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Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

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Abstract

Israel is a multi-cultural migration country and its education system face the challenges of equality and inclusion. This is comparative qualitative research based on a model that evaluates the development of intercultural competence. The purpose of the study is to examine the perceptions and attitudes of inter-cultural competence development in two groups of students, in which only one of them was involved in extra-curricular learning. The findings show differences between the two groups. Group A, had gained new knowledge in broader cultural contexts and had a deeper insight on creating a pluralistic professional identity, cultural-emotional commitment and strengthens the relationship between teaching and culture than the Group B. Moreover, the students in group A were more practical and dynamic and created a link between the content of the lesson and the children's origin culture. They allow discussion of controversial issues and encourage the children to share personal stories.
ORIGINAL
JOURNAL OF NEW APPROACHES IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH
2020, VOL. 9, NO. 1, 74-90, e-ISSN: 2254-7339
https://doi.org/10.7821/naer.2020.1.480
Received 2019-09-15
Revised 2019-10-11
Accepted 2019-12-02
Published 2020-01-15
Corresponding Author
Dolly Eliyahu-Levi,
Doly.levi@levinsky.ac.il
15 Shoshana Persitz Street,
Tel-Aviv, 6937808, Israel
DOI https://doi.org/10.7821/
naer.2020.1.480
Pages: 74-90
Distributed under
Creative Commons CC BY 4.0
Copyright: © The Author(s)
Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in
Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically
Diverse
Dolly Eliyahu-Levi
and Michal Ganz-Meishar
Levinsky College of Education, Israel
ABSTRACT
Israel is a multi-cultural migration country and its education system face the
challenges of equality and inclusion. is is comparative qualitative research based
on a model that evaluates the development of intercultural competence. e
purpose of the study is to examine the perceptions and attitudes of inter-cultural
competence development in two groups of students, in which only one of them was
involved in extra-curricular learning. e ndings show dierences between the two
groups. Group A, had gained new knowledge in broader cultural contexts and had a
deeper insight on creating a pluralistic professional identity, cultural-emotional
commitment and strengthens the relationship between teaching and culture than the
Group B. Moreover, the students in group A were more practical and dynamic and
created a link between the content of the lesson and the childrens origin culture.
ey allow discussion of controversial issues and encourage the children to share
personal stories.
Keywords MIGRATION, PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICES, DIVERSITY,
MULTICULTURAL, PRESERVICE TEACHERS
1THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1.1 Migration in Israel
Almost every school in Israel has immigrant, new or veteran children, migrants who belong
to diverse ethno-linguistic. Teter (2004) examined the teachers’ attitudes toward integration
and inclusion, and found that on the one hand they hold pluralistic views and believe that
migrant children should be allowed to express their cultural uniqueness, but on the other
hand while teaching in the classroom teachers reveal a perception that all immigrants must
become similar to Israelis. It is therefore possible to conclude that there is a gap between the
declarative level of teachers and the practical level, and under the cloak of pluralistic dis-
course lies a rather assimilative demand. is gap prevents immigrants from being treated
with openness and tolerance towards the ethnic traditions and customs they represent.
How to cite this article (APA): Eliyahu-Levi, D., & Ganz-Meishar, M. (2020). Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching
in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse. Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research, 9(1), 74-90.
doi: 10.7821/naer.2020.1.480
74
Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
In this reality, teacher training programs are required to act responsibly to develop inter-
cultural competence among preservice teachers. ese preservice teachers will in the future
become teachers with the ability to create meaningful encounters between people from
dierent cultures, to conduct dialogue on worldviews, beliefs and values and to create a
sense of mutual enrichment and growth among all partners (Marx & Moss, 2011;Phillion
& Malewski, 2011).
1.2 Intercultural competence
One of the complex questions facing the teacher training system during a time of
demographic change is how to train teachers with intercultural ability who are open to
dierent thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors while showing respect to minority
groups (Agmon-Snir & Shemer, 2016;Deardor, 2011;Fantini, 2007;Malewski, Sharma,
& Phillion, 2012;Stephan & Stephan, 2013).
Studies in education indicate that there has been very little preparation in the teacher
training process for learning the intercultural dimension, developing intercultural com-
munication skills, and enriching cultural knowledge (Byram, 2014;Gorski, 2012;Lázár,
2011). However, other researchers (Bringle, Hatcher, & Jones, 2011;Leeman & Koeven,
2018;Schutte, 2018) found that educators who met directly with people from (Agmon-Snir
& Shemer, 2016;Deardor, 2006, 2011;Fantini, 2007;Malewski et al., 2012;Stephan &
Stephan, 2013) other cultures and were exposed to an ethnically-culturally diverse environ-
ment opened their eyes and developed cultural sensitivity and emotion.
Bradford, Allen, and Beisser (2000) have indicated that the concept of ”intercultural
competence” is dened as knowledge, skills, attitudes and policies developed by profes-
sionals in ongoing learning processes in order to create eective work with people from
dierent cultures in various elds, such as communication, psychology, linguistics, anthro-
pology and education. Spitzberg and Chagnon (2009) dened intercultural competence as
appropriate and eective management of interaction between people who, to one degree
or another, represent dierent or dierent positive, cognitive and behavioral orientations
toward the world.
Other several studies (Cochran-Smith, 2005;Irvine, 2003;Jenks, Lee, & Kanpol, 2001;
Villegas, 2007) have reported that educators without an intercultural competent are not
aware to patterns of behavior, beliefs, values, history and cultures of childrens country of
origin. erefore, in the case of a conict educators tend to perceive the cultural diversity
and dierences in appearance, such as dark skin color, as the source of the problem. us,
it is important for educators to develop their own emotional self-awareness, interpersonal
skills, ability to use teaching considerations and cross-cultural competence.
1.2.1 Intercultural competency in the teaching process
Deardor (2006, 2009) presents a model for intercultural competence that has been
accepted by many educational researchers. e model presents three requirements for
cultural competence: (1) openness to a variety of cultures without dealing with unfounded
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
assumptions; (2) self-awareness of the other culture and knowledge about a variety of
cultures; (3) the ability to think reexively about the interrelationship between people from
a variety of cultures through self-inquiry.
is study is based on the model of Landa, Odòna-Holm, and Shi (2017) who adapted
Deardors model to the language of teacher training.
Level 1 - Requisite Attitudes - Take an interest in backgrounds, histories, and socio-
cultural practices: curiosity, openness, respect.
Level 2 - Knowledge & Comprehension - Build awareness and understanding of the
form and function of sociolinguistic practices in intercultural contexts: sociolinguis-
tic awareness, culture-specic information, deep understanding and knowledge of
culture, cultural self-awareness.
Level 3 - Desired Internal Outcome - Develop Internal Outcome for children from
varying cultural norms: empathy, ethno-relative view, exibility, adaptability.
Level 4 - Desired External Outcome - Educational Activism that perform proactively
as an educator in nested intercultural contexts and sustain positive relationships with
families and the community.
2METHOD
e research is comparative qualitative and interpretive, which combines description, anal-
ysis, interpretation and understanding. Shalsky and Arieli (2016) reported that the focus of
the interpretive paradigm is to understand the complex world of preservice teachers’ expe-
riences from their point of view, while looking holistically at the processes that take place
through experience at school, multicultural encounters and daily life.
Twenty-ve teaching students aged 25 and over participated in the study: three men
and seventeen women. Everyone has a B.A. or M.A from diverse elds: citizenship, com-
munication, literature and more. e participants’ ethnic identity is varied: four of them
immigrated to Israel at a young age from Ethiopia, Russia, France, and Argentina, the oth-
ers were born and raised in Israel. Once a week, they practice teaching at a multicultural
and multilingual school based on values of equal rights, tolerance, and dignity. e prac-
tice includes observations, group work and classroom instruction accompanied by a teacher
and a pedagogical instructor.
Ten preservice teachers were also involved in extra-curricular learning: visited the
neighborhood, met volunteers and counselors who operate educational programs in the
neighborhood, heard a lecture by cultural mediators and held a dialogue with community
leaders working with refugees and asylum seekers. ey participated in religious events and
conversed directly with preservice teachers from other cultures.
e data were collected during one-year of practice from a digital portfolio by the two
groups of preservice teachers: Group A - ten preservice teachers who participated in regular
school practice and also were involved in extra-curricular learning; Group B - ten preservice
teachers who participated only in regular school practice. e content analysis was based
on Landa et al. (2017).
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
At the analysis each researcher independently read the passages of the portfolio and
set the passages adjustment to the level of the intercultural competence model. In the next
stage of the analysis, the triangulation between researchers was conducted in order to deter-
mine the reliability of matching the content to the model levels. e reliability among the
researchers is 86%.
e purpose of the study is to examine perceptions and attitudes of intercultural com-
petence development in two groups of preservice teachers, which only one of them was
involved in extra-curricular learning.
In the study, the ethical rules were carefully observed: maintaining the anonymity and
condentiality of the respondents and the data, avoiding harmful questions and giving pre-
service teachers a choice whether to participating in the study or not.
3FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
e ndings will be presented according to levels of a model for the development of intercul-
tural competence. At each stage, we will present the ndings and changes in the preservice
teachers’ perceptions and actions in the classroom, school and community.
3.1 Level 1 - Requisite Attitudes
In the documentation and reections of all the participants we found that they were curious
and interested in the children’ historical-cultural-social background, kept an open mind
about the dierences between cultures and heritages and respected new norms of behavior.
3.1.1 Curiosity
Group A - the preservice teachers met the children aer watching a play about a new child
in school who found it dicult to integrate in class:
I was curious to learn new things about the children culture, I was interested in
the ways they use to get a new child that doesn’t know the language and the local
rules. Are they sensitive? Will they help him and play with him? Do they ignore
him and make him a hard time?
S.
S’s reaction aer the show demonstrates curiosity to learn more about how children from
another culture behave in his class. Moreover, S.s curiosity, his questions and reactions
aroused an interesting and communicative discourse about new social environments in the
classroom. Hamm and Perry (2002) indicated that teachers’ reactions to what the children
say in the classroom dialogue are more important than the questions themselves. Accord-
ing to them, curious responses by teachers may develop an environment of inquiry among
children. Knuth (2002) adds that a curious teacher oers opportunities for teachers to share
new knowledge, ask questions, and look for answers.
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
Also A. showed curiosity about other cultures. She expected to nd colorful walls that
will tell her about new places and cultures which the children came from:
When I came to school for the rst time I realized that it was a special school
because there are so many children from all over the world. I was curious to
know who the children came from and what was special about them. I walked
around the corridors of the school and in the courtyard, looking for expression
and visibility of multiculturalism.
A.
Group B - in Hebrew classes they learned about the Ethiopian Jews migration to Israel. e
preservice teachers presented a video about rescue Ethiopian Jews. He showed sensitivity,
respect and curiosity to know about the childrens lives:
In this lesson A. participated a lot and had a nice answers despite the fact that usu-
ally he is silent. I compliment him especially when he used the phrase ”Touching
Heart” to describe his experiences aer watching the lm. I wanted to know why
he chose the phrase ”Touching Heart” and if it was related to his personal-family
story from Eritrea. He told us that they were caught by Egyptian soldiers were put
tin some house.
O.
It is possible that the curiosity of the two groups of preservice teachers is a result from
the cultural dierences between them and the children. e dierence is expressed in the
preservice teachers’ choice to use the children’s description as ”they” which distinguishes
them from the dominant social group ”we.” e distinction between ’us’ as the majority
and ’they’ as the minority aroused awareness among the preservice teachers about the gap
between what they knew and what they did not know about the childrens culture. Similarity
to Loewenstein (1994), curiosity arise from discomfort situation where we have information
gap. In order to cope the diculty, curiosity is aroused to new knowledge that will a bridge
the gap.
Curiosity led them to act in a dierent way than what is common in schools where chil-
dren from minority groups in the society do not attend. Curiosity encouraged them to bring
the foreign culture into the dialogue in the classroom and to work to promote the positive
visibility of minorities in the school space. is is similar to Opdal (2001), which claims
that curiosity is a motive that can inspire a person to engage in educational inquiry and to
encourage activism in teaching.
3.1.2 Openness
Group A – V. showed openness towards to the childrens lack of knowledge:
In a Hebrew class we read a text about ”Countries in the World” and one of the
children mentioned Eritrea and told us about his father’s memories from school
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
there. I and other children in class were really interested, we asked him questions
and he did not know all the answers, so he said that he would ask his father and
come back next lesson with answers.
V.
he text invited the preservice teacher opportunity to encourage the child to share a personal-
cultural story. She listened patiently to all the childrens question and expanded the dialogue
in the next lesson. e Openness in a multicultural educational environment according
to Banks and Banks (2010) and Schwartz et al. (2012) is a universal value expressing a desire
to understand and accept others in an eort to oer equal education and opportunities for
all children regardless of ethnicity, ethnicity or culture.
e example illustrates the concept of Kramsch (1995) and Kramsch (1998) and Byram
and his colleagues perception (Byram, Gribkova, & Starkey, 2002). According to them,
the text is a powerful tool for fostering understanding between dierent cultures. Reading
the text oers children the opportunity to express their opinions and feelings and share
experiences from their own world. It is possible that following this experience they will be
able in the future to deal with situations of conict and tension.
Another preservice teacher wrote in her reections aer a visit ”Abogida” a private infor-
mal, educational framework where children from Eritrea study in the aernoon: Tigrinya,
English and Math:
During the visit to ”Abogida” I discovered a new initiative by Eritrean migrants.
Only there that I realized how it is important for migrants to maintain their
mother tongue as part of their culture and tradition. e language reects their
original place and strength the connection between children and parents. I got
excited to hear the children singing the national anthem.
M.
Her words reveal a positive attitude towards the Eritrean culture: anthem, symbols, ag,
customs and language. In addition, M’s statements are in connection with Guardado (2008)
and Parker and Buriel (2006) that emphasized the preservation of the mother tongue to
strengthen family relationships, saying that intergenerational communication reinforces an
emotion, family tradition, and openness among family members because this language rep-
resents identity Cultural heritage accompanied by humor, emotion, songs and stories.
e Hebrew lessons as an additional language, similar to Alred and Byram (2002)
and Byram (2009) focused not only on teaching Hebrew as the dominant language, but also
on interculturalism lessons where the preservice teachers played role of cultural mediators.
Here is an example of a case in which the Y. didn’t show an openness:
In the lesson on ”Heroes” I presented the character of Martin Luther King. I
focused the contents and ignored the children’s feelings. It made the children
angry, upset and not cooperate.ey barricaded themselves as a bunker and didn’t
want to talk about racism and discrimination because, according to them, we
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
Israelis don’t respect their culture. e subject was very personal and exposed
sensitive places. wasn’t open and sensitive.
Y.
Y. thought that a dialogue with the children about Martin Luther King will encourage them
to express their views on their lives as a minority in Israeli society involving racism, violence
and exclusion. It is possible to conclude that there is a gap between her perceptions and the
childrens perceptions, and therefore she must make a dierence and act in a dierent way.
Group B - preservice teacher A. enabled the children to tell the story of their journey to
Israel:
One of the children told about the journey from Eritrean to Israel at the age of
three. He remembers sleeping in a refugee camp, everyone scratched because of
the lice and he climbed up on his mother to sleep at night [...]. I would like to
hear from him further and incorporate the new knowledge into the lesson.
A.
A. allowed the new knowledge to be part of the learning process in the classroom while
engaging in dialogue with the other children. is is similar to Aloni (2008) that openness
in dialogue between educators and children from other cultures is an important component
that creates trust between them and promotes a better understanding between them without
power struggles or dierences in their status.
From the comparison we found that the extra-curricular learning exposed Group A to
broad contexts of the children’s lives and encouraged them to integrate the new knowledge
into the teaching-learning process classroom. Previous studies (Ponterotto, Utsey, & Ped-
ersen, 2006) have shown that openness is a personality factor that inuences multicultural
perceptions and may lead to a better understanding of the complexity of reality and the
development of navigational capabilities in diverse socio-cultural contexts.
3.1.3 Respect
Group A - in the acquaintance sessions, the children told a story related to an object from
home connected to their culture:
I was excited to see the enthusiasm and participation of the children, they spoke
with condence, they were interested in the stories of friends from Ethiopia,
Sudan, Russia, Eritrea, the Philippines, asking questions and giving feedback to
each other, it was amazing.
G.
G. expressed respect and acceptance to cultures and people. Her decision to allow dialogue
on the cultural tradition attests to respect for multiculturalism. However, in her documen-
tation she chose to use the words ”they” and ”us. ese words may reect a paternalistic
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
perception that the culture of the majority is more important than the minority culture.
Nevertheless, we emphasize that it did not try to impose the values of dominant culture and
described the activity in words with a positive connotation: Enthusiasm, security, diversity,
amazing.
Group B - D. presented a respect approach and wrote in her reections:
I see every person as he is and I would like to think that I live in a country that
respects migrants as they are regardless their religion or where they came from.
D.
D. showed deep respect to every person without criticize his race, nationality, religion or
color. A comparison shows that both groups expressed respect, curiosity and openness
to learning about the other culture, and the rst hints of intercultural competence devel-
opment. ese ndings are consistent with the studies of Corenblum and Stephan (2001)
and Geel and Vedder (2011), who argued that those exposed to ethnically heterogeneous
environments tend to cooperate, express opinions and thoughts openly and are not afraid
of the intercultural encounter between majority group for minority groups.
In spite of that, we found dierences: (a) e expression of respect - Group A expressed
particular and personal respect for children in their class, while Group B expressed a general
view of respect for minorities. (b) In the context of responses - Group A showed curiosity
in a broader context of the unique characteristics of mother tongue, tradition and social
norms, whereas Group B was focused on a limited context of school and classroom routine.
3.2 Level 2 - Knowledge & Comprehension
From the documentation and reections we found that all the participants understood the
cultural complexity and wanted to expand their knowledge on other social and cultural
norms.
3.2.1 Specic cultural information
Group A - aer a language lesson in which they read a story describing a meeting between
children from dierent countries in the world, L. described the course of the lesson and her
thoughts:
One of the Eritrean children told me that ’Injera’ is the traditional food in his
home. I told him that the ”Injera’ is also traditional food in my Ethiopian com-
munity […] Another child said that Eritrea has more than 70 languages and most
of the people speak Amharic. I was surprised to nd that there is much in com-
mon between Eritrea and Ethiopia.
L.
e dialogue about children around the world encouraged collaboration among children
in the classroom and enabled minority children to enrich others with new information and
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
to deepen understanding of the relationship between Eritrea and Ethiopia and other dier-
ences between the ethnic groups in the class. Teter (2004) also indicated that educators have
a responsibility to empower migrant children and to strengthen the interrelationship and
dialogue between cultures.
Group B - the preservice teachers expressed a desire to deepen his knowledge of the
children’s historical background and heritage:
e children were interested in the ancient maps of Jerusalem and spoke to each
other in their mother tongue. It was interesting to hear an opinion I did not expect
to hear - that Jerusalem is described as a link between continents and religions,
or that every continent symbolizes another religion connected to Jerusalem. I
understood that migrant children related Jerusalem as a cultural value. It’s new
to me.
K.
A comparison revealed that group A felt uncomfortable with the lack of knowledge and
took action to bridge the gaps. It is possible that the new knowledge contributed to the
formation of a multicultural perception vis-a-vis the family contexts of the children. In
contrast, Group B were satised with information about the other culture provided by the
children.
3.2.2 Cultural self-awareness
Group A - here is an example illustrating how a lack of knowledge about the other culture
may create diculty in conducting a dialogue in the classroom and how necessary it is for
the teacher to recognize the identity of the children and their heritage and formulate an
intercultural competence that will assist him in the teaching process:
My task in the class was to create a personal dialogue, but I could not, the strategy
failed, I had to invent examples of the concepts of discrimination and racism, and
I had no examples in my head that I could draw. A center for the periphery, I
behaved insensitively, and the children justiably did not cooperate.
H.
is example reinforces Agmon-Snir and Shemer (2016) perception that teachers should
learn about minority culture in society, strengthen their pedagogical skills, and be able to
talk with children about social issues that create tensions not from the place of dominant
culture paternalism but as a personal dialogue between cultural. It should be indicated that
we did not nd an example of expressions of cultural self-awareness from group B. It is
possible that the absence of expressions means that preservice teachers are concentrated in
the content of the lesson and its management and less in the family, socio-cultural context.
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
3.3 Desired Internal Outcome
We found that all the preservice teachers showed empathy and the ability to understand and
share other feelings, without criticized in terms of good and bad.
3.3.1 Empathy
Group A - as part of the extra-curricular learning they visited the youth center and read
an article about the volunteers who work with the children. She saw the migrant children
coming from school, hugging the volunteers and running into the youth center:
In the article I discovered the opinions and feelings of boys from migrant families,
and I was sad when one of the boys said that at the end of his birthday party his
mother took the gis he had received to buy basic things for their house. At a
meeting at the youth center, I understood that the migrants live in a complex
reality that I did not know before. I have no doubt that this reality will aect
children in the future when they are older people.
M.
e direct encounter with the children, the volunteers and the director of the youth center
caused M. to express feelings of empathy, sadness and solidarity. For the rst time, she was
exposed to the harsh reality of migrant children and to the informal, supportive educational
environment created by the volunteers. Similar to the expressions of empathy of the vol-
unteers, Kaniel (2013) and Rosenthal, Gat, and Zur (2009) emphasize that in multicultural
education it is desirable to express empathy towards children from the minority group, to
develop a personal and good relationship of listening, to adapt the activity to multicultural
contexts.
It should be noted that we did not nd an example of expressions of empathy in group
B. In our view, outside curricular learning outside the school, the direct encounter with the
authentic environment ooded them with feelings of sadness and frustration and empathy
for children.
3.3.2 Ethno-relative view
Group A - aer visiting the neighborhood near the school G. wrote:
I saw stores of products and food from other cultures in the neighborhood, for
example, a store of authentic Eritrean dresses, I think they wear these dresses for
ceremonies [...] I also saw Ethiopian and Indian food stores and an internet store
where Filipino immigrants communicate with their families [...] I felt I was in a
strange unfamiliar place. I was surprised to see that everyone in the neighborhood
tries hard to preserve his culture and tradition. ey have the right to live as they
please, and they do not have to be like us.
G.
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
G. describes the visit to the neighborhood as a source of learning about the lives of migrants
who face dicult conditions of neglect, poverty and stench, and yet try to lead a normative
life. e neighborhoods according to Schnell (2007) are cosmopolitan enclaves in which
they conduct simple and improvised commerce: hairdressing, kiosks, used clothes, booths
of cheap bags, beads and ornaments.
Visiting ”Abogida” made them understand the relationship between cultures. Her words
illustrate the studies of Bennett (1993, 2004) that examined the orientation against the other
culture. According to him, this is a developmental process in which one recognizes the exis-
tence of dierences between cultures, accepts them while avoiding descriptions in terms of
the highest and inferior and has the ability to change perspectives cognitively and behav-
iorally.
Group B – C. taught the topic ”Multiculturalism in the State of Israel”. Each of them
taught at a lesson about the country from which his parents had arrived in Israel and at the
end of the lesson they prepared an online game. At the end of the day she gave the children
a typical tradition food from their culture:
I was able to interest the children in my culture. e children cooperated, agreed
to taste the food I brought, talked to me about similar foods in their community.
I learned a few things from the children, and they told me stories that made me
think dierently.
C.
C. chose activities focused on migration and integration from the personal, multicultural
experience in Israeli society from a place of sharing rather than a place of comparison. She
wanted to explain and to teach about other cultures that are unfamiliar to children.
Also in this level we found that preservice teachers from group A expressed a relatively
ethnic perspective. ey expressed an open opinion on the right of migrants to preserve
the culture and traditions of the country of origin in the public sphere and in school space.
In contrast group B were unable to see the dierences between culture from a broader per-
spective.
3.3.3 Flexibility
Group A - R. asked that each children bring a picture related to a family event. He divided
the class into groups to allow all the children to speak and present the family event in the
photo, and so they were all exposed to new knowledge about other cultures. One of the girls
was unable to tell the incident in the picture:
e girl did not want to tell the story in the picture, so I invited her to sit next to
me, asked her questions about the picture she had brought in. She told about her
grandfather who immigrated to Israel from Russia and died before she celebrated
her Bat Mitzvah. As a result the family collapsed and were not celebrated accord-
ing to family tradition. We talked about the connection to the grandfather, the
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
family culture and the preservation of tradition. I felt that this was the rst time
anyone from the school was interested in the child’s cultural-family background.
Following the conversation she continued to write, expressed feelings of farewell
and also told the story to the group members. Today I understand that the way of
teaching must be adapted so that the educational framework will bridge the gap
between cultures and perhaps narrow the gaps between them.
R.
is example demonstrates the pedagogical exibility and understanding and the complex-
ity of the intercultural encounter in the classroom. R. was aware of the child’s emotional
distress, realized that personal dialogue and patience would make her feel comfortable and
share her family story. With pedagogical exibility R. managed to help her overcome the
barriers and participate in the lesson. Previous Studies (Wang & Eccles, 2013;Watkins &
Zhang, 2006) show that personal contact, listening and pedagogical exibility on the part of
the teacher helps children in the educational framework cope with social tensions and pro-
motes a positive attitude towards society at large. Building a personal relationship accord-
ing to Makarova and Herzog (2013) is one of the ways that schools can be transformed into
a supportive and exible environment for children who are aware of the help available to
them.
e girls were late for class, and it turned out that they were going to shower
because the previous lesson was a gym class. is is a great example of the cultural
dierences that may create disciplinary problems and objections. e girls are
used to showering aer sports and there is time in the system, whereas in our
school it is not acceptable, and therefore there is a problem.
B.
Group B – the preservice teacher showed exibility when the children were late for the
lesson and with previous cultural knowledge she understood the reasons:
e ndings of the third stage of the model show that all the preservice teachers showed
exibility and the ability to understand the feelings of the other.
3.4 Level 4 - Desired External Outcome - Educational Activism
Group A - this level includes one category - activism from the responsibility to strengthen
the relationship between the school and cultural communities and to promote social inte-
gration. In the documentation and reections of seven participants we found that they acted
and initiated joint projects with parents and emphasized the cultural aspects. e childrens
parents and other activists from the neighborhood were invited to a meeting with the pre-
service teachers, the children and the school teachers. ey held around tables conversa-
tions and learn together about the complexity of the neighborhood and the unique cultural
characteristics.
Following the round table discourse:
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
I told the parents that I want to document dierent people from dierent cultures,
to put soma pictures and stories on the wall of the school, and so we will reveal
the beauty of the neighborhood and the uniqueness of each heritage. e parents
liked the idea. In the rst stage I collected the personal details in order to receive
information from them. en each child received a task that he had to prepare
together with the family members. e aim was to gather stories and images that
would illustrate the family heritage. e parents consulted with me, sent pictures,
cooperated and wrote the story together. Now I am in the third stage and together
with the children we are building the multi-cultural wall in the school, we are all
very excited.
B.
e round table sessions were a new intercultural encounter. e preservice teachers
opened channels of positive interpersonal communication between them, the children and
parents. ey encouraged the parents to promote multicultural visibility and to think cre-
atively about the integration in school. e parents and children together created a short
story accompanied by pictures, the ag of the country of origin and designed it to be part
of the ”We and the World” project. In addition, B. and the children worked together in the
”We and the World” project and created a display on a central wall in the school’s yard with
family products.
Another initiative was to establish a Hebrew ’Ulpan’ class for the parents:
I decided that I wanted to initiate and inuence the eld of the Hebrew language. I
spoke with one of the leading parents. I suggested to open a Hebrew ’Ulpan’ class
for the parents and I will be the teacher [...]. Indeed, twelve parents signed up
for and we already had two classes. Parents are serious, cooperative and thankful.
When I meet the children, I send them regards from the parents who studied with
me in the evening [...]. I was surprised by the fact that there are parents who speak
several languages. At the end of the lesson I created a table with the parents name
the languages he speaks. is will make it easier for other teachers at school to
contact the parents.
W.
e examples reect a pedagogical perception that school and educators can act as a bridge
between the two cultures. Wells (2009) indicated that schools can promote visibility and
understanding of family values as well as the process of learning new values and norms of the
dominant majority.In this way teachers, children and parents may have a new perspective
on outside reality.
No examples of a desirable external outcome were found in group B. e ndings indi-
cate that social activism developed among group A as a result of extra-curriculum learning.
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
4CONCLUSIONS
is study examined perceptions and attitudes in the process of developing intercultural
competency among two groups of preservice teachers who were trained to teach in a Hebrew
teaching program, and only one of them had extra-curriculum learning.
In examining the rst three levels in the model we found responses (perceptions and
attitudes) in both groups. An explanation may be related to the preservice teachers’ famil-
iarity and early experience in teaching Hebrew with other languages, cultures from other
countries. is fact is also related to the characteristics of the participants as having a diverse
ethnic identity: Israel, Ethiopia, India, Russia, Poland, Iran and France who chose the teach-
ing profession. Moreover, the fact that the eld of knowledge is the Hebrew language invites
encounters with texts on other cultures, while addressing cultural, civil, historical issues and
paying attention to the ability of intercultural communication.
However, dierences were found between the two groups. Group A gained new knowl-
edge in wider cultural contexts, reached deeper insights and their response was more prac-
tical and dynamic. In addition they encourage the children to share personal stories about
objects they have brought home, and together with parents and children, they brought up
the culture of origin in the school space.
In the fourth level, we found responses only among group A. is nding indicates the
signicant dierence between the two groups and the rst three levels and the nal level in
the model. Furthermore to the dierence between the two groups, we found that most of the
responses in group A werewritten as a result of extra-curricular learning. In contrast, in the
responses of group B we can only the beginning of building an intercultural competence.
ey expressed a desire to learn about the other culture of the children showed positive
attitudes toward the other culture and language, but their teaching-learning concepts didn’t
reect broad-based vision and meaningful expression to cultural-social contexts.
It appears that innovation, extra-curricular learning and uniqueness of social and com-
munity interactions outside of school played an important role in shaping intercultural com-
petence and signicantly contributed to the traditional experience in school. Following
their exposure to the reality of authentic children life and the socio-cultural aspects the
preservice teachers increased the abilities of honor, curiosity, knowledge and empathy with
children and parents from other cultures. Moreover, we also found an eect in the lesson
planning stage. ey adapted the content of the lesson to the children’s culture, spoke to
the children about controversial subjects and were sensitive to the children’s unique needs.
erefore, it is important that the curriculum includes unique activities outside school to
encourage them to social-educational activism.
Regarding the dierence between the rst three levels and the last level in the model,
we found that in group B there was no expression of desired external outcome, whereas in
group A seven preservice teachers expressed responses reecting this stage in the model.
e rst three levels seem to focus on emotion, knowledge and perceptions, while the last
one emphasizes action and initiative. It is also more complex because it goes beyond the
classroom and school and includes the existence of closer relation between educators, chil-
dren, families and community and it’s raise the importance of complex interpersonal com-
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Dolly, Eliyahu-Levi; et al. Designing Pedagogical Practices for Teaching in Educational Spaces Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
munication with minority group. It is possible that both groups are still in the process of
professional development and identity shape and they need more experiences to reach the
level of activism.
us, in the process of teacher training in general and in programs for teaching addi-
tional languages in particular, it is important to emphasize the development of intercul-
tural competence while emphasizing practical and operational components. In previous
studies (Agmon-Snir & Shemer, 2016;Fantini, 2007;Stephan & Stephan, 2013;Wächter,
2003) it was indicated that intercultural competence helps in training teachers to dierent
thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviors than those familiar with them.
In our opinion, all educators in various elds of knowledge are required for intercul-
tural competence. A similar concept is expressed in (Byram, 2009, 2014), who believes that
the role of educators is to shape dynamic and heterogeneous perceptions of a culture that
includes emotional, behavioral and cognitive aspects. Such educators will pay attention to
the dominant culture and other cultures while showing empathy and openness towards all
children.
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Background/Context The article examines how international field experiences promote cross-cultural awareness in U.S. American preservice teachers through experiential learning. The findings presented here are based on a 6-year study of a short-term study abroad program in Honduras that included an international field experience component and took place from 2003 to 2008. Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of the Study This article examines questions that contribute to the field of teacher education and the effort to prepare future teachers for culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms as early as the preservice level. Several questions guide this study: How do international field experiences prepare preservice teachers to teach in diverse settings? How does experiential learning in an international context complicate preservice teachers’ cultural knowledge? What are the pedagogical implications of increased cultural awareness among preservice teachers for classroom practice? How do international field experiences open preservice teachers to future opportunities to explore and work in culturally diverse communities? Participants and Setting The current study presents a study of 49 preservice teachers from a Midwestern university enrolled in a short-term study abroad program to Honduras as part of an international field experience. During this field experience, students were placed in a local elementary or a secondary school, were enrolled in two required courses, visited rural and urban schools, and visited archeological sites. Research Design The qualitative collective case study employed data that included questionnaires, interviews, focus interviews, course assignments, discussions, journal reflections, and researchers’ observations and field notes. Analysis sought to triangulate findings from the multiple data sources for accuracy and reliability when reporting the findings. Conclusions/Recommendations Findings from the study demonstrated that experiential learning in an international setting is key to developing preservice teachers’ cross-cultural awareness. Application of cross-cultural concepts during field experiences provided preservice teachers with theoretical understandings and practical applications for teaching culturally diverse students. Recommendations include international field placements for providing a unique and critical site for promoting cross-cultural awareness through experiential learning; more cross-cultural opportunities for preservice teachers that provoke questioning of conventional teaching and school knowledge; and international field experiences in diverse classrooms that promote preservice teachers’ understanding of themselves and how to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students.
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At the editor's invitation this article was written as an analysis of the development of the intercultural dimension of foreign language teaching over the last 25 years. It is in part a personal reflection based on an article written for this journal 25 years ago, but it also draws on comments and insights from a network of researchers with whom the author has worked over much of the period in question.Four areas are selected for comment: ‘the value of cultural studies’, ‘pedagogy and didactics’, ‘methodology’ and ‘assessment and evaluation’. It is argued that in the intervening period, the value of a cultural or intercultural dimension in language teaching has been widely recognised in policy documents and approaches to pedagogy developed. The picture with respect to methods of teaching for intercultural competence is mixed and the question of assessment remains insufficiently developed. Looking forward, the conclusion is that the most important area for development is in teacher education. There is still a lack of understanding among teachers with respect to the significance of intercultural competence and its relationship to linguistic competence.