Understanding culture's role in the learning process was the second key takeaway from our community of learning discussions. In the text Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain, Hammond informs us about the levels of culture and how schemas are formed through our experiences. Essentially, culture is our lens to how we view the world. Therefore, culture cannot be ignored in the classroom. My students gained a lot of understanding of the six culturally responsive brain rules. Hammond describes these brain rules as follows:
The brain seeks to minimize social threats and maximize opportunities to connect with others in the community.
Positive relationships keep our safety-threat detection system in check.
Culture guides how we process information.
Attention drives learning.
All new information must be coupled with existing funds of knowledge in order to be learned.
The brain physically grows through challenge and stretch, expanding its ability to do more complex thinking and learning. (Hammond, 2015)
Hammond states, “As you design instruction and create classroom environments to authentically engage culturally and linguistically diverse students, keep in mind the brain rules. Authentic engagement begins with remembering that we are wired to connect with one another.” (Hammond, 2015)