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learning disability

Cultural Awareness in Special Education

by Angela Stevens on February 1, 2010

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One of the things that teachers must do, to varying degrees depending on the student population, is encourage cultural awareness and acceptance. Small towns and big cities are both apt to have children from a variety of cultures within a single classroom. When students have a learning disability or have limited proficiency with English, they are often evaluated and assigned a special education teacher to help them meet their educational needs. As a special education teacher, there are several things that can be done to within both inclusion classrooms and special education classrooms. Some of the best ways to include a variety of cultures into any type of classroom is through fun activities.



Exploring cultures through food is always popular. Depending on school policy, each child can bring a favorite dish made by parents, or teachers can bring popular dishes in if food sharing isn’t allowed. Finger foods or foods that can be enjoyed in small servings are an excellent choice. Some popular choices include Thai spring rolls, Greek baklava, Venezuelan arepas, Brazilian cheese bread, or any popular food from a student’s country of origin. Be sure to include some classic American favorites such as pizza, corndog bites, or apple turnovers. This helps expose all students to foods from the individual cultures represented in the classroom, and ensures that everyone will have at least one thing they know they like to snack on.

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