First Steps for Reaching and Teaching Diverse Populations: The Classroom Ecosystem and Transactional Literary Theory

By Mary Bellucci Buckelew.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Diversity poses challenges for students, teachers, staff developers, administrators, and organizations—however, there are no formulas for teaching and working with the diverse populations who grace our classrooms and work
places. Each culture and context is unique. This is the premise of this paper. In order for all students to achieve success in the classroom and outside of the
classroom, educators need to see, understand, and tap into the complexity of their own classroom and school cultures. To do so, a deeper understanding of diversity is necessary. This paper proposes that the classroom as ecosystem model is a first step in deepening understanding of diversity. The author shares her rendition of the conceptual framework of the classroom as ecosystem model, a model which provides educators in all phases of their careers with both a theoretical foundation--and a practical lens with which to view diverse classrooms and communities. The author concludes with a brief explication of literary theory/reader response—a theory and a pedagogy which are a natural fit for the diverse classroom.

Keywords: Diversity, Diversity in the Classroom, Classroom Ecosystem, Culture, Community, Ecosystem, Importance of Building Community, Transactional Literary Theory, Reader Response, Practical Strategies for Building Community in Diverse Populations

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp.43-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.159MB).

Dr. Mary Bellucci Buckelew

Associate Professor of English, Education & English Departments, West Chester University, West Chester, PA, USA

Mary Bellucci Buckelew joined the faculty at West Chester University in Pennsylvania in 1999 where she is currently an Associate Professor of English and the Associate Director of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project. Prior to joining the WCU faculty, she lived in New Mexico where she taught high school English and was an adjunct instructor at the University of New Mexico.

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