The primary issue in this paper is becoming aware of how moving courses online or using other technologies to hybridize courses, with a focus at the community college-level, can affect culturally responsive pedagogy. This topic was especially interesting to me because in addition for my own love of technology, my husband just finished a thesis on teaching composition online and how we must examine the ways technology is influencing our pedagogies so that we are still sticking to teaching the way we believe we should.
Smith and Ayers focus on ways that nonwestern learners may be inhibited by the use of technology in community college classes. By pointing out some fundamental dimensions of nonwestern versus western world views (see Table 1) and cognitive styles (see Table 2), we start to see how coming from background that emphasizes community over the individual can impact the way a learner approaches online learning.
They encourage remembering the following constructivist learning theory principles:
- Learning is contextualized in action and played out in everyday situations.
- True knowledge is acquired through active participation.
- Learning is a process of social action and engagement rooted in distinctive ways of thinking, acting, and communicating.
- Learning can be assisted by experts and solidified through apprenticeship.
- Learning is an important means of participating in a social environment.
Mostly, they propose being varied in activities and methods to be as fair as possible to all types of learners. I think it’s really important to remember that if you are designing online or hybrid classes, that not only has your classroom “location” changed, but so has the “environment.” It’s important to be aware of your own teaching philosophy and be sure you are really handling this new environment appropriately.
Smith, D., & Ayers, D. (2006). Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Online Learning: Implications for the Globalized Community College. , (5/6), 401-415. doi:10.1080/10668920500442125.