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Reinforcing Stereotypes

Lchase's picture

The article “Culture, Literacy, and Learning: Taking Bloom in the Midst of the Whirlwind” by Carol D. Lee discusses Cultural Modeling within a classroom. This is to reinforce teaching core curriculum while incorporation culture within it. The article uses rap and R&B lyrics as a way to reinforce innate reasoning the students have before they discuss the primary text discussed in class, Beloved. This tactic seemed to be very helpful for the students—they were able to explain the meaning of the lyrics and unravel the symbolisms within them. The one question I want to ask is how do teachers create a lesson plan using Cultural Modeling without holding on to assumptions and stereotypes?

This article reinforces the stereotypes within predominately African American schools by assuming the students would be able to connect and understand symbolism better if they are able to unravel it through R&B lyrics. The author reinforces this by saying, “’People Make the World Go Round’ is not a song they would have heard as it came out decades before they were born. I had assumed that since the genre was R&B that they would relate to it. That was not the case” (77). The author assumes the students would be able to relate to the genre regardless of the time period. I’m assuming the author also assumes the students would be able to relate to R&B because of their culture. I wonder if incorporating Cultural Modeling will always reinforce stereotypes or if there is a way to avoid them but still allow for the engagement and productivity that this activity was able to produce.