Caine is a 9-year-old boy whose afterschool and weekend project turned into an international imagination movement. As the Caine’s ArcadeLinks to an external site. video explains, Caine built a gaming arcade almost entirely out of cardboard and opened it up for business in the storefront of his father’s auto parts store. This story provides an excellent example of how characteristics of Caine’s personal identity might affect how and what he learned from the specific experiences portrayed. The video story identifies the cultural values that nurtured Caine’s curiosity and inventiveness, and you can readily analyze the factors contributing to his “funds of knowledge” going into the project. After viewing Caine’s amazing story, reflect on the different skills he learned and applied as he completed his “project,” and consider how his personal identity shaped, and was shaped by, his amazing experiences. To help you better understand the underlying influences affecting Caine’s learning experiences, read Chapter 7 of your primary text.

This chapter presents information and examples associated with how social class can have an influence on student achievement and behavior in school. You also need to read the article by Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzales (1992) regarding Funds of KnowledgeLinks to an external site. about how family and cultural backgrounds impact students and their families.

Initial Post: View the Caine’s ArcadeLinks to an external site. video and construct an initial discussion post that addresses the following questions:

  • What external factors      influenced Caine’s ability to successfully create his arcade (e.g., what      role did his father play in encouraging his project?)?
  • What internal factors      influenced Caine’s ability to successfully create his arcade? Consider his      world view, values, and funds of knowledge as internal factors.
  • How valuable do you      think these skills are in the real world? How well do they align with one      or more of the 21st-century skills identified on the Framework      for 21st Century LearningLinks to an external site. web page?

· Instructor Guidance

· Week 1

· Week Overview

· This is a dynamic and important course comprising part of your journey through an education graduate program.  It is important because it is designed to connect you to the most important source of understanding, guidance, improvement and challenge in the field of education: you.  Regardless of how many years you have studied or practiced in the field of education, you are already an expert in how YOU learn.  You possess a lifetime of case studies that illustrate clearly specific strategies to help you learn things well, and strategies that may not work for you.  You discern for yourself what is relevant, what makes sense, what kind of feedback helps you the most, and what motivates you to learn things that are rather difficult.
This is the most crucial thing to consider at all times in this course.  You are an expert in how you learn.  And just as important, any students you may teach in classes now or classes in the future are just as expert in their own understanding of their own learning.  This is crucial to keep in mind.
EDU692 is designed to help you learn instructional strategies that complement and take advantage of the expertise your students walk through the classroom door already possessing.  These students convene as members of a distinct community, with cultural norms, understandings and imperatives that drive everything they do in class, and everything they will try to learn.  Rather than ignore cultural attributes (or worse, fight against them), the strategies promoted in this course incorporate the culture that influences and affects each student in a class with learning experiences that support skills, knowledge and attitudes worth learning.  Collectively, these strategies define culturally relevant pedagogy, the focus of this course.
It is also important to note that throughout this course you will be working toward a very important, very concrete goal.  Your Week Six final assignment asks you to create a fictional grant proposal to compete for money that can be used to support the development of effective learning experiences.  Even though the proposal will not be real, it is based on an actual funding opportunity some teachers have to obtain the resources needed to develop and support effective, creative and innovative learning experiences.  The Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program websiteLinks to an external site. (Lilly Endowment Fund, 2013) provides real information about such a program.
At the heart of culturally relevant pedagogy is culture itself.  Therefore, you will begin this course by carefully examining your own culture, the culture that surrounds and supports you now and the culture that helped shape and define you as you grew up.  This will be the starting point for learning how to incorporate cultural concerns into your instructional practice in deliberate ways.  In doing so, you will improve your skills as an educator committed to helping a diverse population of students succeed within the learning environments you establish.
Following reflections on your own cultural identity as well as those presented by the other students in the class, you will analyze an amazing learning journey undertaken by a creative and innovative boy named Caine.  His story provides an excellent opportunity to analyze the role specific cultural characteristics play within the process of learning in authentic situations.  And you will complete the week by analyzing factors that influenced and affected the teachers and students who participated with you in important, personal educational events.  These factors include culture as well philosophical and theoretical perspectives contributing to the decisions made those educators in your life who helped you learn.
By the end of this week you will learn how to analyze the relationship between an individual’s culture and her/his personal identity.  You will also illustrate how characteristics of individual learner identity might affect how and what people learn from a specific instructional experience.  And you will explain how educators can use information about culture and individual student identities to make well-informed instructional decisions.
Because you are learning how to apply an important instructional framework to the development of effective learning experiences, you will likely need to apply certain education skills that are not facilitated explicitly in this course.  These include basic lesson planning skills, such as writing clear objectives.  You will also be asked to express some of your work through the development of digital resources and files.  Some of the tools used in the course may be new to you.  Hopefully, learning new computer applications quickly is a general skill set you currently possess!


· Intellectual Elaboration

· At its core, this course is designed to help you become more effective professional educators by helping you learn to apply fundamental principles of creativity and cultural relevance to your instructional practice.  These skills can help you best meet the individual needs of students comprising diverse classroom populations.  In the process, you will learn strategies for facilitating creative and innovative thinking skills within learning environments that complement and reinforce the personal culture defining individual students.
The central theme of the course is “culture,” yet the author of the course text Human Relationships and Learning in the Multicultural Environment (Wardle, 2013) indicates that there are, in fact, many commonly-accepted definitions for this concept.  This short one-minute video from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (2011) illustrates this point nicely:

Though many reasonable definitions exist for this important concept, the following quotes taken from a video produced by (2010) communicate thoughts about culture by two researchers who have contributed significantly to the development of culturally relevant pedagogy can be used as the general focus of culture for this course:

Jacqueline Jordan Irvine: “I think people, when they use the term culturally responsive or culturally relevant pedagogy forget that the base of the word is culture.  So culture has to do with world views, beliefs, language…values…”
Geneva Gay: “Culture to me at its essence are…those filters that help us as human beings make sense out of the most ordinary things.”

For the purpose of this course, culture will be considered in these broad terms.  As you move through the course, the definition will be elaborated upon in order to accommodate a wider scope of factors that influence how people make sense of the world around them.
The instructional events for this course that are designed to help you learn the skills needed to identify culturally relevant solutions to educational problems will be contextualized within a comprehensive project involving creativity applied within a simulation.  You are asked during the final week of the course to create a proposal that might result in funding the development of an instructional experience designed to teach a specific population of students some worthwhile skills.  At the heart of the proposal is cultural relevance, and the “hidden curriculum” of the first couple weeks of this course goes beyond helping you learn more about culturally relevant pedagogy.  Hopefully you will begin to truly value the approach to teaching inherent in culturally relevant instruction, and you will choose to adopt and implement such strategies in your own educational practice.
To help “sell” you on the value and importance of culturally relevant pedagogy, consider the classic educational research study conducted by Pichert and Anderson (1977) that investigated how readers’ perspectives influence their determination of the significance of information and ideas presented in written texts.  The researchers presented students with passages that were purposefully written to contain ideas and information whose importance seemed to depend upon perspective.  One of these stories, the House story, involved two boys ditching school (or “playing hooky” as it was commonly referred in 1977).  In the study, one group of students was instructed beforehand to read the story from the perspective of a burglar while another group of students was told to read from the perspective of a potential home buyer.  A third group (the control group) was given no instructions.

The two boys ran until they came to the driveway.
“See, I told you today was good for skipping school,” said Mark.  “Mom is never home on Thursday,” he added.
Tall hedges hid the house from the road so the pair strolled across the finely landscaped yard.
“I never knew your place was so big,” said Pete.
“Yeah, but it’s nicer now than it used to be since Dad had the new stone siding put on and added the fireplace.”
There were front and back doors and a side door which led to the garage which was empty except for three parked 10-speed bikes.  They went in the side door, Mark explaining that it was always open in case his younger sisters got home earlier than their mother.  Pete wanted to see the house so Mark started with the living room.  It, like the rest of the downstairs, was newly painted. Mark turned on the stereo, the noise of which worried Pete.
“Don’t worry, the nearest house is a quarter of a mile away,” Mark shouted.
Pete felt more comfortable observing that no houses could be seen in any direction beyond the huge yard.  The dining room, with all the china, silver and cut glass, was no place to play so the boys moved into the kitchen where they made sandwiches.  Mark said they wouldn’t go to the basement because it had been damp and musty ever since the new plumbing had been installed.
“This is where my Dad keeps his famous paintings and his coin collection,” Mark said as they peered into the den.
Mark bragged that he could get spending money whenever he needed it since he’d discovered that his Dad kept a lot in the desk drawer.   There were three upstairs bedrooms.  Mark showed Pete his mother’s closet which was filled with furs and the locked box which held her jewels.  His sisters’ room was uninteresting except for the color TV which Mark carried to his room.  Mark bragged that the bathroom in the hall was his since one had been added to his sisters’ room for their use.  The big highlight in his room, though, was a leak in the ceiling where the old roof had finally rotted.

As you might expect, readers assuming the perspective of a robber recalled different details and comprehended the passages differently than those assuming the perspective of a potential homebuyer.  It seems obvious, but such phenomena may not be accepted by educators when considering why certain students in their classes struggle with “getting it.”  Every student in every classroom walks through the door with a different perspective.  No two back stories are alike, and for some students their ability to make any sense of an instructional experience is profoundly affected by their personal cultural perspectives and life experiences.
And it is no different for you either, with this course.  Your ability to make sense of the information presented within this course, and the corresponding skills facilitated, depend as much on what you bring to the experience as it does the experience itself.  To better understand this, you are asked in this first discussion assignment to tell your own story and compare this with the stories of the other students who have journeyed themselves in this shared experience.
The first assignment for the course asks you to analyze the relationship between your personal culture and your personal identity.  Information about such “personal prisms” is presented in Chapter One of the Wardle (2013) text and includes both macrocultural as well as microcultural characteristics.  After completing the first introductory assignment, read Chapter One in the course text to help you better understand how to analyze the relationship between an individual’s culture and her/his personal identity in general.
Following this discussion, you will apply the notion of personal identity to an analysis of a learning experience completed by a very unique boy named Caine.  To help you prepare for this assignment you need to focus on the material presented in Chapter One of the course text as well as material about “funds of knowledge” presented in an article by Moll, Amanti, Neff, and Gonzales (1992).  The “funds of knowledge” concept is also reviewed on pages in Chapter Eight of the course text.
The week ends with an activity designed to help you explain how educators can use information about culture and individual student identities to make well-informed instructional decisions.  This learning experience focuses on an analysis of factors influencing the decisions teachers made as they tried to help you learn important things.
This final course assignment involves creating a a proposal that can be presented to an administrator or colleagues that will introduce a new, creative, and innovative idea that can be employed in a district, school, or classroom.  The proposal will incorporate a culturally relevant pedagogical framework into an experience that facilitates 21st century skills (particularly creativity and innovation skills) and content learning outcomes.


Discussion Response Expectations

Discussion 1: The first discussion this week asks you to identify demographic factors that contribute towards your personal identity.  You will also tell a specific story about yourself by answering specific questions about your own culture and experience in a creative way.  Finally, you are asked to reflect on the stories that other students tell about themselves.  Some of the key terms introduced in the first discussion post include:

Key Terms:

  • Culture
  • Norms
  • Personal      Identity

Discussion 2: The second discussion asks you to analyze the story of an amazing boy who built his own cardboard arcade.  You will answer specific questions about his story and reflect on the answers of your peers.  Some of the key terms introduced or applied within this discussion include:
Key Terms:

  • Funds of      Knowledge
  • Social      Capital
  • Microculture
  • Macroculture

Resources to help you better understand these terms are provided throughout this Instructor Guidance.
Assignment Guidance:
Key Terms:

  • Microculture
  • Macroculture

Similar to the other key terms introduced, these are addressed further in the intellection elaboration section of the guidance.
This week’s assignment asks you to identify a school experience that you believe influenced and shaped the kind of person you are today. Such an experience might be very comprehensive, like an entire year in grade school you believe turned you into an avid reader (or turned you off to reading), or a summer camp experience that lowered your self-esteem due to bullying.
Write a short paper that describes this school-related experience in some detail. Describe the structure and location of the school (e.g. elementary school in a rural setting), and the demographics of the population of participants if you remember/know them (other students, teachers, staff etc.).
Provide details about the local (microcultural) dimensions and attributes of the culture in which your school was situated. Culture can be defined as the ideation, symbols, behaviors, values, and beliefs that are shared by a human group (Banks & Banks, 2013). Broad sets of values, behaviors and symbols are often reflected by and within the structure of schools and the families they support.
Once you have described the experience, reflect on the “funds of knowledge” and social capital your own family provided in helping to influence your role, your voice in your educational journey. Finally, explain how educators might use information about culture and student identities to make effective instructional decisions.
This is your perception of your school experience…its fidelity is certainly impacted by time, experience, and perspective. This assignment is not research, and your analyses may be based on less-than-accurate recollections and interpretations.
As a brief example, one might describe an overall happy and well-rounded educational experience with nurturing teachers and principals who made learning fun and rewarding, with the exception of one third grade teacher who was famous for slapping the back of your hand with a ruler if you fell out of compliance.  They might describe their elementary school building as having been of average size situated in a rural community in eastern Washington (state) consisting mostly of families working in agriculture or other local small businesses.  Due to the agriculture, the student populations included those mostly from Mexico, and were considered “seasonal” students due to the seasonal work and the fact that they often returned to their home country without finishing the school year. The remaining population of students was mostly white, middle to lower socio-economic class. There seemed to be a typical balance between boys and girls and those with disabilities were not overtly noticed; perhaps due to the lack of inclusion during the mid-1970s. Most Caucasian families seemed to be of a nuclear size and affiliated with Protestant and/or Catholic faiths while those of Mexican descent had extended families and practiced Catholicism.
For the School Characteristics and Cultural Dimensions content expectation for this assignment, the following elaborations may be helpful:
School characteristics:

  • Type:      elementary, middle, high, home, college, military, etc.
  • Size of      school
  • Location      (rural, suburban, city, inner city, etc.)
  • Public/private      affiliation

Student body characteristics:

  • Approximate      size of student population
  • Gender      distribution
  • Race/ethnic      backgrounds represented
  • Types and      number of special needs students
  • Common      languages spoken at home, represented by the prevalent student/family      populations

Socio-economic background of the families that populated the school:

  • Types of      jobs held by parents of the school
  • Income      levels of most families

Family structures commonly represented:

  • Nuclear,      extended, blended, stepfamily, foster, adoptive, grandparents, teen      parents, single-parents etc.
  • Religious      affiliations

Your Assignment needs to be two – three pages at minimum. If you are enrolled in the MAED Program, it is imperative that you keep copies of all assignments completed in this course. You will return to them for the portfolio that you will create in your final MAED course. This portfolio is a culminating project that will demonstrate that you have met program outcomes.



Abram, S. (n.d.). A simple guide to 4 complex learning theoriesLinks to an external site.. Retrieved from
Banks, J. A., & Banks, C. A. M. (Eds.). (2013). Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives (8th ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (2011, February 13). What is Culture?Links to an external site. [Video file] Retrieved from
Lilly Endowment, Inc. (2013). Teacher creativity fellowship programLinks to an external site.. Retrieved from

Moll, L., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory Into Practice, 31, (2), pp. 132-141.

  • The      full-text version of this article is available through the ProQuest JSTOR      database in the Ashford University Library. This article provides information      about how knowing the background of students and their families can help a      teacher with understanding the needs of each student and will assist you      in your Discussions and Assignment for this week.

Medsker, K., Ertmer, P. & Newby, T. (2013). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from Instructional Design Perspective Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-72.
Pichert, J. and Anderson, R. (1977). Taking different perspectives on a story. Journal of Educational Psychology, (69), 309-315.
Thirteen Ed Online (2004). Constructivism as a paradigm for teaching and learningLinks to an external site.. Retrieved from (2010, June 17). Introduction to Culturally Relevant PedagogyLinks to an external site.. [Video file]. Retrieved from\blog\introduction-culturally-relevant-pedagogy
Wardle, F, (2013). Human relationships and learning in the multicultural environment. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Required Resources


Wardle, F. (2013). Human relationships and learning in the multicultural environment [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

  • Chapter 1: The      Sociopolitical Contexts of American Schools
  • Chapter 7: The Effects      of Social Class on Student Achievement


Moll, L., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classroomsTheory Into Practice, 31(2), pp. 132-141.

  • The full-text version of      this article is available through the ProQuest JSTOR database in the      Ashford University Library. This article provides information about how      knowing the background of students and their families can help a teacher      with understanding the needs of each student and will assist you in your      Discussions and Assignment for this week.
  • Privacy PolicyLinks      to an external site.


Mullick, N. (2012. April 9). Caine’s arcadeLinks to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Recommended Resources


Banks, J. A., & McGee Banks, C. (2013). Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives (8th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

  • This book provides more      information about understanding the cultural and linguistic funds of      knowledge that teachers need to understand in order to become more      responsive teachers. This book may assist you in your Discussions and      Assignments this week, in addition to activities in future weeks.


Irvine, J. J. (n.d.). Facilitator’s guide to culturally relevant pedagogy: A primerLinks to an external site. [PDF]. Retrieved from

  • This resource provides a      good overview of the characteristics that define culturally relevant      pedagogy. It will be very useful throughout the course. It may assist you      in you all of your assignments for this course by providing further      understanding of the concept of culturally responsive pedagogy.

Pichert, J. W., & Anderson, R. C. (1977). Taking different perspectives on a story. Journal of Educational Psychology, 69(4), 309-315. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.69.4.309

  • The full text of this      article is available through the PcycINFO database in the Ashford      University Library.This article describes the results of an experiment      demonstrating the effects of perspective on interpreting a story. Its      implications may help educators better realize the importance of      individual student perspectives on their abilities to make sense of      educational experiences. It may assist you in your Discussions and      Assginments throughout the course this week.

Rodriguez, G.M. (2013). Power and agency in education: Exploring the pedagogoical dimensions of funds of knowledgeLinks to an external site..  Review of Research in Education, 37, 87-120. DOI: 10. 3102/0091732X12462686.

  • The full-text version of      this article is available through the Sage database in the Ashford      University Library. This article provides information about how teachers      can use the concept of funds of knowledge to learn about their students      and use that knowledge for planning in the classroom.  This will      assist you in Discussions and Assignment this week, in addition to      Discussions and Assignments in future weeks.


TeachingTolerance. (2010, June 17). Introduction to culturally relevant pedagogyLinks to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from

  • This video from Teaching      Tolerance provides further information about what is included in      culturally relevant pedagogy and may assist you in Discussion and      Assignment this week, as well as throughout the course.

Web Pages

A list of 20 free tools for teachers to create awesome presentations and slideshows.Links to an external site. (n.d). Retrieved from

  • This website provides      information about different technology tools that can be used in the      classroom to crate presentations and slideshows and may assist you in      Discussions and Assignments this week, as well as throughout the course      and on the Final Assignment.

Workshop:Constructivism as a paradigm for teaching and learning.Links to an external site. (2004). Retrieved from

  • This website presents a      professional development workshop for teachers on constructivism.
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