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Running Head: LITERATURE REVIEW AND REFLECTION

Literature Review and Cultural Reflection

Kelli Murphy
National University
Professor Clifton Johnson
TED 690
June 18, 2016

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Abstract
This literature review and cultural reflection were designed to inform the reader of the many
things that teachers should be aware of when teaching a very diverse classroom. Teachers will
experience more and more diversity as the United States becomes increasingly more culturally
diverse. Understanding and learning about the cultures represented in the classroom is key to
successful cross-cultural interactions and communication. The five cross-cultural points of
comparison and techniques for expanding cultural knowledge will help teachers to respect and
understand their diverse students. Included is also a reflection of where the author stands with
cultural knowledge.

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Literature Review and Cultural Reflection


The article I read was called Communicating Cross-Culturally: What Teachers Should
Know by Yvonne Pratt-Johnson. The article talks about the need for teachers to be culturally
responsive and competent as schools and classrooms continue to become increasingly
linguistically and culturally diverse. It covers five points of cultural difference with which all
teachers should be aware when teaching students of diverse backgrounds. The five key steps
include ways of knowing how cultures acquire information, the different ways that cultures solve
problems, the different ways cultures communicate, differences in how cultures learn, and ways
in which different cultures deal with conflict. There are many challenges that can arise when
trying to achieve cross-cultural communications, but the more that teachers learn about their
students diverse backgrounds, the better they can become at being cross-cultural
communicators. This will also lead to more likely chances they can contribute to optimal student
learning outcomes. Living in a global society, teachers are called upon to instruct and work with
students with very different ethnicities and beliefs from those to which they have been
accustomed. Therefore, it is vital that teachers continuously educate themselves, discovering all
that they can about their students and their backgrounds (Pratt-Johnson).
Since our population is continually becoming more diverse, we cannot continue to
practice many aspects of life the same way we used to. We need to make sure to be adaptive to
our surroundings and changing environments. I was aware that the President has initiated new
health care programs and expectations for health care and school programs and I think this is
good for schools since health education doesnt seem like it is as much as a priority as other
educational aspects. There is such emphasis on passing the standardized testing and health comes

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after that. The capacity of an organization and its personnel to communicate effectively, and
convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse groups including persons of
limited English proficiency, those who have low literacy skills or are not literate, individuals
with disabilities, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Linguistic competency requires
organizational and provider capacity to respond effectively to the health and mental health
literacy needs of populations served. The organization must have policy, structures, practices,
procedures, and dedicated resources to support this capacity (Goode and Jones). This really
stood out to me because I really think that the schools effectiveness at being culturally
competent begins with the structure behind the educators. It means that they need to understand
cultural diversification and promote it. It means having resources available for educators and
personnel to use or go to when in need. It also is means that there needs to be open
communication between all staff members because children are not just with one teacher all day.
Sometimes they go to other classrooms or work with aides. They might even take a trip to the
nurse or into the office. This is why it is important that the entire school is on board and actively
pursuing a culturally competent campus.
I consider myself in Cultural Pre-Competence. I am aware of different cultures and I like
to learn the differences between mine and others, but my knowledge of other cultures is
definitely not strong. I know that I will experience many more cultures once I am around them in
a classroom since in the classroom I know I will have to be more conscious of other cultures and
values. I would like on building my cultural competence. I know I am accepting of all cultures, I
just would like to learn more and work on my advocacy for other cultures when it comes to
learning about my students. I am going to be spending a lot of time with the students throughout

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the year and I am expecting them to learn a lot in that time, so I want to hold myself accountable
of learning about them as I am asking them to learn about school curriculum.
I feel that the best way for me to get a better understanding of cultural factors and how
they will affect learning is going to be when I am student teaching/working in the classroom.
Acquiring cultural competence is a gradual process. It is achieved only after many
observations, experiences, and interactions in the classroom and playground, with parents and
with peers (Pratt-Johnson, 2006). I learned that I am not as knowledgeable about cultural
differences especially when related to health aspects. I may not be as knowledgeable as I should
be yet, but I learned through the readings that it is a gradual process and that I will likely learn
from several different avenues such as through experiences with students, through interactions in
the classroom and on the playground, through my peers, by building relationships with parents of
students in my classroom.
I reaffirmed that I am someone who welcomes diversity in my life and I know I will in
my classroom one day as well. That was part of my culture and how I was raised. In the
assessment process for this week I learned that I am not up to date with other cultural norms, so I
need to learn more about those for when I am teaching especially how it will pertain to me in the
role as teacher.
I learned that as a teacher I am going to have to be cognizant of the fact that language
barriers dont determine intelligence and make sure I never show frustration when there is a
language barrier between myself and parents or students. Part of this means making sure that
when I send home information to parents that it might need to be written in their language and
not just the one I am comfortable with.

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As a teacher I am going to be careful as to not impose values that may conflict those of
the cultures or ethnic groups other than my own. What I really am learning is that I need to really
familiarize myself with the self-assessment values and attitudes as I make this career change
because there are a lot more factors that are involved when there are children in the picture.
Right now I am in the business world and it is all adults so we focus at work on being respectful
of others, but really its a different mindset when around children because they are still learning
and developing their beliefs.

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References
Goode & Jones (modified 2009). National Center for Cultural Competence, Georgetown
University Center for Child & Human Development. Retrieved from:
http://nccc.georgetown.edu/foundations/frameworks.html
Pratt-Johnson, Yvonne. (February 2006). Communicating Cross Culturally: What Teachers
Should Know. The Internet TESL Journal, Volume Xll, No. 2. Retrieved June 18, 2016,
from: http://iteslj.org/Articles/Pratt-Johnson-CrossCultural.html