RESPECTing Culture with All Learners
Nancy P. Gallavan
University of Central Arkansas
The goal for social studies teachers is to offer an array of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that fulfill the ten National Council for the Social Studies standards. Powerful learning should be facilitated as specific social studies lessons, integrated across the curriculum, demonstrated throughout social interactions, and should reflect proficiencies as critical thinkers, decision makers, and problem solvers. Engaging in learning experiences within a multitude of contexts increases learners’ abilities to understand and accept themselves, one another, and society as they develop cultural competence. To advance teachers’ and young learners’ comprehension of these expectations, we share a four-part learning experience grounded on the word RESPECT, which serves as the acronym for navigating cultural competence, self-efficacy, and moral development in the classroom. Using the story, “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss, participants are guided through a series of hands-on experiences illustrative of social studies that is honest, natural, authentic, and holistic.