We’re Two White Women, What Do We Know? A Resource Guide for the Advancement of Multicultural Education
Photo by Donald Tetto
by: Lisa Cook & Katie Peterson
Advisor: Alicia Moore
“Women and whites predominate the teacher force: 73% of all public school teachers are women, and 87% of those teaching in public schools are white” (Cooper 129). This majority of white teachers, however, is not teaching a solely white student body population. According to demographic trends, “36% of school age children are [people of color,] a figure that is expected to increase in the coming years” (Cooper 102). Research has shown that students exhibit higher achievement in academics when teaching is culturally responsive. As pre-service teachers and future multicultural educators, we recognize the need for educators to seek out experiences that will increase cultural knowledge, allowing teachers to better relate to students.
We have compiled a booklet of resources that current and future educators can use to discover how to learn about cultures other than their own. Interviews were conducted with people on the Southwestern campus and in Georgetown and Austin and their surrounding areas. We visited bookstores and libraries around the area and researched best practices in discovering information about cultures. The internet provided information about community groups, organizations and websites that will aid educators in learning about the cultures represented in their classroom. We attended events in and around the Georgetown/Austin area to learn about the many cultures that make up our community. In the booklet, the information presented is accompanied by pictures taken at various events, addresses and names of informative contacts, and a section on implementation of culturally responsive pedagogy.
This guidebook will provide educators with a starting off point from which to embark on their own journey of understanding various cultures, making the task less daunting. It should also leave readers feeling empowered and confident about their abilities to learn about cultures and how to implement their new knowledge in the classroom. Booklets have been donated to each of the following: the King Creativity Foundation, the Education Department at Southwestern, the Center for Professional Development and Technology at Tippit Middle School, and two for the presenters to take with them after leaving Southwestern to share with our future colleagues.