Cultural Tool Box

Developing cultural competence in the classroom in an ever-changing world.

What is Cultural Competence?

Cultural competence is a key factor in enabling educators to be effective with students from cultures other than their own. It is important for educators to be knowledgeable of the variety of cultures present in the classroom. Cultural competence exists when there is consistency between both parents and teachers. All children, no matter their race, color, gender, background, culture, or ethnicity, should be in classrooms settings that promote their own increase in cultural competence.

Using developmentally appropriate practices

Supporting cultural and linguistic diversity in early childhood

Early childhood is an exciting period if learning development. Preschool teachers draw on culture and background of students to design and implement activities. They also encourage home language maintenance and English language learning. Educators also create experiences by implementing carefully planned learning experiences, keeping the student's differences in mind.

Creating a learning environment

cultures of learning

Working towards cultural synergy in the classroom.

valuing diversity in the classroom

Intercultural learning

Teachers furthering their knowledge of the cultures around them as well as expending their cultural competence.

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Exchanges, twinning partnerships and common intercultural projects between schools and countries are at the core of the UNESCO Associated Schools network. They are tools to help teachers:

  • Deepen the knowledge, understanding of and respect for other cultures
  • Enable to learn more about their own culture, to deepen their cultural roots and to reaffirm their identity
  • Raise awareness of the need for international cooperation to tackle today’s global problems

diversity in the classroom

Incorporating cultural artifacts from each student's cultures into activities and centers in the classroom.

"Where in the world are you from?" activity
Incorperating cultural articfacts to dramatci play.
"All About ME" activity

Improving family connections

effective listening

Listening is one of the most important aspects of effective communication. Successful listening means not just understanding the words or the information being communicated, but also understanding how the speaker feels about what they’re communicating.

Effective listening can:

  • Make the speaker feel heard and understood, which can help build a stronger, deeper connection between you.
  • Create an environment where everyone feels safe to express ideas, opinions, and feelings, or plan and problem solve in creative ways.
  • Save time by helping clarify information, avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • Relieve negative emotions. When emotions are running high, if the speaker feels that he or she has been truly heard, it can help to calm them down, relieve negative feelings, and allow for real understanding or problem solving to begin

managing your prejudices

offering guidance to students and families in need

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By: Ivelises Calvo