To successfully decide on teaching methods that facilitates students' learning, a teacher must initially be familiar with the students, both as an individual and as a group (Burnette, 1999).These students will originate from varied backgrounds and may have different learning needs. A classroom may have students with different ethnic, cultural and religious beliefs, or may consist of immigrants who speak only their own native language. Some students may have a different sexual orientation; others may come from lower economic status, or have been raised by a single parent. Instances are also rampant when students have specific learning and physical disabilities that require special teaching provisions. At the beginning of the school year, it may prove beneficial for teachers to complete a student profile. Profile includes anecdotal records, questions that elicit helpful information regarding their individual backgrounds. Informal interviews may also help gain further information and build teacher-student rapport.
Promoting Human Relations with Emphasis on Respect and Dignity Because the classroom environment influences effective learning, a teacher must ensure that all students feel welcomed and accepted. In an open and friendly environment, rules must be firmly set against oppressive remarks and verbal abuse that are highly discriminatory. While teaching general values such as human respect and justice may be vague, setting positive examples and providing reinforcement to positive behaviors may be effective. The way teachers relate with the students impacts the students' confidence, outlook and their capacity to learn. However, some students may be misinterpreted by their teachers. A teacher's way of dealing with the students may be formed by certain ways of thinking. Often, teachers are oblivious that they treat their students with biases, according to religion, gender, or capabilities. Teachers need to evaluate, be aware of their own biases and make extra effort to avoid them from affecting their relationships with students. This creates an environment of trust and acceptance.
Designing a Multicultural Lesson Plan
Multicultural lesson plan is designed to develop students in an equal society- with consideration to the needs of all students (Opalek, 2006). It portrays how issues of ethnicity, culture, language, religion, gender, abilities and family history are interrelated with learning. Developing a lesson plan that incorporates a mixture of viewpoints not only allows teachers to talk about perspectives, opinions and facts that are not commonly referred to, but it also provides students a complete insight of the concept discussed. Examples from a selection of different cultural groups can be given to enhance learning. In teaching Geography, Social Studies, Science, History, Music, Arts and Literature- integrating concepts and activities that represent ideas, and discoveries of various people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds encourages students to cultivate their analytical judgment skills and develop self- perception.