Performance-Based Instruction Using Culture MattersCulture
Here is an example of a performance task that you might assign to students after completing relevant activities and readings in Culture Matters.
Culture Unit Performance Task
Apply what you have learned about culture to help fellow students understand that, despite our differences, we have a common bond of humanity in our school.
National Council for the Social Studies Theme #1: Culture
Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity so that learners can explain how information and experiences may be interpreted by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference.
People in our school community are concerned about the tensions and lack of respect that seem to exist between individuals and among groups within our school.
You are a team of cultural specialists hired by the principal and PTA/PTO to find ways to address these needs and help fellow students increase their level of cultural understanding. Your ultimate goal is to promote greater cultural understanding and respect within and across various cultural groups in our school. You've been hired for this assignment because it is widely known that you've learned a lot about culture and the skills required to understand others and cross cultures respectfully. Now it's time to put that knowledge and understanding to work.
Divide into "Cultural Specialist Teams" and complete the following:
- Identify and document the need for greater cultural understanding and respect in our school.
- Describe what it would look like if every student understood and respected the common bonds of humanity that exist in our school.
- Design an action plan to help students understand and respect these common bonds of humanity.
- Craft a recommendation that addresses at least three of the six enduring understandings in this unit (i.e. you can achieve your goal by helping your fellow students understand: "Everyone has a culture. Culture shapes how we view ourselves, others, and the world").
- How will you do this in our school? Be specific.
- Some of the enduring understandings are concepts fellow students need to KNOW. How will you teach them?
- Some of the enduring understandings are SKILLS fellow students will need to practice if greater cultural understanding and respect is to be attained. How will you help them practice these skills?
- Design an engaging, compelling presentation of your action plan:
a. For a real, live audience (fellow students, faculty, your principal, the PTA/PTO, the board of education-or a combination of any of the above)
b. That incorporates:
- The need to promote greater cultural understanding and respect in your school
- Your plan to make it happen.
- Consider a wide range of creative options, such as power point presentations, guest speakers, role plays, task forces, panels, films, readings, "teach-ins," an exchange program with another school, or a school-wide cultural event.
- Develop a recommendation that addresses at least three of the six enduring understandings below.
Develop a set of recommendations that addresses each of the following enduring understandings of the culture unit.
- Everyone has a culture. Culture is a complex concept.
It shapes how we understand the world, ourselves, and others.
- Culture is like an iceberg. some aspects are observable. Others are invisible or beneath the surface. The invisible aspects of culture influence/cause the visible ones.
- People really do see the world in fundamentally different ways. People behave as they do because of the things they believe in or value. People behave as they do for a reason.
- It's easy to misinterpret things people do in a cross-cultural setting. To keep from misinterpreting the behavior of others, you have to interpret from their point of view, not yours.
- Crossing cultures isn't easy. It's a complex process where context is everything.
- Despite our differences, there are cultural universals that unite people in a common bond of humanity