I have learned a lot this semester. A child’s culture and family background greatly impacts his experience and learning. I strongly connected to the story of Lia Lee, a Hmong child with epilepsy, who suffered under the cultural dissonance between her family and the medical doctors in Merced, California (Fadiman, 2012). There are multiple perspectives on each situation—none are inherently right or wrong. Educators need to consider the family and cultural beliefs present. Teachers should focus on developing relationships with families based on mutual respect and consideration. Then and only then can a true reciprocal partnership be achieved. Ultimately, as in the case of Lia, it is the child who suffers when parents and teachers are unable to come together on goals and practices.
Fadiman, A. (2012). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.