Teaching Competencies for Elementary School Teachers to Teach the Classrooms with Students Having Foreign Parent
According to the statistical data of the Ministry of Interior of Taiwan, the growth rate of foreign spouses in Taiwan has reached 13%, from 336,483 people in 2004 to 383,204 people in 2006. Moreover, the population of elementary school students from foreign parents jumps from 26,627 people in the academic year 2003 to 70,797 people in the academic year 2006. The increase rate reaches as high as 165%. In the average, every 25 students have one foreign spouse's child.
Confronting the classroom with diverse students from foreign parents who have their own culture, school teachers should have multicultural teaching competency to teach the classroom. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify the related competencies, in addition to general teaching competency, which elementary school teachers should have in teaching foreign spouses’ children in school. This study uses an in-depth interview to collect required data. After literature review, the interview guidelines were established. The main questions for interviews include course design, classroom teaching and evaluation for diverse classroom with cultural differences. Five experienced teachers who have successfully taught with diverse students having foreign parent were selected as research participants. The main competency identified in the study includes understanding and respecting cultural differences, understanding students’ requirements, interests, weakness and strength due to cultural background differences, creating cultural dignity for students, using no cultural bias examples for teaching, dealing with student problems with fairness, and using no cultural bias instruments for testing. In the other words, in the dimension of curriculum designs, teachers should take students’ cultural background into consideration to develop curriculum. In the dimension of teaching, teachers should provide concrete examples in the real life which are common to all students so that all students can obtain concept through their own experiences. In addition, teachers need to create a climate for students to understand and respect cultural differences through examples and study topics. In the dimension of assessment, teachers need to observe students’ expressions and their behaviors by a variety of testing methods rather than only by paper and pencil testing. In addition, teachers should understand students’ learning differences resulted from the influence of different culture.
Keywords: Multicultural Teaching, Elementary School Teacher, Teaching Competency, Taiwan
Graduate student, Special Education Program, Arizona State University
Doctoral Student, Department of Industrial Education and Technology, National Changhua University of Education
Prof. Hsi-Chi Hsiao
Chair Professor, Graduate Institute of Business and Administration, Cheng Shiu University