When seeking the most appropriate approach to Kale, it is important to consider her ethnicity. Kanaka Maoli is an indigenous people originating from the Hawaiian Islands. This is important because there are substantial cultural differences between European Americans and those who had inhabited the Americas before the arrival of Europeans. Two cultural factors have to be considered in a classroom setting with a Kanaka Maoli student.
The first cultural factor that should be considered is the collectivist nature of Kanaka Maoli. As Shepherd and Linn (2014) write, “collectivist cultures stress group consciousness, group identity, and the needs of the group” (p. 26). Therefore, Kale is unlikely to respond positively to individual endorsement. She should be paired with other students who identify better with groups. Such a setting would recreate group consciousness which is essential for her self-actualization.
The second cultural factor is the status of an ethnic minority. Racial stereotypes are one of the pitfalls of historically discriminatory policies in the US. Although equality is promoted today, the mentality of a minority still permeates the minds of many indigenous people. Shepherd and Linn (2014) acknowledge this as well: “European American culture also contributes to the perpetuation of discriminatory practices toward diverse students” (p. 27). Therefore, letting Kale communicate with non-European American students is imperative to prevent behavioral conflicts.
Group tasks that necessitate Kale’s communication with non-European Americans accomplish three goals. First, they accomplish “a safe and positive environment that recognizes and respects diversity” (Shepherd & Linn, 2014, p. 30). Second, it minimizes the chances of conflict on a racial basis. Finally, Kale’s need to feel a part of a group is fulfilled, bolsters her self-esteem, thus adopting a classroom management plan to her needs.
Shepherd, T. L., & Linn, D. (2014). Behavior and classroom management in the multicultural classroom: Proactive, active, and reactive strategies. SAGE Publications.