This is the situation in which many minority and first-generation students find themselves when embarking on a college experience (Rendn, Jalomo and Nora, 1998).
My ethnographic research pertaining to this topic spans over 5 years.National statistics reveal that the population of the United States is becoming more ethnically diverse, but the teaching force remains mostly white, mostly female (see National Center for Education Statistics).Teachers must to accept the reality that many of their students will come to their classrooms with cultural, ethnic, linguistic, racial, and social class backgrounds that are different from their own.After identifying several exceptional teachers in public schools in low-socioeconomic, mostly African American school districts, Ladson-Billings spent time observing and trying to explain their success with students who are typically pushed to the margins by public education.Ladson-Billings found that all of the teachers shared pride in and commitment to their profession and had an underlying belief that all children could be successful.The importance of this finding cannot be over stated, for it points to real hope for students who do not see themselves as "college material" or who feel that college life has little or nothing to do with the realities from which they come. The challenge is how to harness that strength, and how to unleash the creativity and exuberance for learning that is present in all students who feel free to learn, free to be who they are, and validated for what they know and believe. TY - JOURT1 - Validating culturally diverse students T2 - Innovative Higher Education AU - Rendon, Laura I.What is needed to transform these students is for faculty, administrators, and counselors to fully engage in the validation of students and to recognize that not all students can be expected to learn or to get involved in institutional life in the same way. PY - 1994/9Y1 - 1994/9N2 - This study demonstrated that nontraditional students, no matter how fragile, can be transformed into full members of the college academic and social community. When faced with the heterogeneous mixture of students in their classrooms, teachers must be prepared to teach all students.Identified as a way to provide for the academic success of African American and other children not served by America’s public schools, the term “culturally relevant teaching” was originally introduced by Gloria Ladson-Billings in 1992.One of the most prominent student retention theorists is Vincent Tinto.Tintos theory, first published in 1975, focused on 4-year institutions, but his findings are also applicable to community colleges.