Teacher Education Module
Bridging Cultures: Teacher Education Module is a professional development resource for teacher educators and staff developers to help preservice and in-service teachers become knowledgeable about cultural differences and understand ways of bridging the expectations of school settings with those of the home. In a nonthreatening, cognitively meaningful way, the Module is based on teacher-constructed and tested strategies to improve home-school communication and parent involvement. These innovations were developed as part of the Bridging Cultures Project, which explores the cultural value differences between the individualistic orientation of mainstream U.S. schools and the collectivistic orientation of many immigrant families. The goal of the Bridging Cultures Project is to support and help teachers in their work with students and families from immigrant cultures. The centerpiece of the Module is training resources, including an outline, an agenda, and a well-tested three-hour script designed as a lecture-discussion with structured opportunities for guided dialogue and small-group discussion. Throughout the script, "Facilitators Notes" annotate presentation suggestions and oversized margins encourage integration of the facilitator's personal experiences in presenting and adapting the Module. Ideas for using the Readings for Bridging Cultures are provided. A section of overhead transparencies and handout masters is included. The Module also provides a discussion of the role of culture in education and the constructs of individualism and collectivism, an overview of the effects of the Bridging Cultures Project, and evaluation results of the author's use of the Module in two sections of a preservice teacher education course. Bridging Cultures: Teacher Education Module brings the successful processes and practices of the Bridging Cultures Project to a larger audience in college courses and in professional development arenas. Designed for use in one or two class sessions, the Module can be incorporated in courses on educational psychology, child development, counseling psychology, and any others that deal with culture in education.