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Classroom Diversity
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Why do we honor some students' background knowledge and ignore that of others? How can we build on the "gifts of diversity" in our classrooms? Classroom Diversity offers examples of teachers wrestling with these issues. It presents a new way to look at curriculum design and the learning that can result when we put students' funds of knowledge first. Classroom Diversity takes a "sociocultural" approach to curriculum design, which provides minority and working-class students with the same privileges that middle-class students have always had: instruction that puts their knowledge and experiences at the heart of their learning it presents both the theoretical framework for linking students' lives with curriculum and specific strategies from teachers who have done so successfully. Their stories show African American, Haitian American, Latino, Native American, and rural white students of Appalachian cescent engaged in cortextualized learning as they read and write and do mathematics and science across the grades. All of the classrooms described share one important characteristic: they use students' household-based funds of knowledge as resources for school-based funds of knowledge, building bridges in nontraditional ways.
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About the Author

SUSAN OHAN'AN is a longtime teacher and free-lance writer whose articles have appeared in periodicals ranging from the Atlantic and Washington Monthly to Phi Delta Kappan and Education Week. Susan is the author of more than a dozen books, including One Size Fits Few: The Folly of Educational Standards (Heinemann, 1999) and Whos In Charge? A Teacher Speaks Her Mind (Boynton/Cook, 1994). Her email address is: sohan70241@aol.com.

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