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Ellen Franz: Using Community to Close the Cultural Achievement Gap Essay examples

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One of the foundations of teaching that is currently lacking adequate implementation in the classroom is the ability to understand and use the cultural differences that exist within different communities in order to help individual students thrive. Not only is it important for teachers to cultural awareness, but also it is crucial for teachers to have the skills to utilize this awareness when forming relationships between the learner and the community. Thus they are able to promote the best learning environment possible. In other words, while it is both important to focus on the individual students and the overall culture it is important to connect both of them in order students to be successful in the classroom.
Ellen Franz, an elementary school teacher in a small school in Sausalito Marin City School District, is able to seamlessly accomplish the daunting task. She does so by focusing on the individual students’ needs while keeping in mind the overall community by being aware of the cultural differences between her and her students. She is grounded in the culture and community which allows her to use the techniques of ZPD in order to bring all students to a level where they can expand their knowledge and learn what they are supposed to in order to thrive. However, this is not a magic formula and creating the relationships with both the students and the community is not enough.
To assure that ZPD is being used as effectively as possible, everyday she must take control of the class and in order to do so she consistently uses pedagogical knowledge, engagement, formative assessment, and persistence. Her ability to use pedagogical knowledge effectively is very important because it allows her to stay in control of the classroom and m...


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...chers to know what pay attention to and what to focus on. In addition, there are some basic things that could be taught such as the importance of forging relationships with parents and how to knowing how to approach parents that may not as assessable either because of language barriers or work
More importantly it is crucial for teacher to be culturally aware before joining the field of teaching because there is a thin line between being aware and feeling bad for students. When working in a community that is underserved it could be easy to make up excuses for students or assume that parents don’t care about their education. However, this is not always the case and if teachers have an idea of the challenges that they will face and a understanding of how to deal with them then it may buffer against the instinct to not hold students accountable to the same standards.





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