2. How can teachers incorporate a multicultural perspective into instruction?
Incorporating cultural perspectives into instruction can take place at the level of beliefs, values, norms, and practices. In TWI programs, the goal is to incorporate a multicultural perspective at all of these levels. Multicultural perspectives are first of all represented through curriculum and materials. But incorporating a multicultural perspective into instruction is much more than having multicultural materials (i.e., children’s literature) in the classroom. Classroom interactions (direct eye contact, amount of adult guidance provided), student groupings, ways of rewarding and reinforcing desired behavior, use of time and space, and counseling and parent outreach efforts all reflect cultural norms and must be carefully planned (Cloud, 2002). When different student groupings, task demands, teaching approaches, and curriculum materials are used, learners become more culturally flexible and savvy. They are given a chance to develop bicultural competence—one of the goals of a TWI program. They know how to behave in different cultural contexts, they feel comfortable in both cultures, and they are able to look at things from multiple perspectives.