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Culture-based Differentiation  

Last Updated: Dec 12, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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 Culture-based Diferentiation - "Culture affects many aspects of our lives. We are unlikely to be aware of how our culture shapes us in ways that differ from how other people's cultures shape them. It is easy to assume 'our way' is everyone's way. In education settings, this habit of thinking is particularly problematic for students from minority cultures who attend schools shaped largely by the majority culture. Culture-based differentiation emphasizes the need to (1) undersetand the cultures and cultural expectations of all students in the classroom; (2) develop classrooms that are sensitive and responsive to a variety of cultures; (3) ensure that all students' cultures are represented in materials and perspectives on issues; (4) ensure equity of attention, participation, and high expectations for students from all cultures; and (5) ensure learning approaches and options that span the full range of culture-influenced possibilities. Culture can affect how we relate to authority, whether we preffer contextualized or decontextualized learning, whether we are more reserved or expressive, whether we preffer working alone or with peers, whether we feel constrained by time whether we stress the individual or the group and so on. There is a great variance of learning prefference within each culture. The goal pf culture-based differentiation is not to label or pigeonhole students, but to understand and actively address the fact that a classroom that runs counter to a student's cultural norms and needs wll impede that student's learning."

C. Tomlinson & C. Strickland (2005) Differentiation in Practice: A Resource Guide for Differentiating Curriculum Grades 9-12. ASCD.


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