How does Discovery Education Network help me help students understand different cultural perspectives?
To help students understand and accept different cultural perspectives, Kim Trefz from Memphis, Tennessee and I (from Nespelem, Washington) joined in a collaborative student project. Kim’s fifth grade students attend the largest private boys school in the nation, the Presbyterian Day School. My students attend a public school on the Colville Indian Reservation, Nespelem School.
Her students had not seen Native American dancing so we established a Skype video call during which our Eaglet Dancers danced an exhibition of several dances for them. We also engaged in historical perspectives with her students writing essays on Mapskip for us to learn about their activities and history.
Many videos at Discovery Education also provided historical context:
For my Native American students, we also watched segments on cultural music and dance from India, Ghana, Latin America, Scotland, Australia, North American Hopi. We discovered that although the dance and music sounded different, the context of the dance still imitated hunting and gathering from ancestral times of the respective cultures.
Through the power of technology, we all learned to look at the world’s people through fresh eyes, to gain another point of view and an acceptance of other viewpoints.
Two student comments:
“I think it will do a lot of good if we stick together and be nice to other people even if their skin color is different because we are all the same in the inside. Getting involved with other ethnic groups activities is a great way to learn about their cultures.”
“If I will see or might see someone who is different and they start talking to me or I start talking to them I will be polite. I will be polite to them because I don’t want them to feel left out or different.”
Through our Skype video call and Discovery Education Network Videos, we were able to bring other cultures into our classrooms to develop understanding of others who look or sound different from us, an important lesson in today’s small world.
Also posted at Discovery Education Network