Section 1: The Issue of Concern
Can Culturally Competent Curriculum
Affect Students’ Perceived Self-Efficacy?
According to Jack O'Connell (cited in Mangaliman, 2007), California state superintendent of public instruction and based on the 2007 Standardized Testing and Reporting program (STAR), Santa Clara County has the best overall rating in the state with regard to standardized test scores. Though this may be true, African American and Latina/o students within this county remain at the lower end with only 30 percent of African American students scoring at proficient or above compared to 38 percent of disadvantaged White students scoring proficient and above. Even when African American students are not economically disadvantaged, they score below disadvantaged/poor White students (Mangaliman, 2007). Gay (2002) acknowledged that the disparity of underperformance from underserved students is not due to the student alone, but instead stems from the teachers’ teaching style and the subtle prejudices expressed within these particular teacher-student relationships. This is elucidated by Murrell (2006) who noted, in schools where Caucasian teachers are teaching students of color, there should be building-level inquiry into institutional racism in order to enhance teacher-student relationships (p. 88). This is something being done at the college in which I work, but because there seems to be no mandate for faculty to attend professional development workshops, there is no guarantee we will capture the faculty who unquestionably need to gain skills in working with students from different cultures. Institutional racism is the systematic oppression of others. It is the way in which access comes to be denied to certain groups such that if one would like to attend an institution of higher education, a private club, a particular career setting, they are systematically kept out. Institutional racism is often covert and works to keep certain groups from being...
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