Week 11

When student is asked to comprehend a text, they are doing so through their own lense of experiences. Since every students experience with content is different, their demonstration of comprehension is subjective. As a result, the public school system is aiming to become culturally responsive to the student population and their associated experiences. Ladson highlights this point in his article titled, “Reading Between the Lines.” In the article Ladson points out that literature has given an assortment of names to describe classroom attempts at more closely matching school culture with student culture to promote academic success (Ladson, 1992).While the attempt to become more culturally responsive has good intent, the impact isn’t always aligned. In the year 2000, the U.S government had a goal in mind to make sure that every American is literate (Ladson, 1992). Unfortunately, that goal is easier said than done based on the large socioeconomic gap between white and non-white Americans written in the history of this country. Adapting the curriculum to the culture of my students is always a priority in my classroom. The majority of my students are non-white and living in lower income areas, and I want to teach scientific concepts that speak to their everyday experiences. My Current Events in Biology class provides a perfect opportunity to marry culture and scientific concepts. One good example of culturally responsive reading comprehension is happening in my current unit,food science.The text given to my students focuses on the scientific concepts of receptor-molecule interactions involved in cell to cell communication The concept is taught within the context of sugar consumption, diabetes, and obesity. The idea is that many of these disruptions to homeostasis start at a cellular levels. Culturally speaking, many of my students live in areas where healthy foods are not an option and diabetes and obesity hits close to home. Almost all of my students knew one person suffering from diabetes and obesity. The background knowledge my students have of these topics supports their comprehension of associated texts. While the experiences of my students supports their reading comprehension in my current events class, it is different in my Biology 3 classroom. We just finished the Evolution Unit and many of my students had little to no experience with the topic at hand. Often times the experiences, or lack thereof, related to a specific content can inhibit reading comprehension. If a student has never engaged in reading about fossils and dinosaurs, it’s hard to get them to comprehend material related to those topics. One suggestion to overcome this academic challenge is to ask students about their relationship to reading (Lynch, 2008). This might provide some insight for the teacher to adapt their curriculum in a culturally responsive manner. As a result, students are provided with support in their reading comprehension.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Charlton,

      You make an important point here:

      Adapting the curriculum to the culture of my students is always a priority in my classroom. The majority of my students are non-white and living in lower income areas, and I want to teach scientific concepts that speak to their everyday experiences.

      It would be great to hear more about how this actually works in your classroom.

    Group A

    Here is the online home for you sub group this semester.
    Sub-Group of ED 656 - Fall 2018

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