Cultural Competence in the Classroom

Cultural Competence in the Classroom

EDU692: Creativity Culture and Global Contexts in Education Decision Making

In watching this video Nick should have been allowed to explore and have the use of computers while at school. Nick would have put value in his learning and education if he had something that was motivating to him and challenging to him. Using computers or something such as coding in school might have kept Nick from dropping out of school. Nick like many young teens wonder what school is really about. They ask questions like: how can I apply this to real life situations? When they don’t get the answer they decide it isn’t worth the effort anymore and drop out. When Nick was just beginning high school he could have been involved in the building a yearbook online, or helping with the school website or anything that would have allowed him to pursue his interest in computers. The fact that Nick and others that had been labeled emotionally disturbed and wasn’t allowed to partake in the real and the true high school experience says a lot about a school that only labeled students instead of working with them culturally and emotionally.

Nick could have also taught them how smart he really was by coding in 12 languages, writing music, and he learned about internet security and 3-d modeling. This is what the school needed to keep students like Nick and others from dropping out and learning about 21st century skills that will make them productive citizens. Nicks talents were wasted because no teacher or the faculty wanted to learn about Nick the student instead they wanted to teach and test students on bubble sheets and standardized testing. Making school relevant for him personally Nick probably wouldn’t have dropped out.

Next I will discuss one of the 4C skills needed in the 21st Century skills that is missing in today’s classroom environment. In today’s 21st Century Skills the skills needed today by far for Nick’s current position as a programmer would most likely be creativity and innovation. Nick has the ability to be creative and is one that makes new technology exist for 21st Century skills. His creativity allows him to dream and to learn about rules and logic behind each coding, game or app he produces. Nick’s creativity is giving him the capability of conceiving something original or unusual that only he see in his mind. Nicks creativity also showed how much he could elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts by himself or with a team ( His creativity and innovation has allowed him to implementation something new such as coding over 12 languages, and learning about internet security and 3-d modeling. This takes a lot of creativity and innovation to do this and this is what is missing in schools.

A lot of schools are stifling students creativity and innovations by having them repeating and learning the same old school teaching, testing by standardized testing and using bubble sheets. Most students are technology gifted that using the old traditional way of teaching is making them hate school, or daydream while in school which in turn makes most students drop out because they feel the teachers are not teaching them or understanding them nor trying to reach out to them to help them, especially students that are from different culture other than American.

Today there are some 21st Century Skills that are being represented in classrooms that are in direct relationship to cultural competencies needed in order for students to be successful and they are: Digital-age literacy, which includes various competencies expected in a 21st century workplace such as innovation, imagination, creativity, communication, and emotional intelligence. Inventive thinking which includes the ability for students to think outside the box, Effective communication which gives students the ability to clearly communicate with their peers and others. Teachers and staff at schools can ensure that all students are welcomed and feel as though their culture is being represented in the school by having Maps of homes their students may be from, Artifacts from other cultures, languages posted in English and the native language of the students, students work posted throughout the classroom, books in other languages and cultures and the school should show as much diversity through their multicultural bulletin boards and plays.

It is always good when students acquire a greater understanding of learning and innovation skills through culturally relevant learning opportunities teachers and students must make sure that we find a variety of ways to bring students families and communities into our schools and classrooms. Teachers could ask parents to come in to class and discuss their cultures, share food that their culture eats, how their cultures live as a family, how the dress, and share their language with the class. It is not only up to the teachers, but parents must be willing to share as well. We can get a lot of information from Goggle, but it is always better to receive the information first hand from the people that are living in that culture. Teachers need to continually develop attitudes that will enable them to work effectively with students whose culture, gender, social status, ability, and language are different from their own. It is also up to each teacher to listen to student’s ideas as well as their thoughts and encourage their input in a way that will not appear to be nonjudgmental to the students. Students know when a teacher is being judgmental are cynical of them. It’s imperative that we use awareness of our own culture as well as the student’s culture not to be judgmental but more understanding. This can be done by teachers stepping out of their comfort zone and see how other cultures live, work, eat, worship, raise their children, and engage in important rituals of life, such as christenings, coming-of-age ceremonies, weddings and burials (Wardle, 2013).” This enables teachers to appreciate the culture of their students and their students’ families while also helping teachers to enjoy and embrace human differences in all its richness Just as Wardle stated in chapter 4, “It is up to the teachers to actively show students ways to bridge community, family, and school values and cultures (Wardle, Chp 4.3, 2013).”

When we talk about reinventing the classroom we first need to make sure that we are maximizing every angle of a student’s academic success in the classroom by shifting away from grouping children in groups, stop lecturing and incorporating 21st Century skills in the classroom such as critical thinking skill, creative thinking skills, collaboration, communication, curiosity, and risk-taking. As it was stated in the video the reason why kids drop out of school is because school was irrelevant to their life, the teachers didn’t respect them. Parents, teachers, and school staff need to change their mindset and make school more interesting for students and stop wanting not to change their way of teaching. 21st Century skills are here to stay and we are moving forward daily and some teachers are still in the traditional mindset of teaching which is not helping students. In conclusion students need to learn skills that will help them succeed in real the world marketplace; they need to be learning about politics, economics, education, coding, and probability which will go a long way in life. The best quote that stood out to me when he was talking was “Never let your schooling interfere with your education by Mark Twain. The purpose of education is to create citizens that are active in our democracy that can think, a problem solver, a person who is skeptical about the world and one who will question everything (TEDXYouth, 2012).”


TEDxYouth. (2012, October 16). Why kids hate school?: Nikhil Goyal at TEDxYouth@BFS

[Video file]. Retrieved from

Wardle, F. (2013). Human relationships and learning in the multicultural environment. San

Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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