A tutor is ready to learn and understand the culture of other people once they have mastered their own cultural beliefs and values. Researchers have shown that even though cultures can be different, they still have similarities in thought patterns as well as community behaviors. A teacher needs to read a lot about the different cultural values and practices and spend a reasonable amount of time making observations about the various cultural standards and practices so that they will be of help to their learners in a culturally responsive classroom.
Teachers need to do extensive research and accumulate solid knowledge base about the various cultures from which learners are bred if they will be sensitive, helpful and relevant to his or her students in a culturally sensitive classroom. A teacher is expected to familiarize themselves with the traditions, cultural values, learning preferences, communication styles and relationship patterns of their learners as a good basis of being sensitive and helpful to their learners in a culturally sensitive classroom.
While it is possible to get a glimpse of some of the aspects of culture through reading,it is good to remember that it is only by interacting with the members of that society and observing their behaviors that a teacher can truly be said to have understood all the cultural aspects. However, you will find the cultural books to be of great value when you are preparing for class sessions, lesson plans, and learning materials. Understanding the cognitive patterns of various cultural groups from which the learners were raised helps the teacher to interpret their interpersonal attitudes and behaviors in the context of their cultural background. Any educator who teaches in a culturally responsive classroom is expected to fully understand the influence of the cultural background of their learners on how they grasp concepts in class and their attitudes and behaviors towards each other and the subjects being taught.
Stereotyping and over-generalization are some of the fears that some teachers have when they begin to apply the knowledge on culture to the culturally responsive classroom. In order to avoid stereotyping and over-generalization,it is important for the teacher to thoroughly examine the general cultural practices of the learners. A thorough examination and evaluation of the various key aspects of the culture enables the teacher to appreciate when these aspects are expressed positively or otherwise in the classroom scenario.
For teaching and learning to be smooth and effective in a culturally responsive classroom it is important for teachers to perceive each student’s attitudes and behaviors as an individualized and dynamic concept. In order to avoid the risk of stereotyping, an educator should look at the learner as an individual first before they can be identified with a homogenous group because a person’s culture is a sum total of many aspects and influences.