I think it makes much more sense to treat all learners differently. I think of it as a parent. If I have 4 children it is my responsibility to address each child’s needs. You can raise all children in the same home and they will all 4 walk away with a different experience and interpretation of what went on. I see the classroom the same way. A relationship should be built from the beginning. This way the students know that everyone in the classroom has different needs and I will do my best to meet them all. There is no favoritism just fairness. This has to be explained and revisited throughout the school year. There is a definite overrepresentation of African Americans in special education. I think the contributing factors are their environment, some not all are coming from single parent households and the value of education has to be examined. I think it is a sad state of affairs. Children who misbehave are not necessarily behavior problems. I think the genetics are different from African Americans and their counterparts. The diet is different as is the influences around them. More needs to be done to stop this but it won’t be easy. To start with a culturally responsive classroom I think there should be some ground rules set. Different cultures should be explored and discussed as a class. That would be best practice. In addition there should be pictures that reflect diversity around the classroom. Behavior and motivation will follow suit if addressed early. I think the students will see how the teacher responds and in turn respond the same way.
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