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Selected Resources: Culturally Affirming ServicesThis document has been retired from the active collection
and Strategies, 1993-1996
of the ERIC Clearinghouse
on Disabilities and Gifted Education.
It contains references or resources that may
no longer be valid or up to date.
The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
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Citations with an ED (ERIC Document; for example, ED123456) number are available in
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(no longer available)
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Bountress, N. G. (1993). Cultural-Linguistic Issues: Past, Present,
and Future Challenges Facing Teachers. Preventing School
Failure, 37(2), 26-30.
This article summarizes cultural linguistic trends of the past
decade and projects them into future years. Responses of
educators to cultural linguistic diversity are reviewed. Problems
posed by this diversity are identified and suggestions are offered
for teaching the culturally and linguistically different child.
Christensen, K. M., Ed. & Delgado, G. L., Ed. (1993). Multicultural Issues in Deafness. 190pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED354645.
This book considers, from both educational and cultural
perspectives, the needs of children with deafness from African
American, American Indian, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Island
families. The text calls for a child-centered curriculum based on a
fundamental acceptance of differences in communication and
interpretation. Section I presents the issues, in three chapters with
the following titles and authors: "Deaf Culture and Cultures" (Tom
Humphries); "A Multicultural Approach to Education of Children
Who Are Deaf" (Kathee M. Christensen); and "A Model Program
for Home-School Communication and Staff Development" (Cynthia
A. Grace). Section II considers the four target populations of deaf
learners, in the following six papers: "Educational Needs of
African American and Hispanic Deaf Children and Youth" (Oscar
P. Cohen); "Addressing the Needs of Hispanic Deaf Children"
(Barbara Gerner de Garcia); "Mexico and the United States: A
Cross-Cultural Perspective on the Education of Deaf Children"
(Donna Jackson-Maldonado); "Deafness: An Asian/Pacific Island
Perspective" (Li-Rong Lilly Cheng); "Teaching Deaf Asian and
Pacific Island American Children" (C. Tane Akamatsu); and
"American Indian Deaf Children and Youth" (Sue Anne Hammond
and Linda Hagar Meiners). The final section offers two chapters
that envision the future of education of ethnic and racially diverse
deaf populations. It contains "Rethinking the Education of
Ethnic/Multicultural Deaf People: Stretching the Boundaries"
(Joseph E. Fischgrund and C. Tane Akamatsu) and "Looking
Forward to a Multicultural Commitment" (Kathee M. Christensen).
Duran, Elva. (1993). Effective Communication Programming for
Language Minority Students with Severe Disabilities.
11pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED359699. In: Kupper, Lisa, Ed. The 2nd National Symposium
on Effective Communication for Children and Youth with Severe
Disabilities (McLean, Virginia, July 10-12, 1992): Topic Papers,
Reader's Guide & Videotape; see EC 302252.
This paper discusses how the classroom participation and
communication of language minority students with severe
disabilities can be facilitated through the use of many methods
based on principles of English as a second language (ESL)
instruction. The specific methods described include: (1) total
physical response, (2) the natural approach, (3) cooperative
learning, (4) preview/review method, (4) and making use of cultural
information. Suggestions for applying each of the methods to
students with severe disabilities are offered and examples are
Echevarria, J. & McDonough, R. (1993). Instructional
Conversations in Special Education Settings: Issues and
Accommodations. Educational Practice Report 7. 33pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED365136.
Instructional conversations (ICs) represent an alternative
approach to the instruction of culturally and linguistically diverse
populations. It has instructional intent, but appears to be a
spontaneous conversation with natural language interactions.
Successful ICs depend on identification of a text-specific theme
that is significant and tied to students' experiences. ICs have been
defined by 10 elements: instructional elements that include a
thematic focus and conversational elements that encourage
spontaneous student participation. This study implemented ICs in
an elementary special education class where data were collected
via naturalistic observation, videotape, teacher self-report, and
interviews conducted over a year and a half with a single teacher.
Students, who were Hispanic and African-American, ranged in age
from 6 to 10 years. Findings show that ICs provide a holistic
context for learning, in particular, the use of a theme to guide the
discussion about a story lead to a more cohesive focus during the
lesson and seem to facilitate attention. ICs promote oral
participation and student-to-student interaction. For an IC lesson
to be successful, the special education teacher must make
adaptations for students with learning disabilities.
Ford, B. A., Ed. (1995). Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse
Exceptional Learners, 1995. 63pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED391310.
This first serial issue addresses topics and issues impacting
educational services for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD)
learners. The issue contains three research-into-practice articles,
an interview section called "In the Oral Tradition," and three
teacher-generated articles which delineate learner-enhancing
practices for special educators. Articles include: "Learning and
Cultural Diversities in General and Special Education Classes:
Frameworks for Success" (Deborah L. Voltz); "Issues in the
Implementation of Innovative Instructional Strategies" (Robert
Rueda and others); "Controllable Factors in Recruitment of
Minority and Nonminority Individuals for Doctoral Study in Special
Education" (Rosalie S. Boone and Kathy L. Ruhl); "Issues
Regarding the Education of African American Exceptional
Learners" (Helen Bessant Byrd); "Using Bilingual Literature with
Students Who Have Severe Disabilities" (Candace Clark and Katie
St. John); "Through Navajo Eyes: Curriculum Guidelines from a
Teacher's Perspective" (Lucretia Holiday and others); and "Using
Instructional Games for Cultural Exploration: Exploring African
Cultures" (Marcella Bell).
Franklin, M. E. (1992). Culturally Sensitive Instructional Practices
for African-American Learners with Disabilities. Exceptional
Children, 59(2), 115-22.
This paper discusses six theoretical assumptions about
effective instructional practices for culturally and linguistically
diverse learners; literature on African American cultural practices,
interests, and cognitive styles; attitudes, perceptions, and
instructional practices of effective teachers of African-American
students with disabilities; and patterns of teacher-student and peer
group interactions that promote high academic achievement.
Garcia, S. B. & Malkin, D. H. Toward Defining Programs and
Services for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners in
Special Education. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 26(1), 52-58.
Intended to help special educators with culturally and
linguistically diverse learners, this article discusses the importance
of addressing students' language characteristics, developing a
language use plan, recognizing the important influence of cultural
factors on childrearing practices and communication styles,
selecting appropriate instructional strategies, creating supporting
learning environments, and implementing multicultural special
Gersten, R. & Woodward, J. (1994). The Language-Minority
Student and Special Education: Issues, Trends, and Paradoxes.
Exceptional Children, 60(4), 310-22.
This article discusses issues in referral and special education
instruction for students from language-minority groups. It
discusses inadequacies in assessment and placement;
development of effective and viable instructional strategies through
collaboration between bilingual education and special education;
and potential solutions involving both academic skills instruction
and a natural approach to language instruction.
Harry, Beth et al. (1995). Developing Culturally Inclusive Services
for Individuals with Severe Disabilities. Journal of the Association
for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 20(2), 99-109.
This article identifies features of a culturally inclusive
approach to assessment, placement, and instruction for students
with severe disabilities. Culturally inclusive ways to build
relationships with families are suggested, along with a research
agenda and multicultural emphasis in personnel preparation
programs, with a focus on process rather than cultural content.
Lai, Y. (1994). Dual Challenge in the Classroom: The Case of
Chinese Students with Special Needs. B.C. Journal of Special
Education, 18(2), 124-31.
This article addresses the educational challenge posed by
special needs students who are Chinese, one of the largest ethnic
groups in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia (Canada). The
issues of self-esteem, assessment and placement, and "double
handicap" are discussed. Chinese cultural characteristics are
described, and suggestions for teaching are offered.
Lynch, E. W., Ed. & Hanson, M. J., Ed.. (1992). Developing
Cross-Cultural Competence: A Guide for Working with Young
Children and Their Families. 404pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED346190.
This book attempts to combine a strong conceptual
framework with specific information on implementation of early
intervention with intercultural sensitivity and awareness. Chapters
are based on current literature on best practices in early
intervention and intercultural effectiveness, and information and
insights from contributing authors who are generally bicultural and
often bilingual. The first three introductory chapters include:
"Ethnic, Cultural, and Language Diversity in Intervention Settings"
(Marci Hanson); "From Culture Shock to Cultural Learning"
(Eleanor Lynch); and "Developing Cross-Cultural Competence"
(Eleanor Lynch). The second section reviews specific cultural
perspectives, in chapters on characteristics of families whose roots
are Anglo-European (Marci Hanson), Native American (Jennie Joe
and Randi Suzanne Malach), African American (Winnie Willis),
Latino (Maria Zuniga), Asian (Sam Chan), Philipino (Sam Chan),
Native American/Pacific Island (Noreen Mackau and Pemerika
Tauili'ili), and Middle Eastern (Virginia-Shirin Sharifzadeh). Each
chapter covers geographic, historic, religious, and linguistic
background of the culture, contemporary life, values, beliefs, and
recommendations for interventionists. The last section consists of
one summary chapter, "Steps in the Right Direction: Implications
for Interventionists" (Eleanor Lynch and Marci Hanson).
Suggested readings for each of the cultures covered are listed.
Mason, J. L. et al. (1995). An Introduction to Cultural Competence Principles and Elements. An Annotated Bibliography.
84pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED385069.
This annotated bibliography focuses on principles of culturally
competent systems of care for children and youth with serious
emotional disabilities and their families. A primary concern is the
application and comprehension of a cultural competence model
developed by the Child and Adolescent Service System Program.
The model requires that behavioral and programmatic changes be
manifested in professional and agency attitudes, practices,
policies, or structures. The bibliography is divided into five sections
that correspond to basic principles of the model: self-assessing
one's own cultural behavior, understanding the dynamics of
difference, valuing diversity, adapting to diversity, and
incorporating cultural knowledge. For each journal article, book,
or monograph listed, an abstract and bibliographic documentation
are provided, along with information on applicable principles of the
model, the target population or audience, and applicable
McIntyre, T. (1996). Guidelines for Providing Appropriate
Services to Culturally Diverse Students with Emotional and/or
Behavioral Disorders. Behavioral Disorders, 21(2),137-44.
A task force of the Council for Children with Behavior
Disorders identified seven goals for educators and mental health
professionals providing services to culturally diverse students. The
goals address such topics as: misidentification of culturally based
behavior as a behavior disorder, culturally and linguistically
competent assessment, recruitment of culturally different
professionals, and preservice/inservice training on cultural
Peterson, R. L., Ed. & Ishii-Jordan, S., Ed. (1994). Multicultural
Issues in the Education of Students with Behavioral Disorders.
291pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED369195.
This book examines the effect of racial, ethnic, and cultural
factors on the process of identifying and serving students with
emotional or behavioral disorders. The book acknowledges
the importance of diversity among students with behavioral
disorders, and the need to consider their diversity in identifying
their behaviors and intervening to change them. Chapters include,
among others: "Cultural Biases in the Identification of Students
with Behavioral Disorders" (Eun-Ja Kim Park and others);
"Perspectives on Culture and Aggression: Implications for
Educators" (Mary Kay Zabel and Robert H. Zabel); "Childhood
Depression: Ethnic and Cultural Issues in Special Education"
(Robert S. Rueda and Steven R. Forness); "Juvenile Delinquency
in the Context of Culture and Community" (C. Michael Nelson and
Cheryll A. Pearson); "Perceptions about Behavioral Disorders in
African-American Cultures and Communities" (Mary G. Anderson);
"Behavioral Disorders in the Context of Asian Cultures (Sharon
Ishii-Jordan and Reece L. Peterson); "Behavioral Disorders in
Hispanic-American Cultures" (Placido A. Hoernicke and others);
"Native Americans and Behavioral Disorders" (Michael Kallam and
others); "Religion and Mental Health" (Frank H. Wood); "Behavioral
Disorders and Gender/Sexual Issues (ReNae S. Kehrberg);
"Immigration, Refugee and Generational Status as Related to
Behavioral Disorders" (Robert D. Morrow); "Teaching Urban Youth
with Behavioral Disorders" (Thomas McIntyre); and "Behavioral
Disorders and the Culture of Street Gangs" (Donald W. Kodluboy).
An appendix outlines assessment practices that accommodate
cultural diversity and individual differences.
Plucker, J. A. (1996). Gifted Asian-American Students:
Identification, Curricular, and Counseling Concerns. Journal for the
Education of the Gifted, 19(3), 315-43.
This article reviews the literature on identification, curriculum,
and counseling of gifted Asian-American students. It finds that
suggestions for teaching and counseling this population are rare,
and most literature addresses only identification concerns. The
paper also analyzes factors influencing the intellectual, social, and
emotional development of gifted Asian Americans and makes
suggestions for working with parents.
Project Reaching Out: Technology Training for Minorities
with Low Incidence Disabilities. (1993). Part I: African-American Training.
150pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED364003.
The purpose of this curriculum, part of Project Reaching Out,
is to provide African-Americans with low incidence disabilities an
overview of information on assistive technology in a manner that
respects differences in beliefs, interpersonal styles, and behaviors.
Low incidence disabilities are defined as deafness, blindness, deaf
blindness, neurological impairments, and orthopedic impairments.
Part 1 of the curriculum, "Trainer Information," offers statistics on
African-Americans with disabilities, cultural considerations, cultural
working definitions, and techniques for assessing one's own
cultural heritage. Part 2 provides guidelines for using the project's
training materials. It covers principles of culturally competent
programs, learning methods of adults, and presentation tips. Part
3 contains the curriculum modules themselves, focusing on the
benefits and uses of assistive technology, legislation affecting the
provision of assistive technology, and funding and advocacy. For
training of trainers and service providers, modules on cultural
awareness and marketing technology training to African-Americans
with disabilities are also provided. Part 4 includes appendixes
addressing: accessibility training information and an accessibility
checklist; project evaluation forms; a sample participant's manual,
containing a directory of several information resources; a list of
state protection and advocacy agencies; a list of 31 suggested
readings and 4 videos; and information on federal policy
concerning assistive technology. Part 5 provides over 40
overheads for use in presenting the curriculum modules.
Putnam, J. W., Ed. (1993). Cooperative Learning and Strategies
for Inclusion: Celebrating Diversity in the Classroom. Children,
Youth & Change: Sociocultural Perspectives. 180pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED361952.
This book is intended to assist educators in meeting the
needs of diverse children with varying cognitive abilities;
developmental and learning disabilities; sensory impairments; and
different cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is
based on the premise that children of differing abilities and
backgrounds will benefit both academically and socially from
cooperative learning. The eight chapters have the following titles
and authors: "The Movement toward Teaching and Learning in
Inclusive Classrooms" (JoAnne W. Putnam); "The Process of
Cooperative Learning" (JoAnne W. Putnam); "Curricular and
Instructional Adaptations for Including Students with Disabilities in
Cooperative Groups" (Ann Nevin); "Redefining the Role of the
Special Educator and Other Support Personnel" (Richard A. Villa
and Jacqueline S. Thousand); "Cooperative Classroom
Management: Student Needs and Fairness in the Regular
Classroom" (Luanna H. Meyer and Leah A. Henry); "Supporting
Young Children's Development through Cooperative Activities"
(JoAnne W. Putnam and Loraine J. Spenciner); "Cooperative
Learning and Cultural Diversity: Building Caring Communities in
the Cooperative Classroom" (Dilafruz R. Williams); and "Innovative
Classroom Programs for Full Inclusion" (Jo Jakupcak).
Reganick, K. A. (1994). Educating Students with Special Needs
from Culturally Diverse Backgrounds. 16pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED392216.
The literature on methods for educating students with special
needs, including disabilities, from culturally diverse backgrounds
is reviewed. The paper addresses what cultural diversity is,
changing demographics in the United States, special education
issues, assessment recommendations, parental involvement, and
teacher commitment and training. Discussion of teaching methods
looks at the relationship of culture to learning, selection of teaching
materials, adaptation of teaching materials, integrated curriculum,
cooperative learning, active learning, whole language, and
Robinson-Zanartu, C. (1996). Serving Native American Children
and Families: Considering Cultural Variables. Language, Speech,
and Hearing Services in Schools, 27(4), 373-84.
This article examines the different world views and belief
systems, acculturation stress, school-home discontinuity, learning
styles, communication patterns, and parent participation of Native
American students. The assessment and evaluation of Native
American students and culturally compatible service delivery
models are also discussed.
Scott, P. B. & Raborn, D. T. (1996). Realizing the Gifts of
Diversity among Students with Learning Disabilities. LD Forum,
This article considers mathematics instruction for children
from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who have
learning disabilities. Linguistic, cultural, and cognitive influences
on students' abilities to learn mathematics are discussed.
Potential learning problems and ways to address these problems
Sisk, D. (1993). A Different Approach Pays Off. Gifted Child
Today, 16(5), 13-16.
Project Step-Up (Systematic Training of Educational
Programs for Underserved Pupils) locates children from minority,
economically disadvantaged populations with high potential in
Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and Arizona, and then uses a teaching
approach that emphasizes critical thinking, vocabulary building,
self-esteem strengthening, problem solving, and positive feedback.
Wright, J. V. (1995). Multicultural Issues and Attention Deficit
Disorders. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 10(3), 153-59.
Current inadequacies in addressing the instructional needs
of multicultural students with attention deficit disorder (ADD) are
discussed, along with language and learning style issues.
Approaches for instruction and evaluation of students are
suggested that take into account diverse learning styles.
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