Preparation and Assessment of Individuals to Work with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Others

Preparation and Assessment of Individuals to Work with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Others

Lorraine S. Gilpin (Georgia Southern University, USA)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6006-9.ch012
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Abstract

Education, in any setting, must prepare individuals to sensitively relate to and productively collaborate with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Individuals (CLDI) on multiple levels in various contexts. Undergirded in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and constructivism, the study upon which the chapter is based, uses narrative analysis to determine resonant concepts: level appropriate key understandings derived by learners as a result of interactions (with peers and instructor, course activities and materials) within a course or program of study. Learners must unravel information, make sense of interactions, engage in critical reflection, and come to understandings upon which they act as citizens. Thus, learning takes place in the context of critical reflection and self and societal confrontations. Analysis of a capstone assignment in a course that prepares pre-service and in-service teachers to work with CLDI evidenced four clusters of resonant concepts relating to foundations of education, awareness, response, and advocacy.
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Introduction

Technology has enabled members of society to access information which once resided between the pages of books housed in specific repositories. More than ever the role of teacher/trainer is to design and facilitate interactions through which students/employees develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are personally, professionally, and socio-politically meaningful (hooks, 1994; Grande, 2004; Rendón, 2009). Learners must unravel information, make sense of interactions, engage in critical reflection, and come to understandings upon which they act (Freire, 1998; hooks, 1994). They become co-authors of their learning with instructors as facilitators of and inquirers into this authorship (Magolda, 2004; Grande, 2004; Rendón, 2009) as they provide inspiration and tools to enhance the process. For instance, instead of providing learners with a list of propositions for working with culturally and linguistically diverse people (CLDI), the instructor provides learning opportunities and interactions that enable the learners to determine key principles or guidelines for working with CLDI. If one accepts that the education ought to move all concerned toward the kind of critical reflection and action that Freire (1998) and hooks (1994) call praxis, how, then, is learning to be assessed? In other words, how does one find out what has been learned? The study that will be described in this chapter is undergirded in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL - Atkinson, 2001; Gilpin & Liston, 2009; Huber & Hutchings, 2005; Huber & Morreale, 2002; Kreber, 2006) and Cognitive and Social Constructivism (Piaget, 1977 & Vygotsky, 1978), with narrative analysis (Casey, 1995; Clandinin & Connelly, 2000; Denzin & Lincoln, 1998; Marshall & Rossman, 1999) to determine resonant concepts and the interactions that facilitated them, in an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement course for pre-service and in-service teachers. The course prepares teachers to work with CLDI.

This chapter highlights the process and findings of an analysis of resonant concepts derived from an end of semester reflective assignment. Narrative analysis of the assignment for 49 (32 undergraduate students and 17 graduate) students included reviewing and coding (labeling and grouping) responses and identifying emergent themes (Casey, 1995; Clandinin & Connelly, 2000; Denzin & Lincoln, 1998; Marshall & Rossman, 1999). The resultant resonant concepts and analysis will be discussed in light of relevant literature.

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