Being one of the last people to post about this particular article, gives me the advantage of hindsight when in comes to interpreting the perspectives of the author as well as the impact of the article.
I will begin by agreeing with some of the sentiments given by my peers in previous posts. The cultural perspectives outlined by Kleinfield in this author is both insensitive and blunt. I feel the opinions and language used are both archaic to today’s interpretations of cultural contexts. I became confused when Kleinfield opened the article by referring to the native population as Indian, then going to specifying the particular tribal Eskimos he would describe– and then jumping in between the two. After I initially read the article, I went back to the publishing date and found that this article was published in 1975. I would imagine at this time, it was socially acceptable to be less culturally sensitive to the labeling of indigenous peoples. However, this being an article professing that Anglo-Saxon American educators should be more culturally aware of Alaskan native students’ needs– it falls short of expectations and shoots high beyond hypocrisy.
But to directly respond to the prompt question at hand, their is always a cultural context when considering effective classroom management. If we teach with given nonverbal and verbal expression in, we can’t assume all students will understand the target cultural reference. But for most of us, the cultural context will be that of the white majority; unless we end up teaching in an inner city or large metropolitan area. Unless we elect to teach in rural communities in Alaska.
Because the cultural and the differences in social interactions, there is a clear and present need for Anglo-American educators to adjust their classroom management from the traditional American classroom, to perhaps something closer to The traditional native Alaskan ways of learning.
But in the same breath, in the twenty-first century, rural educators have a responsibility to prepare their students for the ever expanding world society and globalization. The white way may not always be best, but a proper preparation of the students’ to emerge into a multicultural world is a educational imperative.