Summary: Bridging Cultures Between Home and School: A Guide for Teachers is intended to stimulate broad thinking about how to meet the challenges of education in a pluralistic society. It is a powerful resource for in-service and preservice multicultural education and professional development. The Guide presents a framework for understanding differences and conflicts that arise in situations where school culture is more individualistic than the value system of the home. It sh ...show moreares what researchers and teachers of the Bridging Cultures Project have learned from the experimentation of teacher-researchers in their own classrooms of largely immigrant Latino students and explores other research on promoting improved home-school relationships across cultures.
The framework leads to specific suggestions for supporting teachers to:
*understand differences between home cultures and school culture; *enhance cross-cultural communication; *organize parent-teacher conferences that work; *use strategies that increase parent involvement in schooling; *increase their skills as researchers; and *employ ethnographic techniques to learn about home cultures. Teachers have found that using the Bridging Cultures framework enables them to generate their own solutions to problems, develop methods for effective teaching, and work with parents as true partners. This framework helps make teaching easier because teachers are working with, not against, the cultural values and practices children bring from home. For this reason, it also helps teachers, schools, and parents prevent both covert cross-cultural conflicts and those that go unrecognized as a source of problems in learning and communication. This Guide is not a "how-to" handbook, although it does offer specific suggestions on how to improve home-school relationships with immigrant families. Rather, it presents a generative paradigm from which an infinite number of innovative practices can be created by teachers working within the framework. Although the research underlying the Bridging Cultures Project and this Guide focuses on immigrant Latino families, since this is the primary population with which the framework was originally used, it is a potent tool for learning about other cultures as well because many face similar discrepancies between their own more collectivistic approaches to childrearing and schooling and the more individualistic approach of the dominant culture. ...show less