EDF 3251 Miami Dade College Article Evaluation Essay


Article Evaluation
After critically reading the attached article, you will be required to answer a series of questions.  
What do we mean by “read critically”?  Critical reading means more than just skimming the subheadings of a textbook chapter or highlighting the occasional phrase.  Critical reading means taking the time to think carefully about what is being said in a text.  It involves identifying key features in the reading, such as the author’s argument and the evidence being used to support it.  It means not taking for granted that whatever you are reading is objective or absolute fact, but analyzing and evaluating the credibility of the text using a set of criteria. 
Once you have read the article,
answer the following five questions: 
What is the main topic of the article?  (5 points)
What is the issue being discussed? (5 points)

What position (argument) does the author make? (10 points)
What evidence does the author put forward? (10 points)
How convincing is this evidence (quality of evidence, inclusion/discussion of counter-arguments, glaring omissions)? (10 points)Culturally Responsive
Classroom Management
October 2008
Metropolitan Center for Urban Education
726 Broadway, 5th Floor | New York, NY 10003-6680
212 998 5100 | fax 212 995 4199 | www.steinhardt.nyu.edu/metrocenter
What is Classroom
“Classroom management refers to those
activities of classroom teachers that create a
positive classroom climate within which
effective teaching and learning can occur”
(Martin & Sugarman, p.9, 1993). Research on
student-directed management approach,
which is rooted in the belief that students
have the primary responsibility for controlling
their behavior and are capable of controlling
their behavior, identify teachers adopting the
following classroom management concepts:
student ownership, student choice,
community, conflict resolution, natural
consequences, and restitution (Levin, 2000).
These concepts are operationalized in the
routines of how students enter the classroom,
what students are tasked to do upon entering
a classroom (e.g., “do now”), how desks and
tables are arranged (i.e., cooperative groups
versus rows), and the ways in which learning
is shared via communication between
students. Research over the past 30 years
indicates these rituals and routines as
cornerstones of classroom management are
critical to effective teaching and learning. In a
poorly managed classroom, teachers struggle
to teach and students usually learn less than
they should, and there are abundance of
discipline issues (Martin & Sugarman, 1993;
Rose & Gallup, 2004) while a well-managed
classroom provides an environment in which
teaching and learning can flourish (Marzano,
et. al., 2003).
Classroom Management and
Instituting classroom management principles
has implications for the learning progress of
all children, especially low-performing, poor,
special education, and racial/ethnic minority
children (Saphier and Gower, 1997). Cultural
competence of simply soley middle-class,
White students can exacerbate the difficulties
that teachers may have with classroom
management. Definitions and expectations of
appropriate behavior are culturally influenced,
and conflicts are likely to occur when teachers
and students come from different cultural
backgrounds (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke
and Curran, 2004). Misreading behaviors or
communication patterns of culturally and
linguistically diverse students (i.e., White,
Black, Latino, Asian, Native American) can
lead teachers who are unprepared to meet
the educational needs of these students to
see them as having a disability and request a
referral to special education (Voltz, Brazil and
Scott, 2003). The combination of interpreting
behaviors through singular cultural lens and
instructional quality contributes to
disproportionality in special education and
discipline (Harry and Klingner, 2006; Klingner,
Artiles, et. al., 2005). Therefore, classroom
management becomes an important tool in
the arsenal of reducing and preventing
Culturally Responsive
Classroom Management
Culturally Responsive Classroom
Management (CRCM) is an approach to
running classrooms with all children, [not
simply for racial/ethnic minority children] in a
culturally responsive way. More than a set of
strategies or practices, CRCM is a
pedagogical approach that guides the
management decisions that teachers make.
It is a natural extension of culturally
responsive teaching which uses students’
backgrounds, rendering of social experiences,
prior knowledge, and learning styles in daily
lessons. Teachers, as culturally responsive
classroom managers, recognize their biases
and values and reflect on how these influence
their expectations for behavior and their
interactions with students as well as what
learning looks like. They recognize that the
goal of classroom management is not to
achieve compliance or control but to provide
all students with equitable opportunities for
learning and they understand that CRCM is
“classroom management in the service of
This brief was developed by the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education under contract with the New York State Education Department,2contract
| P a #007052.
Authorization for reproduction is hereby granted to the system of public and state-approved private schools, institutions of higher education, and programs
funded by the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) of the New York State Education Department.
social justice” (Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke
and Curran 2004, p.27).
1. Recognition of One’s Own Cultural
Lens and Biases
There is extensive research on traditional
classroom management and a myriad of
resources available on how to deal with
behavior issues. Conversely, there is little
research on CRCM, despite the fact that
teachers who lack cultural competence often
experience problems in this area.
Management texts may give some attention
to students who are culturally different,
sometimes in a separate chapter on students
with special needs (Weinstein, TomlinsonClarke, Curran, 2004). Even the literature on
culturally responsive or culturally sensitive
pedagogy, which is fairly extensive, focuses
primarily on curriculum content and teaching
strategies, but doesn’t really focus on the
issue of management.
A helpful step for all teachers is to explore
and reflect upon where their assumptions,
attitudes and biases come from and to
understand that how they view the world can
lead them to misinterpretation of behaviors
and inequitable treatment of culturally
different students (Weinstein, TomlinsonClarke, Curran, 2004). This situation may
cause a teacher to request a referral to
special education when there is no disability.
There are several things teachers can do to
explore belief systems:
Essential Elements of CRCM
Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke and Curran
(2004) developed a five-part concept of
CRCM derived from the literature on culturally
responsible pedagogy, multicultural
counseling and caring: recognition of one’s
own cultural lens and biases, knowledge of
students’ cultural backgrounds, awareness of
the broader social, economic and political
context, ability and willingness to use
culturally appropriate management strategies,
and commitment to building caring classroom
communities. In turn, the goal of classroom
management is to create an environment in
which students behave appropriately from a
sense of personal responsibility, not from a
fear of punishment or desire for a reward. As
such the environment must acknowledge and
be responsive to who are the students
(cognitively, socially and emotionally), and
create a safety net that equitably responds to
what teachers know about their students.
Read and discuss Peggy McIntosh’s
(1988) work on white privilege and
male privilege.
Write a personal “identity story” to
explore how their identities have been
socially constructed and how they fit
into a multicultural world (Noel, 2000).
See where they fit on the Cultural
Proficiency Receptivity Scale (Lindsey,
Roberts, Campbell-Jones, 2005), a
tool designed for self-reflection that
will also enable teachers to examine
the policies and practices of their
2. Knowledge of Students’ Cultural
In addition to becoming aware of biases, in
order to develop skills for cross cultural
interaction, teachers need to become
knowledgeable of students’ cultural
backgrounds (Sheets and Gay, 1996).
Gaining general knowledge about a cultural or
ethnic group can give teachers a sense of
views about behavior, rules of decorum and
etiquette, communication and learning styles;
however, you need to be careful not to form
stereotypes. This knowledge can act as a
firewall against inappropriate referral to
special education. Some things teachers
might consider:
Form study groups to read culturally
responsive literature that reflects the
identities of the students in their
Work with their students to develop
family history projects in which
students explore their cultural
backgrounds and share them with the
Conduct home visits and consult with
parents and community members to
gain insight. Some areas teachers
can explore include: family
background and structure, education,
interpersonal relationship styles,
discipline, time and space, religion,
food, health and hygiene, history,
traditions and holidays (Weinstein,
Tomlinson-Clarke, Curran, 2004).
3. Awareness of the Broader, Social,
Economic and Political Context
Many authors have written about the need to
address social issues such as racial inequality
and poverty if conditions in urban schools are
to significantly improve (Nieto, 2003;
Noguera, 2003). The educational system
reflects and often perpetuates discriminatory
practices of the larger society (Weinstein,
Tomlinson-Clarke, Curran, 2004), and is
helpful for teachers to be aware. With regard
to classroom management, teachers need to
examine how current policies and practices in
discipline might discriminate against certain
children. For example, children of color
sometimes are seen as “disrespectful” when
they are not being disrespectful at all in their
culture (Black, 2006). This misjudgment can
label a student a behavior problem and
eventually lead to a request for a special
education referral. Teachers can engage
each other and their students in
conversations about real issues that touch
their lives. They might:
Form a study circle to examine
structures and policies and whether
they are fair to everyone. They can
look at what they see as inappropriate
student behavior and discuss if they
actually are incidents of student
resistance to what they see as an
unfair system (Weinstein, TomlinsonClarke, Curran, 2004; Kohl, 1994).
Create a “critical/social justice
classroom” grounded in the lives of
children that involves dialogue,
questioning/problem-posing, critiquing
bias and attitudes and teaching
activism for social justice (Peterson,
1994). For example, teachers may
engage students in a discussion of
school or classroom rules.
4. Ability and Willingness to Use
Culturally Appropriate Management
The next step along this path is to reflect on
the ways that classroom management
practices promote or obstruct equal access to
learning. These practices include creating a
physical setting that supports academic and
social goals, establishing and maintaining
expectations for behavior, and working with
families (Weinstein, Curran, TomlinsonClarke, 2003). Culturally responsive
classroom managers filter their decision
making about the environment through the
lens of cultural diversity. They think about
ways the environment can be used to
communicate respect for diversity, to reaffirm
connectedness and community, and to avoid
marginalizing and disparaging students.
Some tools and strategies for organizing the
physical environment may include:
World maps that highlight students’
countries of origin.
Signs or banners can welcome
students in the different languages
they speak.
Posters can depict people of various
cultural groups (although care must be
taken to avoid stereotypical
Children’s individual photographs can
be mounted on poster board and then
used to create a jigsaw puzzle,
reinforcing the idea that everyone
comes together to form a whole.
Display books that promote themes of
diversity, tolerance and community.
Desks arranged in clusters allow
students to work together on activities,
share materials, have small-group
discussions, and help each other with
Set up a “kindness box” where
students can drop brief notes about
acts of kindness they do or witness
and periodically read one
It is important to establish clear expectations
for behavior that students understand
(Weiner, 2003). To avoid the possibility of
confusion or misunderstanding (that can lead
to disciplinary interventions) teachers need to:
Be explicit about their expectations.
Engage students in discussions about
the class norms.
Model the behavior they expect
Provide opportunities for students to
Be aware of inconsistency in
application of consequences.
Communicating and collaborating with
families is an important, but challenging part
of classroom management. When teachers
and families come from different cultural
backgrounds the challenges are even greater
(Weinstein, 2003). Things for teachers to
keep in mind:
Some families don’t see direct
involvement in schooling as part of
their responsibility, although they are
committed to their children’s
Teachers and parents may have
different expectations about what
constitutes appropriate school
Assume that all parents care about
their children and have something to
offer. Encourage families to provide
insight that will help teachers teach
Be sensitive to cultural differences in
communication styles with parents and
5. Commitment to Building Caring
Classroom Communities
Students often make decisions of what they
do in class based on their perception of
whether or not the teacher cares about them
(Weinstein, Tomlinson-Clarke and Curran,
2004). Students are more likely to succeed if
they feel connected to school and a positive,
respectful relationship with teachers helps
create such an environment. Poor classroom
management threatens school
connectedness because a poorly managed
classroom cannot provide a stable
environment for respectful and meaningful
student learning (Blum, 2005.) Marzano
(2003) concluded that good teacher-student
relationships are important to effective
classroom management and there is much
research to support the belief that good
student-teacher relationships enhance
learning (Rodriguez, 2005; Tomlinson and
Doubet, 2005; Brown, 2003). For example,
Rodriguez (2005) describes his
experience as a math teacher in an
alternate, urban high school where
many of the students brought with
them a history of bad experiences with
teachers. One way he promoted good
relationships was to respect the
perspectives of his students. At the
end of each class he asked students
to critique his teaching in their math
journals by providing a guiding
question, such as “How did I do as a
teacher today?”
Brown (2003) examined the culturally
responsive classroom management
strategies of a group of urban teachers
who developed caring learning
communities. Some of the things they
did were to initiate and cultivate out-ofclass conversations with students to
get to know them personally; spend
the first few weeks of school engaging
students in social games and
establishing school-to-home
Weinstein, et. al., (2004) suggest
teachers set the tone by greeting
students at the door with a smile and a
welcoming comment; expressing
admiration for a student’s bilingual
ability and commenting
enthusiastically about the number of
different languages represented in
class and beginning each day with a
morning meeting where students greet
one another by name and discuss
upcoming lessons.
Marzano (2003) wrote that “virtually
anything you do to show interest in
students as individuals has a positive
impact on their learning” and makes
several suggestions, including:
greeting students outside of school,
such as at extracurricular events or at
stores; singling out a few students
each day in the lunchroom and talking
to them; being aware of and
commenting on important events in
students’ lives, such as participation in
sports, drama, or other extracurricular
The Potential of Positive Behavior
Supports (PBS) as a CRCM Approach
We have focused primarily on how teachers
can become more culturally responsive
classroom managers but this work is also
imperative in the school context. Schools
across the country increasingly are adopting
the system of school-wide positive behavior
support, an approach designed to prevent
inappropriate behavior and teach appropriate
behavior systematically. Positive behavior
support offers a method for identifying the
environmental events, circumstances and
interactions that trigger problem behavior,
developing strategy prevention and teaching
new skills. The plan includes all students and
staff, including teachers, administrators,
cafeteria workers, bus drivers and custodians
and is applied consistently throughout the
school – classrooms, hallways, cafeterias,
bathrooms, playgrounds and the school bus.
There is data pointing to the success of PBS
overall, and the research has evolved to show
it can be designed to be culturally responsive
(Duda & Utley 2004). The PBS approach
emphasizes the use of culturally appropriate
interventions which consider the unique and
individual learning histories of the individuals
involved in the PBS process and approach –
the children, families, teachers, and
community people (Sugai et. al., 2000).
Noting there are concerns about PBS
because of who is making the decisions about
what are appropriate and inappropriate
interventions, Klingner and Artiles, et. al.,
(2005) see potential in PBS when approached
from a multicultural perspective. They believe
that school-wide PBS interventions should be
proactive and promote a positive, culturally
responsive climate that is conducive to
learning by all, similar to the approaches
needed for a culturally responsive classroom.
Teachers, administrators, and support staff
Understand that perceptions of
behavioral appropriateness are
influenced by cultural expectations. In
other words what is perceived as
inappropriate varies across cultures,
and that behaviors occur within larger
social and cultural contexts.
Connect with students in ways that
convey respect and caring.
Explicitly teach rules and expected
behaviors within a culture of care.
Provide a continuum of support.
Involve families and the community in
positive, mutually supportive ways.
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