Like any other curriculum, multicultural curriculum should
be taught with high academic expectations
Regardless of what students currently achieve,
instructors should ask what students could achieve with
Expectations should remain high and consistent
regardless of students’ race and social class
Research finds that teachers usually assume White and
Asian students are more “teachable” than Black and Latino
students. The same is true for middle vs. lower class.
The expectations teachers have for their students
influence what teachers are willing to implement in the
classroom, the degree of encouragement that they
offer, and the classroom culture that they create
Teachers who hold high expectations for students
recognize challenges that students and families may
face, but they do not believe that challenges inhibit
These teachers choose to focus on student assets rather than
How do we hold all students to high
Curriculum planning must look beyond students’ current
abilities and encourage potential in all students
Do not become fixated on the closing the achievement
Focusing too much on the achievement gap assumes that the
achievements of native English speakers are the goals for
every student, which is actually a mediocre goal in
comparison to world-wide student achievement.
Eliminate lower-level courses
When lower achieving students are in higher level classes,
they are less bored and often rise to the occasion and
demands of more interesting curricula.
Second grade classroom
19 students, all of Mexican background
Taught in Spanish for at least half of the day
Adapted curriculum to encourage student creativity
Based on her own experiences as a student, she
introduced students to technology through Microsoft
Students produced published pieces of writing including
biographies, autobiographies, research, fiction, and
Planning an intellectually challenging
Identifies six levels of thinking
To use Bloom’s Taxonomy in creating curriculum, instructors
should ask themselves:
How does the unit as you have planned it so far address the six
levels of Bloom’s taxonomy?
How do the standards you are using address the levels of Bloom’s
How does the textbook address Bloom’s taxonomy?
If your students were to be prepared for college, what should
they be learning to do that is not yet part of this unit?
Every unit a teacher designs and uses should incorporate at
least five of the six levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.
Combined 4th/5th grade class
Very diverse, low-income student population, with one-third
of the school as ELL students
Discovered that ELL students would mimic words and facts
but did not comprehend
Developed solar system unit based on cultural connections
that her students could make while applying college level
Students worked from a syllabus, created reports with Word and
Power Point, took notes on mini lectures, and gave formal
These efforts help to “demystify” college for students and allow them
to see college as a viable option and part of their future.
Using Enabling Strategies in the
Teachers who build temporary support systems encourage
students to think more complexly
Enabling strategies include modeling and scaffolding
Modeling shows students how to do something while talking them
through the thought process.
Scaffolding bridges current knowledge with potential by
providing academic supports (in four stages) as students learn
Stage 1 – retrieve what students already know (discussions, KWL
Stage 2 – teacher models desired results (writing sample, etc.)
Stage 3 – teacher constructs texts with students (first verbally then
Stage 4 – students write independently
Hierarchical vs. Developmentalist
Viewing knowledge hierarchically assumes that ELL students must
Learn the English Language in order to master higher level content
Learn the mainstream culture
Teachers who believe in building knowledge hierarchically drill
students on the “basics”
Basic drills are boring, and this turns some students off from learning
before they get to more interesting parts.
A teacher with developmentalist approach focuses more on the
process of learning
These teachers are more likely to individualize instruction.
Students working meaningfully with the content is more important than
Teachers and Students as an
Teachers who build relationships with their students
provide modeling and meaningful learning
Think of classrooms as “intellectual spaces”
Teachers are the “practicing intellectuals apprenticing
young people in a complex world of academic work.”
Young people receive guidance, assistance, and
Apprenticeship allows young people to see themselves
as successful beings in the future.