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Culturally Proficient Practice

Culturally Proficient Practice
Supporting Educators of English Learning Students

Foreword by Donaldo Macedo

September 2012 | 208 pages | Corwin
Help your English learning students achieve academic success!

U.S. demographics are quickly shifting, and it is more important than ever to reach and teach English learning students. Designed to empower educators to become agents of change in their classrooms, schools, and communities, this guide introduces the principles of Cultural Proficiency and how they can help improve educators' ability to effectively teach English language learners. This book features:

Activities that build core Cultural Proficiency skills and promote personal transformation

A chapter-by-chapter rubric for working effectively with English learning students

A conversation-starting case story featuring the River View School District

Strategies for using action research to improve the success of English learning students

By focusing on Cultural Proficiency—and the underlying causes of EL achievement gaps—educators can uncover ways to break down academic barriers and use students' cultural background as educational assets.

Foreword by Donaldo Macedo
About the Authors
Part I. The Context and Tools for Educating English Learning Students
1. Setting the Context
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

2. The Tools of Cultural Proficiency
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

3. Educators' Rubric for Support of English Learning Students and Their Communities: Changing the Conversation
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

Part II. River View School District: A Context for Educating Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Students
4. Assessing Cultural Knowledge: You, Your School, and Your Community
Getting Centered

Assessing Cultural Knowledge

Using the Rubric: Assessing and Developing Your Cultural Knowledge About Self, School, and Community

River View Case Story

Professional Learning for General Educators Who Teach English Learning Students

Going Deeper

6. Managing the Dynamics of Difference: You, Your School, and Your Community
Getting Centered

Managing the Dynamics of Difference for Me, My School, and My Community

Using the Rubric: Managing the Dynamics of Difference for Self, School, and Community

River View Case Story: The Middle School in Conflict

River View Case Story: The Clash of the Coteachers

Professional Learning Through Inquiry Helps Manage the Dynamics of Differences

Going Deeper

7. Adapting to Diversity: You, Your School, and Your Community
Getting Centered

Adapting to Diversity for Me, My School, and My Community 101 Mindfulness

Using the Rubric: Adapting to the Diversity of Your School and Community

River View Case Story: Confronting Barriers to a Community in Transition

River View Case Story: Parents as Change Partners

Professional Learning for General Educators Who Teach English Learning Students

Going Deeper

8. Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge: You, Your School, and Your Community
Getting Centered

Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge for Me, My School, and My Community

Using the Rubric: Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge About Your School and Community

River View Case Story: Benchmarking Along the Way

Professional Learning for General Educators Who Teach English Learning Students

Going Deeper

Part III. Next Steps
9. Guiding Your Own Research That Leads to Action
Getting Started

Action Research: A Model for Improvement of Practice for You, Your School, and the Community Served by Your School

Educators as Practitioner Researchers in Support of English Learning Students

Action Research Through a Culturally Proficient Practitioner Researcher Lens

Action Research Cycle Rubric for Culturally Proficient Practitioner Researchers

Action Research Getting Started Protocol

Closing Thoughts

Questions for Reflection

Resource A. Professional Learning Activity - Assessing Cultural Knowledge
Resource B. Professional Learning Activity - Valuing Diversity
Resource C. Professional Learning Activity - Managing the Dynamics of Difference
Resource D. Professional Learning Activity - Adapting to Diversity
Resource E. Professional Learning Activity - Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge
Resource F. Recommended Books on Instructional Strategies
Matrix: How to Use Cultural Proficiency Books

“An excellent guide for a school district working to improve instruction for English learners by promoting the cultural proficiency of teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals. The book provides a succinct overview of historical issues related to the education of English learners. In addition, it employs a model that can be used with school staff as educators engage in a process to consider how they are educating these students and how they might improve on their practice. An important and valuable feature of the book is the use of a case study of a school district as it engages in such a self inquiry process.”

Irma M. Olmedo, Associate Professor Emerita
College of Education, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

“The book provides compelling rationale for working to improve instruction for English Learners and offers practical advice to new teachers, administrators and paraprofessionals.”

Diana Garrido, In School Resource Teacher
San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, CA

“The book provides the school leader with the tools to engage themselves and others in making English learning students a priority. It is a must read for educators to get those hard and healthy conversations started and to examine our school practices and policies. It is about intentional change for the benefit of all our students.”

Lori Henderson, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services
Manitoba, Canada

"Cultural Proficient Practice: Supportive Educators of English Learning Students provides a valuable resource for staff developers who are on the journey of creating culturally proficient learning environments to close the achievement gap. This work narrows the focus to English learning students with the same 'inside out' approach as the authors' previous work.  As the reader reflects with 'mindfulness' you actually feel like you are in a workshop with the authors themselves! A perfect asset for a professional learning community book study!

Linda Fisher, Staff Development Coordinator
Lincoln Unified School District, Stockton, CA

"This book offers a unique set of tools for teachers and administrators, encouraging them to work cooperatively in identifying negative 'institutionalized' beliefs that are barriers to creating healthy teaching practices and cultural competency. The authors have creatively included a historical background on English Learner issues, frameworks, rubrics, and vignettes that invite educator participation. The authors offer a comprehensible plan of action for schools, administrators, and teachers to become culturally competent in order to most effectively work with English Learners AND each other."

Carmen E. Quintana, Educator and Board member
McGill School of Success, San Diego, CA

“Simply, the imaginary monocultural mainstream simply does not exist anymore. This important book sets the stage for us to teach about, through, and with cultural and linguistic diversity—our own and that of our students and colleagues. It is a valuable and practical resource for teacher education.”

Allan Luke, Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

"With today's diverse classrooms, an understanding of the socio-cultural factors that influence student success is foundational to creating environments that encourage high levels of academic achievment and well-being for all learners. Through a structure of inquiry and reflective application of the tools of cultural proficiency, this engaging book provides practical strategies for building an asset based approach to meeting the academic and social needs of English learning students.

Susan MacDonald, Executive Officer of Instruction
Ottawa-Carleton Board of Education, Ottawa, Ontario

"Culturally Proficient Practice: Supporting Educators of English Learning Students is not only a timely book that lovingly challenges educators to understand what it means to be culturally proficient, but it also comprehensively provides a wealth of information regarding the history of English learners’ (mis)education as well as past and current educational and language teaching practices. Without a doubt, this comprehensive text is a much needed addition to the professional development literature on English learner education!"

Lilia I. Bartolome, Professor
University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA

"As an English learner myself, I was pleased that the authors clearly articulated through cultural proficiency the importance of valuing the whole student, seeing the student’s language, culture, and community, not as a barrier, but as an asset with which to build academic and social success. It is through understanding of self and others that we begin to see the true potential of our youth."

Michael James Isaac, Education Officer III
Department of Education, Mi'kmaw Liason Office, Halifax, Nova Scotia

"Through the unique use of dialogue and critical reflection, school district faculty and staff, as well as university teacher educators, will experience an exhilarating journey through various phases of cultural proficiency development that they need to inform their approach to curriculum, instruction, and assessment. More importantly, the book brings us an awareness that English learning strudents have a cultural capital that we must recognize, honor, and utilize as a powerful instructional resource!"

Jose W. Lalas, Professor and Director of Center of Educational Justice
University of Redlands School Board Member, Corona-Norco Unified School District, CA

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ISBN: 9781452217291

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