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This paper explains that experts in education talk about "cultural competence" or the need for teachers to understand the cultures their own culture and the culture from which their students come especially because the student population is becoming more and more culturally varied and the number of teachers not from the majority culture (American of European descent) is decreasing. The paper stresses that commonly grouping students together, such as Hispanic or Native American, suggesting they have more similarities than they really do, can lead to stereotyping and problems in the classroom. The paper explains that differences between the dominant culture and subcultures can extend beyond grade school into college such as the problem of timelessness among some Native American cultures, which is in conflict with the concept of "cause and effect" in Western (European-influenced) thought.
From the Paper:"For instance, we talk about "Hispanics," but often we do so without thinking about who these "Hispanics" are. People classified as Hispanic have lived within the present day borders of the United States for centuries. While many think of Hispanics as recent immigrants from Mexico, some have been here for generations. People classified as Hispanic have also come here from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain, and many countries in Central and South America. It is not a homogenous group, so as a classroom teacher it will not be enough to know that a child is "Hispanic". That won't tell me much more about the child than the fact that another child might have red, curly hair."
Cite this Essay:
Culturally Competent (2006, October 19) Retrieved December 05, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/essay/culturally-competent-74680/
"Culturally Competent" 19 October 2006. Web. 05 December. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/essay/culturally-competent-74680/>