Analyzing cultural relevance in instruction (2page)

In Chapter 12, Wardle (2013) summarizes the important characteristics of a culturally relevant teacher. Use this information as a guide or resource throughout this assignment to help inspire your thinking as you apply your knowledge of culturally relevant pedagogy toward specific solutions to problems facing a teacher with a very diverse student population. This exercise provides excellent practice over the application of culturally relevant principles in the design of effective instructional solutions. You will need to design such instructional solutions within the Final Project, so it is very important to practice such skills here. Specifically, for this assignment, you will view a brief video taken with a cell phone by a student in a high school social studies class., 2013) documents a meltdown Bliss experienced during his World History course at Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas.

Review the Instructor Guidance before this task. In your paper, include the following:

  • Address the items below based on your inferences and ideas after viewing the events captured in the cellphone video. (2 points)
    • Describe the problem from Jeff Bliss’s perspective as well as from Ms. Phung’s perspective.
    • Explain what probably caused it.
    • Identify who benefits and who loses.
    • Indicate your position on this issue.
    • Discuss how a more equitable, culturally relevant approach to the class could improve the situation.
    • Express how Ms. Phung might respond differently to Jeff’s concerns.
    • Describe any equity strategies you noticed or inferred being implemented in the video. (2.5 points)
    • Suggest at least one strategy for each of the following four categories that the teacher could have utilized to help meet student needs in a more equitable fashion:
      • Instruction
      • Classroom Environment
      • Student Grouping
      • Student Recognition/leadership
    • Describe evidence of any culturally relevant pedagogy in action in the cellphone video. (2.5. points)
    • List at least three strategies that could be used to create a more culturally relevant classroom. Such strategies might be drawn from the following areas:
      • Maximizing academic success through relevant instructional experiences
      • Addressing cultural competence through reinforcing students’ cultural integrity
      • Involving students in the construction of knowledge
      • Building on students’ interests and linguistic resources
      • Tapping home and community resources
      • Understanding students’ cultural knowledge
      • Using interactive and constructivist teaching strategies
      • Examining the curriculum from multiple perspectives
      • Promoting critical consciousness through opportunities to challenge predominant elements of the students’ social norms

 Must be two double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style 


  • Must include a separate title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted

 This week’s assignment focuses on your analysis and evaluation of an actual problem observed in a Texas high school social studies classroom.  Video footage was captured from a cell phone that depicts a very brief, heated interchange between a student and his teacher.  Closer examination of the classroom environment and the student’s complaints reveal quite a bit about the nature of the instructional experiences designed.  You will analyze the situation and submit a brief evaluation for other students in the class to review.

This recorded by a student in a Texas high school social studies class.  It depicts a student, Jeff Bliss, being asked to leave the class because he was apparently disruptive in some way.  Watch the video several times and carefully observe what the student is saying, how the teacher responds, and what the other students seem to be doing within the class.  A transcript of the short video is provided below.

Jeff Bliss: [I’m tired of] hearing this freakin’ lady go off on kids because they don’t get this crap.  If you can just get up and teach them instead of handing them a freakin’ packet, yo.  There are kids in here who don’t learn like that, they need to learn face-to-face.  You’re just getting mad because I’m pointing out the obvious. [Teacher says “Bye” throughout…]

Teacher Julie Phung: (mumbling) No.  ‘Cause you’re wasting my time.

Jeff Bliss: I’m not wasting your time. I’m telling you what you need to do.  You want kids to come in your class, you want them to get excited for this?  You gotta’ come in here and you gotta’ make ’em excited.  You want a kid to change and start doing better?  You gotta’ touch his freakin’ heart!  Can’t expect a kid to change if all you do is just tell him.  You gotta’ take this job serious.  This is the future of this nation.  And when you come in here like you did last time and make a statement about “This is my paycheck…” indeed it is, but this is my country’s future and my education.

Teacher Julie Phung: I respect that.  Could you go outside please?

Jeff Bliss: But there’s a limit.  When I’m not bitching, but simply making an observation.  And now I will leave.

Teacher Julie Phung: (mumbling) OK.

Jeff Bliss: You’re welcome.  And if you would like, I’ll teach you a little more so you can learn how to teach a freakin’ class.  Because since I’ve got here I’ve done nothing but read packets.  So don’t try and take credibility for teaching me jack! [Teacher: “Go, go, go, just go.”]

It is difficult to generalize about Ms. Phung’s professional practice based on one very short peek into her classroom.  But there is no arguing that the experience could have been used as a teachable moment, and if Jeff Bliss’s claims about “completing packets” and the lack of interaction are believable, then much can be inferred about the general nature of the class and how it is structured and facilitated.  In fact, such inferences can also be made by examining how the room is set up and how the other students react to the conflict.

The video made national news because the student being recorded is very articulate about his feelings regarding the inadequacy of the instruction, and the teacher does not do a very good job of using the experience as a teachable moment.  It is impossible to generalize about a teacher’s practice from such a short video, but you will make some inferences based on what is presented and analyze the manner in which you feel the teacher addresses the issues raised by the student.  You will imagine how the situation might have been different if the teacher incorporated more equitable, culturally relevant practices, and you will recommend specific strategies for improving her practice in this area.  It might be useful to use the evaluation instrument you designed this week to help evaluate the teacher and offer suggestions for improvement.

As you develop a culturally relevant alternate ending to the story of Jeff Bliss and Mrs. Phung in an assignment for the week, you will once again apply the criteria for effective culturally relevant instruction.  This provides another opportunity to practice skills needed to successfully complete the final course project in Week Six.

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