Effective Teaching Strategies for Middle School Learners in Multicultural, Multilingual Classrooms

This article explores teacher evaluations of researcher-endorsed instructional strategies employed by 16 middle school teachers in Florida to address the developmental and educational needs of their students. The results of a six-point ratings survey to assess the effectiveness of ten instructional practices (case studies; cooperative learning; dual language printed materials; field trips; guest speakers representing the cultures of the students; inviting parents to visit and participate in classroom activities; peer tutoring; role playing to solve problems; using alternative assessments; and use of visuals) administered to the teachers resulted in the identification of four practices and strategies being rated as the “most effective” in diverse classrooms.

Content Comments 

This brief article identifies four instructional strategies rated to be highly effective in classrooms comprising students from many non-Caucasian ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The ratings are the result of a survey administered to 16 middle school teachers who teach students from diverse populations in Florida (closely mirroring the state’s demographic representation of 50% non-Caucasian minority). The four instructional strategies identified are: cooperative learning; peer tutoring; using alternative assessments; and use of visuals. The results of such a small, localized survey cannot be generalized in any larger context. However, the authors provide a significant list of research and resources related to the specific instructional strategies and to support the broader implications of culturally responsive teaching. The authors present issues that are relevant to a broad range of audiences, including classroom teachers and school administrators who make pedagogical decisions for supporting their students.