Promoting Culturally Responsive Teaching Free Essay

The author’s main idea is that understanding the deep roots of culture and recognizing different cultural archetypes as well as the sociopolitical context is key to creating culturally responsive teachers. The author’s main argument is persuasive because it identifies the factors that cause inequitable educational outcomes then suggests tapping into the culture as the solution to closing the learning gap. Awareness and building background knowledge about dimensions of culture is the first step towards helping dependent learners (Hammond, 2014). In addition to awareness, the author notes that teachers must understand the impact of social, political, and economic forces on learning in order to become culturally responsive.

The author’s main purpose in writing this text is to provide a framework to help teachers offer support and social-emotional needs to dependent learners. As Hammond (2014) notes, many linguistically and culturally diverse students struggle with higher-order thinking, low fluency, problems with reading, and independent learning. Getting these categories of students ready and helping them become independent learners, according to the author, starts with acknowledging the current reality and our past racial history. The framework emphasizes that understanding the various cultural archetypes can make a culturally responsive teacher better manage a diverse classroom. Further to this, any teacher who wishes to effectively attend to the different cultures in a classroom must first identify the cultural archetype that dominates: individualism or collectivism.

The interests served in the author’s chief argument are the dependent learners who need attention to build their intellective capacity. With a proper framework to support the dependent students of color, as the author suggests, they can bridge their own learning gaps (Hammond, 2014). Structural racialization in areas such as stuffing in education only widens the gap between the dependent and independent learners. For example, unlike in other professions, the urban schools that are often under-resourced are staffed with less effective teachers while the high-performing ones are gifted with effective teachers. The plight of dependent learners will not be addressed unless we address how identity, location, and geography affect someone’s access to education, jobs, and other quality-of-life opportunities.

The author’s chief argument is based on several underlying assumptions. For example, the author assumes that there is a significant difference between a culture of poverty and the sociopolitical context. The author further assumes that poverty is not a culture given that it does not have deep cultural roots. On the contrary, poverty is a condition or simply a symptom of the widespread inequalities within the social and economic system (Hammond, 2014). Another assumption is that coping skills are mistaken for beliefs and norms. Coping skills only help individuals navigate through racial economic systems, while norms and beliefs are passed over from one generation to the other. Finally, the author assumes that poor people do not glorify or normalize the negative aspects of living in poverty.

One of the potential drawbacks of the author’s chief argument is that it considers culture and sociopolitical context as the only factors to be considered for building culturally responsive teaching. In reality, however, there are other factors that other culturally responsive teaching practices such as building relationships. Restructuring class materials to include authors from diverse cultures and encouraging students to tap into their prior knowledge are other strategies to be considered when planning for culturally responsive learning.

Overall, the author skillfully identifies the learning gaps that exist among culturally and linguistically students. He then suggests awareness and understanding the sociopolitical context as solutions to creating a culturally responsive education. With this kind of understanding, providing social-emotional support for dependent learners becomes a whole easier.

References

Hammond, Z. ed. (2014). Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. USA: Corwin Press.

The Uprising Of Communism Free Sample

By definition, communism is a political and economic system that calls for a classless society where all wealth and properties are owned communally rather than by a few individuals. The modern communist started developing in the 19th century in Europe. With the advancement of the industrial revolution, socialist critics condemned capitalism for the miseries of the urban factory workers who worked under hazardous conditions. Among the critics were the two German philosophers, Karl Max and Friedrich Engels who would later publicize the communist manifesto in 1848 (Mason 28). Marx and Engels advocated for a global revolution in the communist manifesto to usher in socialism and later communism. In the manifesto, the two philosophers predicted a classless society without family structures, class divisions, or private ownership of properties. The main idea in the communist manifesto was that creating a classless society would bring to an end the problem of consistent class struggle between the capitalists owning the means of production and the majority working class. Communism was first tested in the Soviet Union in 1917, but it later spread to other parts of the world as a global revolution. This discussion analyzes the emergence of communism in the Soviet Union, China, Germany, and other parts of the world.

Communism in the Soviet Union

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ theory was not applied in the real world until after they had died. The Russian revolution that occurred in 1917 towards the end of World War I transformed the traditional Russian Empire to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Essentially, the revolution replaced Russia’s traditional monarchy with a communist state, thus becoming the first state in the world to usher in communism. Vladimir Lenin lead a group of other Marxists through a group called Bolsheviks to gain power in 1922 in order to put the communist system into practice (Draper 49). Before the popular Bolshevik revolution, Lenin had attempted to develop another Marxist theory called Vanguardism that argued that forming a group with economically and politically enlightened elites would be necessary. According to Lenin, these elites would commence the higher stages of political and economic evolution. However, Lenin died shortly after the civil war and was succeeded by Joseph Stalin.

Contrary to Lenin, Stalin pursued a brutal economic and political ideology that oversaw massive ethnic purges and agricultural collectivization. During Stalin’s brutal tenure, millions of people died including those who died from the war with Nazi Germany. With Stalin in power, the banking system and the industrial sector were subjected to price controls and quotas, which were part of his regime’s plan (Draper 52). The system of central planning, which was initiated by Stalin’s administration, allowed massive industrialization, so the Soviet Union’s GDP outperformed that of the US between 1950 and 1965. However, the Soviet’s economy still grew at a slower rate than capitalist economies. Low spending was the main contributor to the slower growth given that overemphasis on heavy industrialization resulted in underproduction of consumer goods. In 1991, however, the Soviet Union collapsed after the masses pushed for reforms in the political and economic systems with greater emphasis on the expansion of private enterprises.

The Rise of Communism in China

Drawing inspiration from the Russian revolution, the communist party of China was formed in 1921. However, it was not until 1949 that Mao Zedong, China’s communist party leader, declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This move caused the United States to cut diplomatic ties with China for decades. Mao’s political ideology was similar to that of Stalin in terms of deprivation and violence. For example, during the Great leap forward that occurred between 1958 and 1962, the People Republic of China’s communist party forced the rural population to produce massive quantities of steel in order to spur the industrial revolution. Households were also forced to build backyard boilers to smelt scrap metals and other household items (Chen and Kung 95). Given that there was no rural labor to harvest crops, Mao exported grain to show the success of his policies, but this backfired leading to food scarcity. Consequently, drought and famine claimed the lives of over 15 million lives. In addition, the Cultural Revolution which was an ideological purge lasting between 1966 and 1976 further claimed the lives of another 400,000 lives.

After Mao’s death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping took over and introduced several market reforms that his successors have maintained in effect even today. The United States also started stabilizing its relations with China when President Nixon visited the US in 1972 shortly before the death of Mao (Chen and Kung 102). Today, the Chinese communist party is the founding and only ruling party of China. It oversees the largely capitalist system, although state-owned enterprises still dominate a large portion of the economy. Freedom of expression is significantly limited and elections have been banned except for Hong Kong where the voting rights are highly controlled and candidates have to be approved by the party. No opposition to the ruling party, The Chinese Communist Party, is allowed.

The Rise of Communism in Germany

Communism in Germany did not receive much attention until the German students’ movement that occurred between 1960 and 1970. A referendum was conducted in East Germany in 1951 to remilitarize Germany where over 95% of the population voted in favor (Mason 42). As a result, GDR was dissolved to reunite with West Germany in 1990. The former East Germany States also reunited with the Federal Republic of Germany. Communism in Germany lasted for over four decades starting after the end of the German Nazi’s dictatorship between 1945 and 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell.

East Germany, however, had a command economy where almost all decisions were made by the ruling communist party called the Socialist Unity Party. Their system of planning was highly inflexible which caused devastating economic implications (Mason 36). Power and personal connections influenced economic decisions, while all groups including trade unions were forced to collaborate to accomplish the governing party’s objectives. The industrial sector was also characterized by many inefficiencies such as lack of technological innovation and quality controls. Despite having the right training, workers were hardly rewarded with increased wages. The end result was the collapse of communism.

The fall of Communism

One of the reasons behind the fall of communism is the lack of incentives among the people to produce with a motive for making a profit. Producing to make a profit motive spurs competition and leads to innovation. Citizens in communist societies were selflessly devoted to societal welfare and rarely thought about their welfare. In addition, the geographically diverse populations made it difficult to sustain a set of rules or a common goal for shared resources and effort (Somin 2). Societies began putting their self-interests ahead of party interests, which is against the ideals of communism. Another cause of the fall of communism was the system’s inefficiencies including centralized planning. For example, this kind of planning requires extensive synthesis and aggregation of information in a centralized location. Given that all projects were centrally planned, this kind of planning became sophisticated. In many instances, centralized planning was error-prone, thus creating an illusion of progress.

The concentration of power in the hands of a few selected individuals became problematic breeding inefficiencies. It gave the select few excessive control over others, allowing them to manipulate the system to their advantage in order to continue holding power (Benedetto et al. 930). The system was also characterized by massive corruption, which discouraged the hard-working people. For example, the embezzlement of public resources among those entrusted with leadership positions largely contributed to the fall of communism in the Soviet Union and Germany. The end result of these inefficiencies was that the economies suffered to the point of collapse.

Massive loss of lives was another cause of failure and the fall of communism. For example, millions of people lost their lives in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. While the deaths can be attributed to the leaders’ brutality, some deaths were ideologically inflated and motivated (Law 71). Mao Zedong of China and Pol Pot of Cambodia also oversaw massive killings. Notably, the killings were executed as part of rapid industrialization and modernization policy.

In summary, the rise of communism involves a wide range of political movements and ideologies sharing the common goal of communal ownership of wealth, property, and economic enterprise. What began as a result of the industrial revolution in Russia in 1917 became a global revolution spreading to different parts of the world. However, due to many inefficiencies, this economic ideology could not be sustainable.

Works Cited

Benedetto, Giacomo, Simon Hix, and Nicola Mastrorocco. “The rise and fall of social democracy, 1918–2017.” American Political Science Review 114.3 (2020): 928-939.

Chen, Ting, and James Kai-Sing Kung. “The Rise of Communism in China.” Available at SSRN 3748521 (2020).

Draper, Theodore. American Communism and Soviet Russia. Routledge, 2017.

Law, Ian. Red racisms: racism in communist and post-communist contexts. Springer, 2016.

Mason, David S. Revolution and transition in east-central Europe. Routledge, 2018.

Somin, Ilya. “Lessons from a century of communism.” The Washington Post (2017).

Hinduism And Christianity Essay Example

The meaning of the rituals and traditions associated with death differ significantly between Christianity and Hinduism. While Christianity is the world’s largest religion, Hinduism is the third most popular religion. The two religions also share certain similarities with regard to life after death. This discussion compares and contrasts the two religions in terms of death rituals and traditions. It also outlines the significance of each ritual and the lessons learned after studying the cultural perspectives of different religions.

Earthly life, according to Christians, is a temporary gift that builds the foundation for the afterlife. After death, the soul will be judged and go either to heaven or hell (Uzell, 2018). Hindus, on the other hand, hold that after death, the soul returns back to the cycle of reincarnation (Uzell, 2018). The rituals associated with death also differ significantly. For Christians, it takes approximately a week for the funeral to be carried out in a church or at a chosen crematorium. The funeral comprises of a memorial service led by the church minister. During the funeral, readings, eulogy, tributes, and prayers are read to reflect the life of the deceased. Mourners, especially the family members and relatives, often toss dust onto the coffin before the body is buried after which the church minister recites a final prayer (Uzell, 2018). After death, a Hindu’s body is cremated within 24 hours and the ashes preserved (Uzell, 2018). The cremation ceremony is led by a priest and senior family members. A day after the funeral is held, the ashes are then splashed into a river to signify the end of the physical body (Uzell, 2018). A ceremony is then held after ten days to free the deceased person’s soul so that it can ascend into heaven.

Beliefs in life after death present with various similarities between Christians and Hindus. In both religions, there is the concept of life after death or rebirth. Christians believe that those who die while still righteous will be gifted with eternal life by God in heaven, while the wicked will suffer forever in hell as a punishment for leading an evil life (Neuberger, 2018). For Hindus, life after death is commonly referred to as reincarnation whereby every person will be reborn in another life in a physical form after natural death (Neuberger, 2018). The physical form in which the soul of the deceased person is reincarnated depends on his or her actions during the previous life (Neuberger, 2018). Hindus further believe that the cycle of reincarnation continues until the soul of the deceased attains perfection.

The death rituals carried out by the two cultural groups have distinct significance. For example, cremation represents the end of the physical body for the deceased among the Hindus. Splashing the ashes into a river is important as it signifies the final detachment with the deceased’s physical body the same way the flowing waters take the ashes away from the physical world (Neuberger, 2018). For Christians, the funeral service is important as far as praying for the soul of the deceased is concerned. The prayers held during the funeral are equally important in terms of offering support and comfort to the bereaved. Most Christian funeral rites and traditions focus on preparing the deceased to start eternal life in heaven, as well as giving those grieving the strength to cope with the loss (Neuberger, 2018). Thus, each of the rituals conducted after death by the two religious groups is significant and beneficial to the living.

Whether or not you agree with the rituals of a particular cultural group, you should respect their beliefs and rituals in funerals. Behaving in a manner that is similar with a different cultural group during burial is sign of respect for the deceased and those grieving rather than agreeing with their culture or religion. For example, if I were attending the burial of a Hindu, I would wear white regalia, which is common in Hindu culture. According to the Hindu, white is a sign of purity that symbolizes one’s respect for the deceased and the grieving. Being a Christian, I would behave differently by avoiding black clothes which are common in Christian burials. I would also show respect to each of the rituals carried out despite being different from those of my religion. In addition, I would show respect to the cremation process in the same manner I show respect to every ritual carried out during a Christian burial.

Research has changed my perspective towards culture and cultural differences in general. It has also altered my general attitude towards death and the grieving process. Through research, I have acknowledged that each cultural group has its own set of beliefs and different meanings of life and death. I have also learned that different religions have different beliefs about life after death, which must be respected. After studying the similarities and differences in burial rituals between Hindus and Christians, for example, I have learned that death is more bearable for cultural groups that believe in life after death. Another significant lesson that I have learned after researching this topic is that the grieving process is painful for those left behind, and the feeling can be overwhelming. Coping with loss can be quite challenging, and hence, it is important to offer as much support as possible to the family members left behind (Rosenblatt, 2019). Being present and showing respect for the deceased during the funeral, giving financial support, and praying for the family of the deceased are some of the ways to grieve the deceased.

Christianity and Hinduism religions share various similarities and differences. Whereas both religions have a set of different rituals, beliefs, and traditions, they are all significant and beneficial to the two cultural groups. Studying this topic not only changed my cultural perspective, but also helped me to learn great lessons about funerals and the grieving process.

References

Neuberger, J. (2018). Caring for dying people of different faiths. CRC Press.

Rosenblatt, P. C. (2019). Diversity in human grieving: Historical and cross-cultural perspectives. In Exploring Grief (pp. 37-51). Routledge.

Uzell, J. (2018). Death/funeral rituals in world religions. Retrieved from https://religionmediacentre.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Death-Funeral-Rituals-in-World.pdf