FAM 544: CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN AMERICAN CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
W 4:00 6:30 p.m.
A. O'Malley, Ph.D.
Office: 305a Funkhouser Tel. 257-1648
Office Hours: MF 1:00-1:45 p.m. Fax 224-0379
R 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Other times by appointment firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaching Assistant: Susie Martin email@example.com
Office: Tel. 271-8406 (noon-10 p.m.)
Office Hours: T 2:00 -3:30 p.m.
A study of cultural and linguistic diversity in American children and families, with special emphasis on Kentucky children and families. Consideration of implications for working with young children and families in educational settings. Study of the variations in beliefs, traditions, values, and cultural practices within American society and their effects on the relationship between child, family, and school.
The Reflective Decision Maker Model will serve as the conceptual framework for
this course. Students will be encouraged to think reflectively, to approach the
course content with an open mind, and to challenge their personal belief system
by continually seeking new information. The course concepts will be examined within the context of the human ecological systems perspective and systems theory, which emphasize the reciprocal influence of individual, family, community, and macro systems. The concepts of developmental theory and constructivist theory will also be emphasized. In addition, the importance of active learning and personal meaning in the learning and development process will be stressed.
TEACHER PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
INTERDISCIPLINARY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION (IECU) CERTIFICATION
The IECU certification is designed around nine Teacher Performance Standards
that were developed as a result of the Kentucky Education Reform Act. The standards describe the skills expected of certified teachers. This course addresses the following standards:
STANDARD V: The early childhood educator shall reflect on and evaluate teaching
and learning situations, learning environments, and programs for infants, toddlers, preschool children, kindergarten children, and their families. This shall include learning situations and programs that are provided in relation to an IFSP or an IEP and by the early childhood educator, a teaching assistant or other staff member, the family, or other caregiver.
704 KAR 20:084 Section 9(5)
STANDARD VI: The early childhood educator shall collaborate and consult with
the following to design, implement, and support learning programs for children: staff in a team effort; volunteers; families and primary caregivers; other educational, child care, health and social services providers in an interagency and interdisciplinary team; and local, state, and federal agencies. 704 KAR 30:084 Section 9(6)
STANDARD VIII: The early childhood educator supports and promotes the self-sufficiency of families as they care for and provide safe, healthy, stimulating, and nurturing environments for young children. 704 KAR 20:084 Section 9(8)
Students who complete this course successfully will be able to:
· Describe the role of culture in shaping the values, practices, and beliefs of American children and families.
· Express an appreciation of the cultural diversity in the United States--within the context of world-wide variation.
· Describe one's personal cultural background as well as the values and beliefs held about individuals from other backgrounds.
· Identify and discuss the diverse value and belief systems, traditions, language, and
communication patterns, and family lives of young children within American
· Develop culturally appropriate intervention plans/programs with/for children and families
served by child care centers, schools, and community social service agencies.
Fu, V. R., & Stremmel, A. J. (1999). Affirming diversity through democratic conversations. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Green, J. W. (1999). Cultural awareness in the human services: A multi-ethnic approach. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
COURSE WEB SITE
1. Class attendance and participation: Attendance is an essential ingredient of
class participation. Each student is expected to attend all class sessions and to participate in class
discussions and exercises.
Religious Holidays: Students are entitled to an excused absence for the purpose of observing
major religious holidays. However, the instructor must be notified in writing by the third class
2. Reading as assigned throughout the semester. It is expected that students will have completed
assignments prior to each class session. Class lectures, discussions, and exercises will assume
that the student has control of the reading material.
3. Exams: There will be two exams (covering the reading assignments, class exercises, class
discussions, lecture material, guest speakers, and videos). Essay questions must be written with
blue or black ink in blue examination books. Make-up exams will only be given in the case of
documented excused absences (as defined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook).
Make-up exams may differ in format from exams given during regularly scheduled exam times.
4. Cultural Genogram/History Reflection Paper
5. Journal: Reflection/response on readings in the Fu and Stremmel text (to be typed and handed
6. Mini-Project: To be selected from instructor's list of projects.
7. Graduate Student Project: To be contracted with the instructor by the third class session.
ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE DISCUSSED AND EXPLAINED DURING CLASS SESSIONS. Handouts detailing components of assignments, formats for assignments, grading criteria, etc. will be available in class or on the course web site. If you miss the explanation for an assignment due
to absence, you are responsible to get the information from a classmate.
ALL ASSIGNMENTS ARE TO BE TYPED. HANDWRITTEN/HAND PRINTED ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE READ BY THE INSTRUCTOR.
Assignments are due within the first ten minutes of the class session listed on this syllabus. Grades on late genograms and mini-projects will be lowered one-half letter grade (5%) per day late (except in cases of documented excused absences as defined in the student handbook). Late journal reflections will not be accepted (except in cases of documented excused absences as defined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook).
EVALUATION OF STUDENT WORK
The final grade for the course will reflect attendance and class participation (class exercises and attendance are components of participation) as well as the scores earned on papers and exams.
Points will be distributed in the following manner:
Exams (2 @ 125 pts. each)................................................250
Cultural Genogram................ ..........................................75
Class Attendance, Participation, and Exercises..................50
Graduate Project 100
Total............................................................................ ...500 (undergraduate students)
600 (graduate students)
Students are required to complete the genogram, mini-project, both exams and the majority of the journal reflection papers in order to earn a grade of "C" or better for the course. Upon completion of required assignments, grades will be determined in the following manner:
Undergraduate students Graduate students
450-500 = A 540-600 = A
400-449 = B 480-539 = B
350-399 = C 420-479 = C
300-349 = D 360-419 = D
0-299 = E 0-359 = E
1. Reasonable accommodations: If you have a special need that may require an accommodation
or assistance, please inform the instructor of that fact as soon as possible.
2. Classroom Etiquette
· Arrive on time. If you are late, take a seat near the door. If there are no seats near the door, you may stand or sit on the floor. DO NOT walk in front of classmates or the instructor once class has begun.
· Remain present for the full class period. (Leaving class early will result in a
recorded absence). Notify the instructor (in advance) if you have to leave class
· Remove all hats and caps upon entering the classroom.
· Turn pagers and cell phones off upon entering the classroom.
Classroom Etiquette contd.
· No food is to be eaten during class sessions.
· Show respect for others by your speech, behavior, and body language.
3. Writing Skills
It is assumed that all students in this course can communicate effectively using standard written English. Assignments, in part, are designed to sharpen academic writing skills as well as to foster critical thinking/reflection related to the course content. Therefore, all out-of-class assignments will be evaluated for grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, and organization of ideas. Writing mechanics are important! The Writing Lab in the Young Library has been established to help students with writing skills. Use it if you need help!
4. Academic Standards
All members of the academic community are expected to produce their own scholastic work. When using outside sources, students are to give credit for ideas and information taken from others. The minimum penalty for cheating and plagiarism is an "E" for the course.
TENTATIVE COURSE SCHEDULE:
G - Green; FS - Fu & Stremmel
DATE TOPIC READING ASSIGNMENT
Aug. 22 Introduction to the Course Syllabus
Aug. 29 Understanding Individuals and Families: G: 1; FS: 1, Epilogue
A Cross Cultural Perspective
Sept. 5 Issues: Cross Cultural Competence G: 2; FS: 2
Sept. 12 Creating a Culturally Appropriate
Intervention Process G: 3; FS: 4
Sept. 19 Cross Cultural Communication G: 4; FS: 13
Sept. 26 Ethnic Socialization: Development of
Ethnic Identity FS: 6, 7, & 8
Oct. 3 EXAM 1
Oct. 10 European American Families G: 5; FS: 3
Oct. 17 Families of the Appalachian Region FS: 5, 9
Reading on Reserve
Oct. 24 Native American Families G: 7
Oct. 31 African American Families G: 6
Nov. 7 Hispanic American Families G: 8
Nov. 14 Asian American Families G: 9
Nov. 21 Field Assignment
Nov. 28 Middle Eastern American Families TBA
Cultural Genogram/History Reflection Paper
due at the beginning of class
Dec. 5 Mini-Projects due at the beginning of class
Final Exam: Monday, Dec. 10, 3:30 p.m.