RE: Suggestions for teaching "Sociocultural Concerns in Education"

Mon, 13 May 1996 10:47:23 -0400

I am very pleased with Webb and Sherman, SCHOOLING IN AMERICA,
MacMillan, 2nd ed. They have come out with the 3rd edition, which
I have not seen yet.
If your students do not also take a multicultural eduction
course, add Sleeter and Grant, MAKING CHOICES FOR MULTICULTURAL
EDUCATION, Merril, or Sonia Nieto, AFFIRMING DIVERSITY, Longman,
Two helpful simulations; BAFABAFA and STARPOWER, both
available from Simile II in Del Mar California.

The following activities help students get the point;
-10 hours of community service at a non profit CBO with a brief
folowup report which specifies the relationship of the activity
to course goals and to the student's career plans

-a VOLUNTARY SES family history, which helps make the point
that there is not as much upward social mobility in our society
as there is in Horatio Alger books

BAFA helps students understand the concept of cultural difference,
and to realize that the typical reaction to difference is
negative, and incorrect, attribution.

STARPOWER helps students see that those who make the rules make
rules which help the rulemaker, that if you can't win, you give
up or rebel, and that we don't all start out with an equal chance
to win.

A film availale through the FIU library, The Matter With Me,
leads to discussion which deals with personal problems versus
structual problems

Several films are available which desribe the Milgram experiment
on obedience. That is not enough for beginning teachers whose
overwhelming anxiety is related to classroom management. I
specify in the syllabus when the midterm exam will be held. I warn
them in advance they should not accept everything I say whithout
argument. Two sessions before the scheduled date for the exam,
I tell them I have changed my mind-take out paper for the midterm.
They do. I chide them-to the point of "Gotcha!", for not
protesting. For an excess of obedience. IF you can not advocate
for yourself, how will you advocate for your students? THey
remeber that. So much so, that without fail, they gear up to
negotiate out a term paper assignment which is included in the
syllabus, but is really duplicative of a former assignment. Helps
make the point about sharing power in the classroom, and about
providing opportunites for students to make real decisions that
affect their lives in the classroom, as a means of teaching
when authority is legitimate and when it is not, when obedience.
is called for and when it is not.

Good luck with your course.

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