To Value and Address Diversity: From Policy to Practice

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A basic assumption of Target 3 of the National Agenda is that the rates of identification, placement, and achievement of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance (SED) are strongly correlated with dimensions of diversity, such as race, gender, socioeconomic status, and culture. A related assumption is that culturally competent and linguistically appropriate exchanges and collaborations among families, professionals, students, and communities will enable our school systems to achieve better educational outcomes for all children, including those with SED. We discuss these assumptions in the context of current policies and suggest ways of translating these policies into practices.

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... Again, it is difficult to interpret the lower percentage of parental attendance at meetings for minority students in this study. Researchers have suggested that limited parental availability, fewer family resources, or cultural differences between school personnel and the families of minority students with SED may be contributing factors to limited parental involvement (Osher et al., 2002;Singh, Williams, and Spears;USDE, 2001 has become two of the seven targets of the National Agenda for Achieving Better ...
... The findings suggest that a culturally competent person is able to acknowledge, accept, and value the cultural differences of others. That is, such a person has the knowledge and skill that enable him or her to appreciate value and celebrate similarities and differences within, between, and among culturally diverse groups [29,30]. The 'LEARN' model emphasised more specific skills: Listen, Elicit, Assess, Recommend and Negotiate [22]. ...
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Cultural competency is now a core requirement for mental health professionals working with culturally diverse patient groups. Cultural competency training may improve the quality of mental health care for ethnic groups. A systematic review that included evaluated models of professional education or service delivery. Of 109 potential papers, only 9 included an evaluation of the model to improve the cultural competency practice and service delivery. All 9 studies were located in North America. Cultural competency included modification of clinical practice and organizational performance. Few studies published their teaching and learning methods. Only three studies used quantitative outcomes. One of these showed a change in attitudes and skills of staff following training. The cultural consultation model showed evidence of significant satisfaction by clinicians using the service. No studies investigated service user experiences and outcomes. There is limited evidence on the effectiveness of cultural competency training and service delivery. Further work is required to evaluate improvement in service users' experiences and outcomes.
Despite the politics on social integration and mainstream in general education, a substantial proportion of children with behaviour problems are placed in special classes. In order to identify potential determinants of the educational placement, this study examined the characteristics of a sample of 300 elementary school students with behaviour problems. Twenty-six percent of these students attended special classes. The measures included the nature and severity of the behaviour problems, cognitive abilities, and social and academic competency. The results suggested that few characteristics were related to educational placement. These results question the rationale of placement in special classes and highlight the necessity for a better assessment of children needs.
On 10 November 2004, a few days before Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, the rural town of Ranpur in Orissa is taken over by women. The mundane main street comes alive with a riot of colors as more than 1,500 women attired in saris of different hues and shades march through. Women from about 200 villages rally for their long-standing demand of a government purchase center (known as phadies) for the collection of kendu leaves from the women collectors.1 Many of them have walked several miles to come here. With babies on their hips and placards in their hands, they enthusiastically chant slogans and march through the street. Such large gatherings are rare, except when political parties herd people in trucks for rallies. A policeman comments, "How the hell did you get so many women [here]? On 9 March 2005, women from Ranpur are staging a sit-in demonstration (dharna) in front of the State Legislative Assembly in Bhubaneswar. Their demand for kendu leaf phadies has now brought them to the capital city. For ten days, nineteen women face strong sun and frequent rains in their make-shift camp. For some of them, this is the first time that they have stepped outside their local community, but they are learning fast how to be political actors in newly discovered spaces. In June 2005, in a village in Ranpur, I am interviewing a woman leader who participated in the dharna in Bhubaneswar. I ask her why women do not participate in forest management meetings in her village. She says, "How can we? We are not invited." She contrasts her experience in the capital city with that in her own village, "In a place that is strange to us, we have voiced our concerns. This is our home, our own place, and our own people. Can we not speak here?" I prod, "So, why don't you?" She retorts, "How can I? If I do, they [the men] will say this woman has become very outspoken." These three ethnographic moments partially represent women's organizing, action, and inaction at different spatial scales in the forested landscapes of Orissa and frame the discussion in this chapter. I use a case of women's organizing for forest-based livelihoods to illustrate how women are sometimes able to use democratic spaces at higher spatial scales to overcome constraints to their participation at the local level. In forested landscapes of developing countries and subsistence economies, rural women depend critically on forest resources but tend to be excluded from their governance and decision-making (Agarwal 1997; Colfer 2004). As a result, the special ecological knowledge that women have from their lived practices and interaction with local forests remains poorly deployed in forest management. Despite recent shifts toward decentralized community-based forest governance arrangements (Agrawal et al. 2008), women's marginalization in forest decision-making continues (Agarwal 2001; Sarin et al. 2003; Colfer 2004). The idea that local communities can be good stewards of local resources derives traction from idealized notions of communities as homogeneous units characterized by stability and harmony (Guijt and Shah 1998); hence unequal local power relations and structural constraints to equity tend to be downplayed (Mohan and Stokke 2000). Even though the essentialization of notions of community and participation has come under scrutiny (Brosius et al. 1998; Agrawal and Gibson 1999; Cooke and Kothari 2001; Flint et al. 2008), the problem of social exclusion and elite dominance persists due to the difficulty of transforming strongly entrenched power relations (Colfer 2004). In the Indian state of Orissa, several thousand villages are protecting state-owned forests through community-based arrangements. In contrast to the state-led devolution through Joint Forest Management, these community forestry initiatives represent democratic assertion from below, through which citizens assert greater control over decisions that affect their lives. At one level, they further democracy by seeking to alter state-citizen relations and interactions in the realm of forest governance. But at another level, they are rooted in traditional local institutions within which certain groups of people, particularly women, dalits, and adivasis,2 are marginalized. But these traditional institutions are not static and they continually interact with other processes of social change and formal institutions of democracy. This chapter discusses a case of a community forestry federation in which women used space for participation at higher spatial scales to overcome constraints to their participation at the community level. Drawing on multisited ethnography (Marcus 1998), I illustrate how power relations manifest differently at different scales and marginalized people can gain voice and visibility by traversing through levels and organizing where power relations are less strongly entrenched. I also suggest that focus on the "environment" might offer an apolitical ground from which women can enter into more political domains and transform gender relations in families and communities.
How do humans come to care for their environment and what turns them into conservationists are central questions in environmental politics. Recent scholars have turned to Foucault’s ideas of “governmentality” to understand how technologies of power intersect with technologies of the self to create “environmental subjects,” that is, people who display a sense of commitment to the conservation of the environment. In this article, I argue that the applications of governmentality tend to privilege technologies of power and pay insufficient attention to the role of affect, emotions, and embodied practices in shaping human subjectivities. I draw on Spinoza’s framework of affects and Hardt and Negri’s idea of “affective labor” to bring attention to the processes through which human beings make themselves and the role of affect and environmental care practices in shaping subjectivity. Using the example of community-based forest conservation efforts in Odisha, India, I argue that we need to look beyond economic and political rationalities to explain human action and behavior. I suggest that villagers’ efforts to regenerate degraded forests involve affective labor in which mind and body, reason and passion, intellect and feeling are all employed together. Through the daily practices of caring for the forest and helping the forests grow, villagers not only transform natural landscapes but also transform their individual and collective subjectivities. I conclude by elaborating on the “biopower from below” of these environmental care practices.
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Forest systems play a crucial role in biogeochemical cycling and provide a variety of ecosystem services at multiple scales. Considerable progress has been made in understanding the dynamics of tropical and temperate deforestation and land-use and cover change. However, less attention has been dedicated to understanding the social and biophysical conditions under which reforestation occurs. Recent research documents the experiences of many countries that have undergone transitions from a period of high deforestation to a period of declining deforestation or even net reforestation. However, these transitions take place across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Here, we review global forest-cover trends and social processes affecting forest cover and then focus on a comparison of reforestation in the states of São Paulo, Brazil, and Indiana, United States. Both states have undergone extensive deforestation but now show forest restoration alongside continuing deforestation. Our focus on forest change at the state level permits a detailed examination of deforestation and reforestation dynamics and of the diverse social factors that underlie these changes. Among these factors, human values and attitudes appear most important. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York. All rights reserved.
The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) and related approaches to human-environment problems (e.g., Forest Transition Theory) generally posit an inverted U-shaped relationship between environmental degradation and economic development, frequently utilizing a cross-national approach. After numerous years of research, the overall empirical evidence remains equivocal: case studies that appear to support key EKC hypotheses are contradicted by others that fail to demonstrate environmental recovery following increasing indices of economic development. This paper undertakes a critical review of EKC approaches, identifying their collective contributions and remaining gaps, and integrating insights from two case study regions in Mexico and Brazil relevant to a forest transition. The larger aim is to identify the arenas that hold the greatest promise for a re-conceptualization of EKC-related approaches to move from proximate understandings of environmental degradation/recovery patterns, to deeper explanations of the processes and institutions structuring those patterns across spatio-temporal scales. We argue that such a reworking is critical to comparative scientific analyses of dynamic and coupled human-environment systems, and for policy prescriptions targeting applied geographical issues and a transition towards sustainability at a variety of scales.Highlights►EKC posits environmental decline in an inverted U-relation to economic development. ►Literature and case studies (Mexico, Brazil) illustrate empirical critiques of EKC. ►Critiques include: scalar dynamics, choice of indicators, causal explanations, etc.
To meet the present and future educational and mental health needs of our nation's youth, current models of mental health service delivery need to be reformed. Any more time spent arguing the differences between categories such as Emotional Disturbance (ED) and Social Maladjustment (SM) will only delay much needed services and deplete our already limited resources. Children's mental health needs are not being met in the current model of service delivery. It is proposed that school psychology facilitate the move toward a comprehensive school-based mental health service model. This type of model is consistent with many of the 2002 Futures of School Psychology Conference goals. This model also recognizes the importance of children's social–emotional functioning in that positive mental health directly impacts the learning potential of children. Additionally, the comprehensive school-based mental health service model emphasizes the importance of prevention and early intervention. These proactive strategies are desperately needed to more effectively meet the rising numbers of youth with mental health needs. By focusing on preventing emotional and behavioral disorders and intervening early at the onset of symptoms, students will no longer have to wait until they are classified as ED or SM to receive much needed services. School psychology can play a pivotal role in the reform efforts toward a comprehensive school-based mental health service model that promotes positive mental health in all children. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 41: 911–920, 2004.
This research investigated the complex relationship between population and environ­ment with a focus on women’s role in fertility and the food resource environment. The research was carried out in a Gurung community in Lamjung district, in mid-hill Nepal. The household was taken as the unit of analysis. The study is embedded in demographic theory about population growth and in gender theory. The concept of women’s agency was used to link marriage and fertility patterns with household food provision and management of natural resources. Women’s role in population and the environment is placed in a changing socio-cultural and environmental context. An extensive review of the literature relating to population, environment, gender, household, livelihood and food security was done, after which a field study was carried out. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied in empirical data collection. The research problem addressed concerned the impact on the relationship between population and environment of women’s reproductive and productive roles at the household level. The methods used for generating empirical data were: participatory rural appraisal, household food and fertility survey, participant observation, key informants interviews, focus group discussions, and life histories. The household survey was conducted among 350 households, the fertility survey among 343 women aged 15-49. Among forty households food surveys were conducted. A 24-hours food intake recall was done in 31 households. In addition, two PRAs (Participatory Rural Appraisal), ten key informants’ interviews (six males and four females), six case studies and six focus groups discussions, including male and female mixed groups and separate female groups, were conducted. Chi-square tests and regression analysis were applied to elicit significant relationships among the variables. The analysis of the qualitative data was done manually. Agricultural production is the basis for the livelihoods in the area under study. Rice, maize and millet are the main crops produced. Most people are able to survive on their own agricultural production and the resources in their natural surroundings. Jobs in the services sector provide an important source of income, but mainly for men. Most households, however, do not produce enough food to feed them for the whole year. For the majority of the households the agricultural land available for food production is little and fragmented. There is food deficiency in most households prior to harvesting time. People try to safeguard their food security in various ways. They acquire food by growing food crops in the fields, cultivating vegetables in kitchen gardens, buying food, gleaning, collecting food from the forest, and food exchange, in which rice plays the role of ‘currency’. In these activities women play a crucial role. The majority of the people in the area are hard-pressed to meet their food and livelihood needs. Most of the children do not have an adequate calorie intake. Women are the main food producers in the Gurung villages. Gurung women play an important role in agricultural production and other farm activities, forestry, and livestock production and management. When they need additional income to buy food, they may engage in liquor making, running teahouses or other income-generating activities. The heavy workload of Gurung women involves food procurement, production, storage, processing and preparation. Women in the village often lack the social and economic power they need for improving their household’s economic condition. Property rights of women are still a major issue, also at the national level. Women who receive parental property ( pewa ) are relatively more comfortable compared to those who do not. It can make a difference in their daily life, especially when they have to support their children by themselves because the husband does not fulfil his household duties or has left the first wife with children to marry another wife. The case studies show that women are facing many challenges, especially because of their limited access to land. If the husband is working in the army and receives good pay his wife may feel more secure, because if he dies she is entitled to a pension. If the household income is not enough women engage in income-generating activities to supplement it. When the husband has left her to marry another wife a woman focuses her activities on the future of her children. Divorced and widowed women were found reluctant to remarry for fear of losing their children or jeopardizing their children’s future. The Mid-Marsyangdi Hydro-electric Power Project has had mixed impacts on the local people, causing increasing population pressure and environmental degradation but also enlarging economic opportunities and bringing development in the area. The changes in the area opened up new opportunities for women. In social life women are more respected and through women’s organizations their voice has increased. They can also make use of economic opportunities to improve their livelihood and control their fertility by family planning. The farming environment has changed and improved. Currently, both environmentally and economically sustainable farming systems are being adopted that may not only increase household income but also enrich the diet of the people. At the same time, the development project is creating social, cultural and ecological problems. A lot of new settlements at the road side and other constructions are built on former agricultural land. The level of environmental pollution is rising, as is the incidence of prostitution and public health problems. Migrants from other areas, who were attracted by the project, add to the population pressure. Because of increased population pressure, the limited natural forest resources have declined and degraded. These days, people are more concerned about how to make money than about farming. The cash economy is growing. Rising age at marriage, long spells of separation from the husband in the repro­ductive period, and increasing use of family planning methods result in fertility levels among the Gurung women in the sample that are lower than the national averages. Child marriage no longer occurs these days and age at marriage among the Gurung women is on the rise . The use of contraception is increasing. Induced abortion has always taken place but is a decreasing trend now. Education proved to be strongly significantly negatively related to fertility. Household income also proved to be significantly related to fertility, though less strongly and positively. Age at first marriage and use of family planning proved to be both significantly negatively related to number of children ever born. A remarkable feature of Gurung culture is the equal value attached to having sons and daughters, particularly given the prevailing preference for sons in Nepal. The mothers groups ( Amasamuha ) in the villages have started to raise a collective voice against the exploitation of women. They point out that women should not be used only for men’s benefit but be treated as responsible citizens and be respected by the husband’s family for giving birth to children who can inherit the property. Programs and projects that are meant to empower women should be implemented effectively and efficiently. So far, many policies and plans formulated for women’s empowerment by the government exist only on paper. Women’s ownership of land remains a problematic issue, as is the case with women’s access to legal and safe abortion. In this study, women’s agency has been identified as an important factor in controlling population growth, safeguarding household livelihood and food security, and managing natural resources. Women’s agency is the significant link between fertility choices, the food resource environment, and household livelihood and food security. Gurung women’s agency plays a direct role in the timing of marriage, fertility choices, raising children, household formation and management, as well as in alleviating family food shortages. Apart from carrying out their productive and reproductive roles, women also participate in community activities and in efforts to protect the ecological environment. Women’s agency helps to balance population growth and food resources. However, in exercising their agency Gurung women face many practical problems and constraints. They are dependent on the availability of resources and economic conditions and often lack the necessary entitlements and empowerment. Though Gurung women can be shown to be “the pillar” of their household and family, and are active in economic production and social repro­duction, their skills and contributions to family and community welfare are still poorly recognized.
Cameron McCarthy analyzes the mainstream and neo-Marxist explanations of racial inequality in schools. He argues that the theoretical stance of the former depicts racial factors as manipulable variables tied to beliefs, values, and psychological differences; the latter position subsumes issues of race relations into socioeconomic interests. As an alternative frame-work the author presents a nonsynchronous theory of schooling that begins to explain the interaction of race, gender, and class within the economic, political, and social environments as they differentially function within the daily practices of schooling.
Disproportionate representation of minority students in special education remains a very controversial, unresolved issue. This synthesis summarizes historical perspectives and current knowledge about disproportionate representation with respect to: (a) definitions of disproportionate representation and related issues of interpretation; (b) national and state-level estimates of disproportionality for four ethnic groups; (c) legal, policy, research and teacher education responses to disproportionality; and (d) hypothesized causes and predictors of disproportionality. Authors stress the need for: coherent and well-articulated conceptual frameworks, responsible use and representation of data, research dialog that is informed by appreciation of the complex sociopolitical history and current context, and the need for effective advocacy to improve the educational success of minority students.
There has been increasing concern about the academic failure and the school dropout rate of U.S. children and adolescents, particularly those with serious emotional disturbance (SED). Although the rates of identification, placement, and achievement of children and adolescents with SED are strongly correlated with gender, race, and other cultural dimensions, these are typically not addressed in our educational system. The growing diversity in students has increased the potential for misidentification and provision of inappropriate educational and related services to these children and adolescents. Target 3 of the National Agenda for Achieving Better Results for Children and Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbance deals with issues involved in providing culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services to students with SED. Within the context of this target, we define the concepts of diversity, culture, cultural competence, and cultural sensitivity before discussing historical and current approaches to multicultural education. The limitations of current approaches indicate the need for a new paradigm of multicultural education. A holistic model of multicultural education is sketched, and the applications, examples of best practices, and implications of this model for the education of diverse learners are presented.
I review the debate over multicultural education in this article, state that all knowledge reflects the values and interests of its creators, and illustrate how the debate between the multiculturalists and the Western traditionalists is rooted in their conflicting conceptions about the nature of knowledge and their divergent political and social interests. I present a typology that describes five types of knowledge and contend that each type should be a part of the school, college, and university curriculum.
The purpose of this study was to provide current information on the representation of African American students as mildly mentally retarded (MMR) and seriously emotionally disturbed (SED) and to describe the influence of economic, demographic, and educational variables on the identification of minority students for special education. The sample consisted of the districts selected for the Fall 1992 Elementary and Secondary School Civil Rights Compliance Report survey. Odds ratios were constructed for MMR and SED to describe the nature and extent of disproportionate representation. Regression models were tested to investigate the influence of a set of school-related demographic and fiscal variables on disproportionate representation. Results indicated that African American students were about 2.4 times more likely to be identified as MMR and about 1.5 times more likely to be identified as SED than their non-African American peers. Economic and demographic Variables were significant predictors of disproportionate representation but influenced identification of students as MMR and SED in different ways. Implications for research are discussed.
This guide was written to provide elementary school teachers, parents and other caregivers of children up to the age of 10 with practical suggestions for creating a supportive, bias-free learning environment in the classroom or at home. The main focus of the book is on ethnic differences. Chapter 1 discusses why it is important to help children recognize, understand, and accept differences in themselves and others. Chapter 2 includes suggestions for preparing to implement a bias-free environment and discusses getting to know the children one works with and their families, understanding one's community, and anticipating cultural issues that might arise when talking about specific subjects. Chapter 3 pays careful attention to creating a physical environment where children can feel safe and at home. Chapter 4 discusses the more abstract elements of establishing a bias-free learning environment, including how to ensure an atmosphere of caring and respect, increase children's self-esteem through pride in themselves and their ethnicity and culture, and help them develop and practice critical thinking skills. Chapter 5 discusses what to do when prevention efforts do not prevent prejudice and discrimination. (NB)
Examines the utilization and delivery of mental health services for Native Americans (NAs). Delivery systems discussed include the Indian Health Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, university- and urban-based care, and tribal mental health care. It is noted that many NAs view mental illness as a justifiable outcome of human weakness and as a result of excessively individualistic behavior. Treatment of disturbed individuals is considered a community matter. Psychologists often try to impose their values on NAs. It is suggested that psychologists need to become familiar with mental health prevention processes. Recommendations for improving service provision and policies toward NAs are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Unity in diversity Keynote address presented at the 18th Annual Conference of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children In search of unity: Some thoughts on family-professional relationships in service delivery systems
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Public education and American pluralism In Parents, teachers, and children: Prospects for choice in American education San Francisco: Institute for Contem-porary Studies Racial stereotypes and government policies regarding the education of Native Americans
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Illiberal education: The politics of race and sex on campus
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D'Souza, D. (1991). Illiberal education: The politics of race and sex on campus. New York: Free Press.
National agenda for achieving better results for children and youth with serious emotional disturbance Healthy people
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Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Department of Education (1994). National agenda for achieving better results for children and youth with serious emotional disturbance. Washington, DC: Office of Special Education Programs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1990). Healthy people 2000 (PHS 91-50213).
The one best system: A history of American urban education Census of population and housing—Summary tape file 1: Summary population and housing characteristics Current population reports
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Tyack, D. (1974). The one best system: A history of American urban education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. U.S. Bureau of Census. (1992a). Census of population and housing—Summary tape file 1: Summary population and housing characteristics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. U.S. Bureau of Census. (1992b). Current population reports, P25-1092: Population projections of the United States by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin: 1992–2050.
Racial stereotypes and government policies regarding the education of Native Americans, 1879–1920
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“Intergroup relations” and American education
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Public education and American pluralism. In Parents, teachers, and children: Prospects for choice in American education
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Where white men fear to tread
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America's minorities: The problem of diversity
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Interpersonal behavior
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