Cultural Cognition

Patrone, Jason

Topic: Educational Theory & Practice (ET)

Bibliographic Citation: 

Hammond, Z. (2015). Culturally responsive teaching & the brain: Promoting authentic engagement and rigor among culturally and linguistically diverse students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin / Sage.

Summary: How does our environment affect our brain’s development? How do economics and politics figure into this equation? Ms. Hammond helps us navigate diverse classrooms by identifying cultural archetypes, or commanalities among all of our learners. We find ways to work past our bias and deficit thinking, to find what many fixed-minded educators assume to be cultural norms are actually coping mechanisms born out of trauma. Above all, upon learning that the prime directive of the brain is to minimize threats while connecting to our community, we begin to see that, sadly, many of our instituional practices directly undermine the mind’s one, crucial mission.

Evaluation: I have found articles and books about cognition and others about culture, but this work is the first I’ve come across that not only reconciles both, but establishes that the two realms are dependent upon each other. Barely over 100 pages, Ms. Hammond offers us a lean, useable text useful to any professional working with people, not just educators. The book is not just meant to inform, it’s purpose is transform the reader into a culturally responsive practitioner.

The Power of Diversity


Arnold, Ronnie

Education Theory and Practice (ET)

Juvonen, J., Kogachi, K., & Graham, S. (2017). When and how do students benefit from ethnic diversity in middle school? Child Development (0)0, 1-15. Retrieved from

Key points from the article I shared.

  1. More than half of the school aged youth are part of the ethnic minority
    1. Latinos are the largest
    2. Asians are the fastest growing
  2. Schools should expect to have greater diversity in the upcoming years due to the new ethnic composition of the environments
  3. Believes that if K-12 classrooms demographics do not match the ethnic diversity of neighborhoods, then increased segregation in schools that serve ethnic minorities can occur, students cannot receive the benefits of growing in an ethically diverse society, and schools composed of the ethnic minorities can be underserved due to unequal educational opportunities.

What I loved about this research is that social-emotional outcomes were the focus. I think educators can sometimes get swept away with following standards, teaching subject matter, and devoting the majority of the lessons to the subject matter. Of course, the time we get to design curriuclum and carryout lessons can sometimes not be enough, but we also need to consider the social-emotional well-being of the students while conducting lessons as well. What better way to bond with students, appreciate cultural differences, and learn real-world applications of a skill in the classroom teaching your favorite subject.

In the study, the researchers focused on social-emotional outcomes(safety, emotions, peer pressue, and lonliness) rather than academic outcomes. From the data analyzed, it was determined:

  1. Girls felt less safe but believed they received fair and equal treatment from teachers by the sixth grade.
  2. African American and Latino students felt safer but more victimized amongst peers at school.
  3. High parent education levels were associated less peer victimization of students.
  4. Believed teachers were less fair and equitable to all ethnic groups.
  5. Exposure to ethnic diversity in lessons displayed a positive relationship between positive perceptions of teachers and fair treatment.
  6. Teachers fair and equal treatment increased as the school became more diverse unless the class demographics were less diverse than the school’s demographics.

Learning Styles & Multiple Intelligences: Theory Integration

Gifford, Kellsie

ET – Educational Theory

Learning Styles & Multiple Intelligences: Theory Integration [Video file]. (2017). Retrieved from

This video provides a dynamic look into the various learning styles and how the teacher can best adapt to each. Short, sweet, and engaging, the video gives great insights for those who are new to the education field.

I really appreciate that there is a focus on providing activities for each type of learner, which is something that I struggled with as a student in my younger years.

In School Libraries, Differentiation Through Curation

Karla Morones


Morris, Rebecca. “In School Libraries, Differentiation Through Curation”. Harvard Education Publishing Group. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 May 2016.


This blog posting covers how important the skill of digital curation is for school librarians to have.  The author would like to see digital curation not only in the hands of school librarians but the students as well. She believes having the students involved in the curation of digital material would lead to differentiation. Morris sees this happening by app smashing, a term coined by educator Greg Kulowiec, where a student would use multiple apps to complete a final task.  Morris suggests that school librarians would make excellent curators because they are enthusiastic and knowledgeable in helping teachers and students evaluate select and use digital tools

I found this article informative and  a valuable resource.  This is a skill that would serve all librarians well, being able to provide students and teachers with a list of digital resources that could be used for a lesson or a research project would help immensely.  It is important to differentiate learning for students and teachers this would make way for more effective collaboration.