Culturally Relevant Inspiration

By: Virginia Rodriguez

EDU 692: Creativity Culture and Global Contexts in Education Decision Making

Professor William Reeves

Assignment Week 4

June 7, 2015

Type of School:

Federal and State Head Start Services
Poverty level must be below 130%
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  • 415 students

70 Certified IEP's

85% Latino

5% African American

5% Bi-Racial

3% Asian

2% Caucasian

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The Head Start program began in the 1960's targeting low income families. The main purpose of the program is to not only educate the children but also empower the family to break the poverty cycle. The Head Start program prides itself in being able to service the children and their families by providing health, nutrition, social, mental health and other services to their participants. Head Start is design to be responsive to the need of the participants and their families. At PPA their mission is to educate children in the low impoverish areas of the Latino community. Their mission is to give the Latino children a successful, safe and nurturing environment. PPA is open to all walks of life and incorporate many of the Latino culture and beliefs in their curriculum. They have what they consider a "home grown" curriculum based on the Early Childhood Standards provided by the State of Pennsylvania. All children are targeted in the lessons with creative ways to encourage those that may need more attention. Classrooms have bilingual books and many cultures are represented in the materials that are provided for the children to use.
21st Century PreSchool Education ASPIRA / TeamChildren2015

Type of School:

  • Montessori


Private Pay

Hand picked to be in program

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  • 45 students

90 % Caucasian

5 % Asian

3 % African American

2 % Latino

Student to Teacher Ratio

Clementine Montessori

Montessori is a "system of education young children that seeks to develop natural interests and activities rather than use formal methods" (Wikipedia 2015). Clementine Montessori school is founded in the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori, they inspire children to explore the world, appreciate differences, and embrace challenges. They recognize the uniqueness of each child, seek out the opportunities of our urban setting, and cultivates independence, social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and global citizenship.
Montessori Vs. Conventional School

Type of School:

  • Private Preschool Program

Urban Setting

Private Pay

Application Process

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  • 45 Students

95 % Caucasian

5 % Other

Student To Teacher Ratio

  • DPW Staff: Child Ratio Beacon's Staff: Child Ratio
  • Toddlers:

1:5 1:3 3 Staff 9 children

  • 3-4 years:

1:10 1:6 3 Staff 18 children

  • Pre-K:

1:10 1:9 2 staff: 18 children

Beacon Center For Children

Beacon Center, is a unique program that has been in operation for over twenty-five years. Beacon provides educational, emotional, creative and social guidance for children in a home-like and loving environment. Beacon Center believes in sensory learning through play, games, manipulative, and exploration making a child's first "school" experience a relaxed, friendly and joyous one. Beacon Center's curriculum includes language arts, reading readiness, science, music, movement, math, and art activities that encourage children's growth and development. Beacon's mission is to form a union with parents to help children develop confidence, a strong self image and a thirst for learning.
Learning Moments - Learning Through Play - 3 to 5 Years

21st century skills

All three programs have a mission to educate the child and to meet the state standards. Technology is present in the classroom and are great resources to the children and teachers. All programs allow children to explore different concepts and materials. The Head Start program is more teacher guided, the Montessori program is more child guided with some teacher input and the private pay preschool is a combination. A 21st century learner must be able to encompass the age of digital literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and high productivity. Alberta Education said it best about our current society it is "knowledge-based and globalized society"(Newman 2013, CH 1).

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

"One error has been to try to insert culture into education rather than provide education within the framework of the culture." (Gaffney, 2005)

In order to provide a learning experience that reflects a culturally relevant pedagogy we as educators must observe how children express themselves that reflects their culture and diversity. We must respect their home language and the experiences that they bring to the classroom. These are unique to them. We must encompass the differences and incorporate them into the learning experiences in our classrooms. Each of the program reflects the cultures that are represented in their classrooms.

Creativity in the Classroom

Educators play a big role in promoting creative thinking in their students. In order to enhance the creativity in the classroom the environment must be a well organized environment. Educators must also create an environment that allow children to explore, takes risks, feel supported both emotionally and socially. Educators must provide materials that are age appropriate and diverse. In other words creativity in the classroom begins with the educator and their vision.

Teacher's Conference 2013 'Seven Ways to Promote Creativity in the Classroom' by Carol Read


Gaffney, Jon (2005). Responding to Diversity,

Newman, R. (2013). Teaching and learning in the 21st century: Connecting the dots. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Wardle, F. (2013). Human relationships and learning in the multicultural environment. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.