New Book – “Inquiries Into Literacy Learning and Cultural Competencies in a World of Borders”

I was honored to write the Foreword for this new publication – “Inquiries Into Literacy Learning and Cultural Competencies in a World of Borders (Research in Second Language Learning)” edited by Tonya Huber and Philip S. Roberson.

The vision of this book has been to represent the work of educators and scholars invested in moving education beyond insular models of language study and cultural awareness to more globally representative and inclusive interactions that range from the studied word to the lived experience, and from reading the word to read the world (Freire & Macedo, 1987). A fundamental aspect of this vision is to recognize the living nature of language and its intricate role in culture. Culture is mediated through language (Hauerwas, Skawinski, & Ryan, 2017, p. 202) and the linguistic experience of difference is essential for developing cultural competence beyond surface culture considerations. The editors of this volume are committed to a closer bond between literacy learning and cultural competencies, particularly when literacy practices and education are often characterized by quantifiable standards and accountability restraints. Readers of this volume will find meaningful and practical approaches to engage with learners from their earliest encounter with language(s), through adolescence and adulthood, and across ever-changing local and global communities.

Available through Information Age Publishing, Amazon and other sources.

https://www.amazon.com/Inquiries-Literacy-Learning-Cultural-Competencies/dp/1641132051/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522848954&sr=8-2&keywords=Tonya+Huber

 

A Cultural Necessity: The APA’s New Multicultural Guidelines

SOURCE: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/unpacking-race/201712/cultural-necessity-the-apas-new-multicultural-guidelines

 

In 2002, in response to the need for the profession of psychology to integrate awareness, knowledge, and skills of the cultural dynamics that present themselves in a person’s mental health, the American Psychological Association developed Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change. These were part of a 22-year endeavor to help our profession reflect knowledge and skills needed in the midst of “dramatic, historic sociopolitical changes in U.S. society,” as well the increasingly diverse range of clients entering therapy.

The initial guidelines were largely influenced by the work of Derald Wing Sue, Thomas Parham, and Allen Ivey. The Task Force, a committed group of scholars affiliated with APA Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) and Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity and Race), represented the writing team for the monumental document. These included Ivey, Nadya Fouad, Patricia Arredondo, and Michael D’Andrea.

Women's March
Source: Women’s March

In 2017, the APA’s Monitor on Psychology explores how the organization’s Council of Representatives have adopted an updated and improved set of ethical guidelines “Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality,” which set to help psychologists understand and apply knowledge related to a person’s cultural identities and background.

The current Task Force Members Caroline S. Clauss-Ehlers of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, David A. Chiriboga of the University of South Florida, Scott J. Hunter of the University of Chicago, Gargi Roysircar Sodowsky of Antioch University New England and Pratyusha Tummala-Narra of Boston College developed the new guidelines, which have jumped from six to ten and are listed below:

Guideline 1. Psychologists seek to recognize and understand that identity and self-definition are fluid and complex and that the interaction between the two is dynamic. To this end, psychologists appreciate that intersectionality is shaped by the multiplicity of the individual’s social contexts.

Guideline 2. Psychologists aspire to recognize and understand that as cultural beings, they hold attitudes and beliefs that can influence their perceptions of and interactions with others as well as their clinical and empirical conceptualizations. As such, psychologists strive to move beyond conceptualizations rooted in categorical assumptions, biases, and/or formulations based on limited knowledge about individuals and communities.

Guideline 4. Psychologists endeavor to be aware of the role of the social and physical environment in the lives of clients, students, research participants, and/or consultees.

Guideline 5. Psychologists aspire to recognize and understand historical and contemporary experiences with power, privilege, and oppression. As such, they seek to address institutional barriers and related inequities, disproportionalities, and disparities of law enforcement, administration of criminal justice, educational, mental health, and other systems as they seek to promote justice, human rights, and access to quality and equitable mental and behavioral health services.

Guideline 6. Psychologists seek to promote culturally adaptive interventions and advocacy within and across systems, including prevention, early intervention, and recovery.

Guideline 7. Psychologists endeavor to examine the profession’s assumptions and practices within an international context, whether domestically or internationally based, and consider how this globalization has an impact on the psychologist’s self-definition, purpose, role, and function.

Guideline 8. Psychologists seek awareness and understanding of how developmental stages and life transitions intersect with the larger biosociocultural context, how identity evolves as a function of such intersections, and how these different socialization and maturation experiences influence worldview and identity.

Guideline 10. Psychologists actively strive to take a strength-based approach when working with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations that seeks to build resilience and decrease trauma within the sociocultural context.

For more information on the American Psychological’s Association’s Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality, visit APA.org.

References

American Psychological Association. 2017. Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/about/policy/multicultural-guidelines.pdf

Multicultural Awareness Boosts Teaching Competency, But Is an Uneven Resource Among Future Teachers

Source: http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2017/december/multicultural-awareness-boosts-teaching-competency–but-is-an-un.html

Prior Experience Working with Youth of Color Linked to More Multicultural Awareness

 

Student teachers with more multicultural awareness foster more positive classroom environments for their students, finds a new study by NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and published in the Journal of Teacher Education.

However, multicultural awareness varies considerably among future teachers based on their own race or ethnicity and prior experience working with youth of color.

Multicultural awareness – which refers to an awareness of, comfort with, and sensitivity toward issues of cultural diversity in the classroom – is crucial to teachers’ abilities to promote positive outcomes for all students. Despite decades of policy reforms that emphasize the importance of multicultural awareness, few comparative studies have examined its prevalence in students preparing to be teachers (also known as preservice teachers) or the link between multicultural awareness and future teachers’ measured competencies.

“In light of the persistent demographic divide between a predominantly White teaching force and evermore racially and ethnically diverse schools, current and future educators’ abilities to create inclusive classroom environments are critical for fostering student success,” said Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, assistant professor of international education at NYU Steinhardt and the study’s lead author.

In this study, the researchers used unique data of preservice teachers’ beliefs and student teacher performance assessments to ask whether levels of multicultural awareness vary by characteristics such as race and ethnicity, education, and prior experience working with diverse youth, as well as whether multicultural awareness shapes teaching competency.

Surveys on multicultural beliefs were collected from 2,473 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in teacher certification programs at a private U.S. university between 2010 and 2015. About 60 percent of the students surveyed (1,498) were also observed and evaluated by master teachers while student teaching.

The researchers found that multicultural beliefs are tied to student teachers’ ability to create strong and nurturing classroom environments, measured during student teaching observations by master teachers.

“Our study underscores the importance of equipping all teachers with essential multicultural knowledge, skills, and dispositions,” added Cherng.

The researchers also found that Black and Latino preservice teachers report greater multicultural awareness than their White counterparts. Asian American preservice teachers report having the least multicultural awareness.

“These differences are consistent with prior research that finds that Black and Latino teachers, drawing upon their own identities and experiences as racial minorities, are often more aware of and sensitive toward cultural differences,” said Cherng. “What is less clear is why Asian Americans report having lower levels of multicultural awareness. It is possible that Asian American student teachers believe that multicultural education, like other discourses on race that make little mention of Asian Americans, does not include or embrace their identities.”

Preservice teachers, particularly Latinos and Asian Americans, who had prior experience working with students of color had higher levels of multicultural awareness.

“This finding suggests that educators may develop a stronger racial consciousness through working with youth of color,” Cherng said.

Preservice teachers in different content area and grade-level programs reported different levels of multicultural awareness. For example, compared to future teachers in early childhood programs, those in math, science, and social studies programs had lower levels of multicultural awareness.

The researchers urge that their findings be used to inform teacher education policy and meaningfully focus both curriculum and instruction on preservice teachers that would benefit most from multicultural awareness.

The study can also inform teacher recruitment efforts. For example, since they found that prior experience working with youth of color is linked with more multicultural awareness, recruitment efforts could focus on community organizations that serve diverse youth.

“Through a deeper understanding of the relationships between preservice teachers’ background characteristics, multicultural beliefs, and evolving teaching competencies, our study contributes to our understanding of preparing teachers for diverse classrooms and prompts further investigation into developing cultural competence in teaching,” said Cherng.

Laura Davis of New York University coauthored the study with Cherng.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (@nyusteinhardt)
Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media, and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School’s mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.