Culture and Diversity Syllabus
Culture and Diversity in Education is designed to help you reach a certain level of cultural sensitivity.
In this course you will consider individual and circumstantial responsiveness to differences that exist in language, race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, ability and religion. In addition to these variables, this course introduces concepts that surround language acquisition and development. This class will analyze historic and present day relationships between American educational systems and existing cultural dynamics. You will be encouraged to identify biases and discriminatory practices along with their possible causes and influences on the education process. Even though this course is online, it is not an independent study course and you will be required to complete weekly lessons and collaborate with other class members in different assignments. You will learn how to reach out and pro-actively influence other students in your collaborations, even if at first other students put in minimal work. There is power in inviting other class members to rise up and magnify each opportunity. This competency, with sincere prayer, will bless you as future leaders in your home, the church, and the community.
In this course you will learn to:
- Understand multicultural education and be able to implement culturally responsive teaching practices in the classroom.
- Develop an awareness and appreciation of the ways in which culture and language influence learning.
- Understand the relationship between poverty and education, and how best to support students from socioeconomically challenged backgrounds.
- Increase repertoire of strategies for supporting English language learners in the classroom.
- Assess individual and circumstantial responsiveness to the differences that exist in race, ethnicity, gender, class, age, ability, and religion.
- Collaborate with families by identifying the similarities and differences in educational expectations of families across cultures and other domains.
This course will run in fourteen one-week lessons with an introductory lesson at the beginning and a conclusion lesson at the end.
- Will open one week early in order to accommodate students who want to get started early.
- See Calendar for due dates:
- Preparatory activities: Readings, Videos, PowerPoints, Accountability Quiz, and Non-lead students initial post on the Weekly Group Discussion Board.
- All other activities: Continuation of the Discussion, One-Liners, Reflections, Semester Project, Service Learning and Ethnographic Research Reports, Application Activity Reports
You will also complete a semester-long project working with a small presentation team of your classmates to identify an ill-defined problem in a diverse school setting and discussing possible solutions to the situation. You will present your ideas in a video format.
Preparatory activities should be completed on time so that you are adequately prepared for the rest of the week's activities. Because some activities require input from other class members, please be conscientious and respectful by completing your part as early as possible so others can benefit from the activity as well. Some activities will ask you to explore what you are learning with members of the class; others will provide an opportunity to talk with people you know outside of class.
Teach One Another is a vital part of the BYU-I learning model, and BYU-I online courses are not exempt. Teaching others what you have learned helps you to understand and remember ideas/concepts/insights much better. Additionally, learning to have your views challenged and improved through the perspective of others is an important skill for any educator to possess, especially when dealing with culture and diversity. If you will take advantage of the various opportunities within this course to strengthen your sensitivity to the course's issues and increase your understanding for how to help your students navigate them, you will find the insights and skills you acquire will be useful long after you have finished the course.
BYU-I online courses are designed with 3-4 hours of activities weekly for each academic credit received. Therefore, you will need to be able to devote at least 6-8 hours each week to this course in order to do well. If you know you will not be able to devote this much time to the class, please consider taking the course at another time when you can make such a commitment.
|Lesson 01||Online and course-specific orientation, getting acquainted|
|Lesson 02||Values as a Part of Culture|
|Lesson 03||Values and Religions of the World|
|Lesson 04||Social Economic Status and Cultural Class|
|Lesson 05||Ethnicity Culture and Race|
|Lesson 06||Ethnicity Culture and Race|
|Lesson 07||Age and Gender|
|Lesson 08||Ability and Learning Styles|
|Lesson 09||Cognition and Language|
|Lesson 10||Cognition and Language|
|Lesson 11||Semester Project Presentations|
|Lesson 12||Semester Project Presentations|
|Lesson 13||Essay Final|
|Lesson 14||Course wrap-up and Letter to Future Students|
- Preparatory Readings/Videos/PowerPoints: All of the videos in this course are available in transcript form. Links to the transcripts are provided in the assignment and can also be accessed in the Course "Resources" folder.
- Accountability Quiz
- Weekly Group Discussion: You will meet with a group of students to discuss the lesson materials and discussion questions. Most weeks you will conduct your conversation on a discussion board, and other weeks you will need to meet together using a synchronous meeting tool such as Zoom.
- One-liners: You will compile a list of pertinent sentences that describe key concepts from the lesson readings, videos, and/or PowerPoints.
- Reflection Papers: You will choose one or two of your one-liners and write a short paper explaining and expounding upon it.
- Weekly Reports: This short report will allow you to give important feedback about how you are experiencing the course and completing the assignments. Because the reports are a summary of what you have done throughout the week, they will not open until later in the week that they are due.
Service Learning and Ethnographic Research Activity
(Due in lessons 7 & 13)
- In order to gain some experience working with diversity you will need to find a place that deals with diversity where you can volunteer throughout the semester. Diversity includes varying ethnicity, values, ability, and language. Choose a school, child care, church, hospital, or other setting that meets the criteria and arrange to volunteer 5 hours of service. At mid-term (Lesson 6) and at finals (Lesson 12), you will be asked to reflect on your experience.
- Application Activity Report (Due in lessons 4, 8, & 12)
- Semester Project (Parts 1, 2, and 3)
- Service Learning and Ethnographic Research Report
Some lessons have additional assessment activities such as: Mid-term Feedback, Final, or Course Evaluation.
You may notice that points vary for the One-Liners and Reflections. In the first few lessons of the course, points will be lower so that you have time to learn and understand the assignment expectations. After lesson 3, points will remain the same. Likewise, each Application Activity Report will be more points with each submission.
This course is designed to engage both your mind and your heart. Thus, it is important to prepare both intellectually and spiritually each week. Consistent personal prayer, scripture study, and attention to your covenants will provide a great support to your academic studies. While this is not a religion course, what you study here will help you to grow spiritually. When you are prepared, the Holy Spirit can provide guidance and direction that will make a great difference in your life.
As you interact with others in various assignments, please remember to be kind, considerate, and respectful of differing viewpoints. You can differ in opinions (sometimes the best learning comes when others challenge your thinking) but still be civil. Any violation of basic common courtesy --including interaction with the instructor -- will negatively impact your grade.
No text; all necessary materials are supplied within the course
Final Grade Breakdown
|Letter Grade||Percentage Range|
|A-||92% – 90%|
|B+||89% – 87%|
|B||86% – 83%|
|B-||82% – 80%|
|C+||79% – 77%|
|C||76% – 73%|
|C-||72% – 70%|
|D+||69% – 67%|
|D||66% – 63%|
|D-||62% – 60%|
This course has a Course Discussion Board in the Course folder on the left hand menu where you are encouraged to post general course questions/problems/concerns, etc. Using this board will inform other class members, the instructor, and others of the issues you find and allow the proper people to correct them for everyone. Please check this board throughout the semester. If you are experiencing the same problem as another student who has already reported it, you can make an additional post so others know the seriousness of the problem. If you know the answer to a question, you are encouraged to post solutions. Helping to solve your classmates' problems is another way to teach one another. Additionally, your instructor is monitoring this board and will inform you of fixes and solutions here.
You should only email your instructor directly if the problem is of a personal nature. OR sometime your instructor has a reason he/she would like to be informed of problems another way. If this is the case, your instructor will explain the change. Otherwise, please use the questions /problems /concerns board as the preferred way to report any problems.
Late Work Policy
Work that is late hampers your ability to fully participate in the course and will be accepted only at your instructor's discretion. Inform your instructor before the assignment is due. Any late work that is accepted is subject to a penalty as determined by your instructor.
One of the purposes of the discussions boards and small group meetings is to work together with your classmates, and they will already have moved on to new assignments. Thus, points for the discussion boards and small group meetings cannot be made up once the week is over. Each lesson opens several days in advance to allow flexibility. Assignments can be turned in early. Do not expect an instructor to bend the course due dates to accommodate your personal scheduling conflicts, including weddings and vacations. However, if you know you will be unable to meet a due date for any particular assignment, an instructor may be able to work with you if you makeprior arrangements to submit your work.
The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified prior to any changes that may take place.
Course Activities & Assignments
Click on the links below to access the directions for the activities and assignments found in this course. You can also access these pages at any time in the Course "Resources" folder under "Assignment Expectations & Examples."