Mini Ethnography and Theoretical Framework

Mini Ethnography and Theoretical Framework Introduction In the AP Calculus class, that is predominately Chinese, the professor divides groups to discuss the math questions, I noticed that Chinese students solve the questions in Chinese with each other and they ignore communicating with other students of color in the same group.

Mini Ethnography and Theoretical Framework
Mini Ethnography and Theoretical Framework

When the professor asks the students to respond, Chinese students always provide the right answers. It was noticeable that after the Chinese students solve the questions, they give answers to the classmates of color, and they do not mind that the students of color do not put effort into solving the questions. From this observation, it is evident that in a multicultural class setting the dominant culture often assumes control of the sessions and they ignore the minority which makes it difficult for all the students to engage in the learning process.

The significance of the study

The study will provide an understanding of the activities that define learning process in a multicultural setting and the measures that can be instituted to ensure that all the students participate and they provided with equal opportunities for learning.

Mini Ethnography and Theoretical Framework Research question

In the classroom, why is it that students of color do not always answer the professorís question? Why do students of color prefer to be silent when they have questions about learning content even when they choose to ask their classmates after class? Do the students of color love to learn knowledge in the school or be indecisive about going to school with fear of different treatment from other students or teachers?


Students of color who emanate from a racial society are often unconfident to engage in public speaking for the fear that their behaviors and minds could be subjected to judgment and unequal treatment.

Theoretical framework

According to researchers in multicultural education, the multicultural approach to understanding the role of education arises from the assertion that it is important to restructure learning institutions in a way that all students are positioned to acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are critical in facilitating effective functioning in an ethnically and culturally diverse setting. Through this approach, it will be possible to limit the negative effects of a racial construct that increases the possibility that students will prefer associating with ìtheir kindî even in situations where the learning process, such a group work, requires the integration of all the students to work towards the realization of a common objective. This situation, when perceived in terms of the multicultural identity theory, communicates the idea that it is important to create a platform that advocates for reflective action among students. Through this approach, it will be possible for the students, in a class setting to view their actions through approaches that are focused on improving society through the education process (Banks, 1993). Students will learn the essence of associating knowledge, values, empowerment, and actions to facilitate growth and development.

The need for a multicultural approach to the education process can also be understood through the lens of racial identity development theory. According to Tatum (1992), racial identity development theory communicates the sense of collective or group identity that is founded on an individualís perception that he or she shares a common racial herniate with a particular group in the society. They asserts that in a society where there is an emphasis on racial-group identity, every individual will develop some form of racial identity. The danger of this approach to understanding the prevailing situation in a classroom setting can be based on the failure by the teacher to create an environment in which students feel comfortable to participate in different sessions without he needs to associate with individuals with a common racial identity.

An understanding of the element of race and its contributions to the prevailing situation in learning institutions involves examining the roles of social and cultural processes as critical mediators of human thoughts and human actions. Through this approach provides a unit of analyzing and understanding the complex interweaving of an individual and the cultural development. The theory recognizes that culture unfolds on multiple levels of development which implies that in the process of improving the learning environment it becomes relatively easier to ensure that different cultural practices are integrated into ways that enhance the possibility of cooperating towards a common idea (Nasir & Hand, 2006).

The process of addressing the issue of racial identity in the education sector requires the development of a structure aimed at improving the possibility that students will improve their ability to cooperate towards developing a common agenda when improving the learning platform. This implies that it is important to integrate them into a transformative structure that will improve their ability and capacity to engage in different activities through group work. Through such a transformation, it would be relatively easier to minimize the possibility of advancing racial prejudices by undermining the oppressing factors.

Mini Ethnography and Theoretical Framework Methods

The study used observation and note-taking of the relationship between students and professors at Bishop Alemany High School located in Mission Hills.  The observations were conducted in AP calculous AB class and AP government classes. In the AP calculous AB class, I observed that the number of Chinese students was relatively high compared to the number of students of other racial groups. The implication was that even when the class was divided into groups, the population of Chinese students was high and they felt comfortable communicating with each other while ignoring other students in the process. The Chinese students felt comfortable to associate with other Chinese because of their shared racial identity. In situations where the professor did not divide the class into groups, students chose to sit according to their racial identities. The daily life of students in the school was also a subject of observation at Bishop Alemany High School. I observed that in the dining area multiple communities separated themselves according to their racial identity. Most students of color (blacks) tended to have snacks away from students of racial identity. In addition, whites and Asians students also associated among themselves in ways that communicated the idea that students feel comfortable to communicate with individuals with whom they share a common identity…

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