience us and our teaching practices differently depending on their backgrounds and learning histories. My experience?
Scenario from the First Day of School in a Public School Classroom  

Teacher:
We're going to be reading Great Expectations, and then you'll have a book report due October 1st.

 

Special Population Students:

Gifted/Talented:
Could I read it in French? Maybe I could create a home page?

English as a Second Language:
Novel? I think I've heard that before. What is the difference between a novel and a book? The other day someone said "reader." What did she say we were reading?

Multicultural
October is so far away. I have other things in my life that I need to do. I wonder if this book has anything to do with my life?

Students with Disabilities
I can't read.

What needs?

Teacher:
Second we will have a quiz every Friday. The quizzes will count heavily in your grade, but you can miss one without being penalized.

 

Special Population Students:

Gifted/Talented:
A quiz every Friday. Does that mean I can't go to foreign language competitions? What a waste.

English as a Second Language:
Oh great. I get to fail every Friday. I hate multiple choice tests. I can't read them as fast as native speakers. I hope she'll let me use a dictionary.

Multicultural
Every Friday? But I've got work every Thursday night! I wish I could just tell what I know - not write it on a test.

Students with Disabilities
I can't remember things.

Implication of attitude?

Teacher:
Third, you'll be sitting in alphabetical order. This is important because it makes it easy for me to correct and collect assignments from you. Also that way I'll be able to get to know your names and faces more quickly.

 

Special Population Students:

Gifted/Talented:
Oh no! Not the front of the classroom again. I want to sit in the back corner where my imagination is most free.

English as a Second Language:
My real name is Haruka, but I guess I will have to be Heidi again this year. I like my name. I hope she can say Haruka.

Multicultural
She's just putting us in alphabetical order to control us. She's probably just scared of me.

Students with Disabilities
I wanted to sit by someone who can help me a little bit, someone who could help me find my place and make sure I understand directions. I don't know if alphabetically I will end up where I want to be.

Routines that limit?

Teacher:
This is the workbook for this class. Everyday you must complete a worksheet in your workbook. On Friday, you will take a quiz, but you will also correct your worksheets for the week. It is important that you are prepared. We will grade the worksheets and they will be right or wrong.

 

Special Population Students:

Gifted/Talented:
Now she is showing her true colors. She introduces Great Expectations, but she ends up with low expectations. Worksheets - I'm bored already.

English as a Second Language:
I hope she knows I don't understand what she is saying. I can't take notes while I listen to a teacher or I miss stuff. Oh, this is going to be a long year. It's the last period of the day. I've listened to English all day. I think I'll just think in Japanese in my head.

Multicultural
When was the last time someone went to a job to fill out a worksheet. I wish she'd teach us some real stuff.

Students with Disabilities
I can't do this by myself. No way. If I have to do it by myself I'll never get it done.

Your true colors?

Annela Teemant (Brigham Young University)

"Special Population students are in our classrooms. Although we only focus on ESL learners in the Bilingual/ESL endorsement, we'd like you to keep in mind that Inclusive Pedagogy is a framework that will help you with all of these populations."

Inclusive Pedagogy helps with all students?

Annela Teemant (Brigham Young University)

"In all of our courses, we will make clear the commonalities that these special populations share, but we will maintain our focus on second language learners. We will help you understand where they are unique from other special population groups. We really want to give you the how: how to recognize their commonalities and how to meet their instructional needs in the classroom. Inclusive Pedagogy will provide a framework which will allow you to pay attention to the learners in your classroom in more complex and more sophisticated ways."

Pay attention to learners?

Challenges? Opportunities? The cultural and linguistic diversity in your classroom offers both challenges and opportunities. Each of you should ask yourself John Goodlad's question:

"To what lengths should teachers go to reach the diversity of students in their charge?"

My challenges? My opportunities?

To reach my students?

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