Implementing Positive Behavior Support in Early Childhood Through High School
Edited By Chun Zhang, Carlos McCray and Su-Je Cho
7. Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Intervention and Support for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students Suspected of Having Behavior Problems
TACHELLE BANKS AND FESTUS E. OBIAKOR
The overrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in suspensions and expulsions, office discipline referrals (ODRs), and corporal punishment has been well documented (Raffaele-Mendez & Knoff, 2003; Skiba, Michael, Nardo, & Peterson, 2002; Wald & Losen, 2003). Research suggests that differential expectations between the home and school lives of CLD students may contribute to this disciplinary disproportionality (Cartledge, Tillman, & Talbert-Johnson, 2001; Neal, McCray, Webb-Johnson, & Bridgest, 2003; Perry, Steele, & Hilliard, 2003; Skiba et al., 2002; Townsend, 2000, 2002). Classrooms are not culturally neutral terrains, but rather are constructed around sets of norms, values, and expected behaviors that are culturally bound. Likewise, students bring into the classroom a host of culturally bound expectations about learning and behavior. Classroom norms and expectations often align with White middle-class values and orientations such as individual praise (Lerman, 2000), competition (Boykin, Tyler, & Miller, 2005; Gay, 2000), individualism (Boykin et al., 2005), and linear thinking and communication patterns (Hale-Benson, 1986; Swartz, 2004).
Culturally responsive practices involve utilizing the cultural knowledge, life experiences, and learning styles of CLD students to make learning more relevant and effective for them (Obiakor, 2008). By building on the knowledge and strengths students bring with them to the classroom from their homes and communities, culturally responsive practice can validate who they are and set high expectations for behavior and learning. It works to comprehensively ← 143 | 144 → create an environment where diversity is affirmed and to establish...
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