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Tool: What does "family" mean?

You can use this tool as an opportunity to reflect individually or as a discussion guide with your mentor/mentee:


1. What is your understanding of "family"?

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2. What past experiences most likely influenced your ideas about family?

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3. How do you think your students understand "family"?

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4. How does your understanding compare and contrast with theirs?  What are likely reasons?

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Now, please look below to see how various educators have described different types of families. Think about how your image of "family" compares with the "types of families" in column 1. Write or talk about your assumptions about different types of families (column 2) and actions necessary to support all learners (column 3).


Types of families

My assumptions: What kind of impact might this type of family have on my teaching and on student learning? (Positive, no impact, negative)

My actions: What do I need to do to teach in ways that will meet the needs of students in this type of family?

Your definition

Nuclear family (a mom and dad present)

Families with single parents (mom or dad)

Families with gay or lesbian parents

Foster families

Families with grandparents and relatives as parents

Families with court-appointed guardians

Multiracial families

Bilingual families

Commune

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