Culture Myths is intended for all educators who work with culturally and linguistically diverse students. The book is designed to help readers observe, evaluate, and appreciate cultural differences in values, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and worldviews by focusing on the underlying and mostly invisible reasons for these differences. Developing an awareness of one's own cultural assumptions deepens understanding and empathy and contributes to the breaking down of the cultural barriers that can affect communication.
A goal of this book is to help readers strike a balance between minimizing cultural differences and assuming similarities across cultures on one hand, and exoticizing other cultures or accentuating surface differences on the other.
The myths about culture as it relates to the classroom that are explored in this book are:
- We are all human beings, so how different can we really be?
- The goal of education is to develop each individual’s potential.
- Focusing on conversational skills in the classroom is overrated.
- Not looking at the teacher shows disrespect.
- How something is said is not as important as what is said.
- Everyone knows what a good instructional environment is.
- By the time students get to middle or high school, they know how to be a student.