Teaching Urban Students

published Jun 23, 2009 12:00am
A module about Teaching Urban Students provides detailed background information about the characteristics of urban students, insights into effective teaching practices and examples of classroom approaches well suited to engage and support all urban students.

Urban students bring a rich set of experiences to the classroom that may be significantly different than those of students in small-town settings, including cultural perspectives and intimate knowledge of foreign environments. Effective teaching of urban students requires instructors to tap into these rich experiences, cultural customs, and practical skills sets - the classroom's "funds of knowledge" - to design activities that urban students will consider to be "real." Research in urban classrooms across the country provides insight into what strategies can be used to best engage and support all urban students. Key strategies include providing contextually rich and varied activities/assignments, focusing curricula on the local environment, involving community and family in educational activities, and taking advantage of urban resources such as museums. In addition, urban educators can draw upon examples from the home countries or cultures of their students to build on their strong sense of cultural heritage.