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Sociological Theory

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With a sociological approach for education, a teacher is able maintain a holistic view of their role as a teacher and the connections between the classroom and their participants. This theory can be learned, then similar to the learning of morals, cannot be unlearned. For the teacher’s lens, sociology acts the zoom mechanism for macro to micro perspectives of the influences on the classroom. While applying this theory teacher are able to adjust and adapt culturally responsive teaching with an increased understanding of their teacher identity, a more informed understanding of their community, and a critical perspective of curriculum. The concepts of sociology can be applied with the sociological imagination to teacher identity and historical…show more content…
Teachers can use the sociological imagination to build upon their teacher identity. C. Wright Mills (1959) defined the sociological imagination as the “vivid awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society”. In chapter two of Teaching for Success, Olson (2010) explains the interactions between the individual and their navigation through world around them (CITATION 33). With these concepts combined, the teacher would ideally be up self- aware of their inherent characteristics as an individual—e.g. skin color, ethnicity, socio-economic background—that can’t be controlled, and how they are placed within society. These factors influence the teacher’s background, environment, and lens thus affecting their ability to present curriculum to the class. In chapter six of Teaching for Success, Olson (2010) defines teacher identity as “both the active mechanism that organizes your prior and current experiences into coherent understandings of and for yourself as an educator and the actual, resulting bundle of…show more content…
Geneva Gay (2002) combines these two concepts of sociocultural consciousness and culturally responsive teaching in Restructuring Attitudes and Beliefs. Gay refers to culturally responsive teaching as a way of addressing “universal marginality, powerlessness, and disadvantages” within the classroom by taking a critical view of the curriculum (p.1). Culturally responsive teaching starts with the teacher’s identity and an awareness of their own ideologies and theories that influence how they act as a median between the student and curriculum. Similar to understanding their own identity, the sociocultural consciousness is how the teacher views the students’ identities in their community. Gay explains these relationship by saying, ”teachers’ instructional behaviors are strongly influenced by their attitudes and beliefs about various dimensions of student diversity” (p.3). The historical context of the community allows the teacher to use their individual students’ background as resources for scaffolding entire class’s curriculum and help meet the needs of the individual students. Assuming the role of public education is to act as an equalizer, culturally responsive teaching is a means of creating
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