Parallels and Contrasts between Cultural and Civic Competence: Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century
The need for developing culturally as well as civically competent K-12 school teachers for an increasingly interdependent world demands comprehensive educational reform. Teacher educators in the United States continue to struggle with the implications of globalization on their methods of teaching national, cultural, and civic identity. How best to prepare teachers to embrace diversity and integrate a multicultural education approach in our pluralistic society is often debated. In this interactive workshop, we present the common goals we uncovered in preparing teachers to be both culturally competent and civically competent. We share successful teaching strategies and tested activities from years of involvement in teacher preparation programs and secondary classrooms where we designed and tested curricula in international and U.S. settings. Using a dialogical model (Freire, 1970) we discuss and compare strategies we have used and activities crafted specifically for developing cultural and civic competence (Banks, 2004; Diller & Moule, 2005; Gay, 2000, NWREL, 2005) while including reflective comments and evaluating their effectiveness in addressing a variety of domains. The following selected categories frame our discussion of the strategies: 1) exploring self-identity, 2) preparing for citizenship 3) developing other awareness, 4) examining overt and covert biases, 5) uncovering social injustice and educational inequity, and 6) dismantling concepts such as entitlement, white privilege and institutionalized racism. The results of our practices invite audience members to consider alternative approaches to pre-service teacher preparation.
Keywords: Multicultural Education, Cultural Competence, Civic Competence
Dr. Jioanna Carjuzaa
Associate Professor of Multicultural Education, Department of Education, Montana State University
Micki Sue Abercrombie
Doctoral Student, Department of Education, Montana State University