Review: On the Road to Cultural Competence

Pre-Note: I’m @ a RttT conference at Columbus (sponsored by Ohio Dept of Education). These collection of posts are the running commentary and thoughts.

Background Information

Title: On the Road to Cultural Competence: Emerging with Cultural Relevant Teaching Strategies.

Presenter: Dr. Rhonda Talford Knight, Diversity and Education Consultant

Quotes, Asides, Thoughts, Questions

“Cultural competencies isn’t just about black and white.”

So what is “cultural competence”? A quick look at Wikipedia defines it as the ability to work and communicate effectively between and within different groups.

We teach who we are.” (Palmer, 1988)

Aside: It’s interesting to listen to Dr. Rhonda talk about cultural competencies and think about the particular culture I’m rooted within. She’s a very animated speaker, using a more narrative style in her presentation (lots of asides). The logical, If A then B (and define A) is missing from this presentation (not a bad thing, but this, to me, feels a bit counter “academic” cultural…although there are handouts!)

Question to ask: What characteristics of you (the teacher) influence the teaching of students?

Other questions:

  • What does it mean to my students to identify who I am?
  • What are my beliefs?
  • Do those beliefs affect how I teach?

To become culturally competent requires you to ask questions about yourself and your students. So teachers need to be gifted at self-reflection.

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