Well, apparently my iceberg post was recently discovered and has been shared around quite a bit, not only in education circles, but also political science, health, and social justice communities. I love that I’ve gotten some great feedback about it and that it has opened up communication and shared learning—exactly what it was intended for.

Coincidentally, today a friend of mine shared with me a new book that she is reading, which comes back to the idea of different cultures and how we misunderstand each other. While the context is white teachers in urban (diversely populated) schools, the ideas extend more broadly to understanding students whose cultures are different from the teacher’s. My copy is still on its way overseas, but I’m looking forward to reading it!

It’s already getting quite a bit of attention in the media. Be sure to watch the video to the end, particularly at 7:23.

A couple of highlights from the article need sharing:

“I always say, if you’re coming into a place to save somebody then you’ve already lost because young people don’t need saving. They have brilliance, it’s just on their own terms.”

Teachers: You need to begin to understand the realities of your students, especially if they are from different racial, cultural, socioeconomic backgrounds from yours. #socialjusticeed #culture #diversity Share on X

“…every young person who comes into the classroom has realities that vary from the realities of the teacher, especially if that teacher is from a different ethnic, racial, cultural and socioeconomic background. It holds that uniqueness about the youth experience as a fundamental and essential piece of teaching and learning. Before you teach content, you first teach to understand the youth experience.”

And my favorite, that we don’t need grants and iPads to make these changes. “Teaching differently is free.”


Edmin makes some points that we have heard before: that our students have different experiences from ours, that what are doing right now isn’t working… But he’s going into classrooms, working with pre-service teachers, and trying to solve the problems from the ground up. He’s here to talk about how and why that needs to be done, and while some people are ready to get defensive about his title (a la #BLM backlash), I think we can all agree that this is a time to have an open mind to the solutions.

I’d love to hear perspectives from anyone who has already read the book. Please share your comments below.

Revisiting Culture
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5 thoughts on “Revisiting Culture

  • 23. May 2016 at 13:45

    Hello Janine,
    Yes I saw your cultural iceberg on Facebook.
    As an author of a nursing health assessment textbook, I would love to include it in the culture chapter.
    How do I go about getting a print worthy copy and copyright permission? And how much would it cost?

    My email is Jane.kelley@gmail.com

  • 27. March 2018 at 15:22

    I’m a full time chaplain at a long-term care and assisted living facility working with student chaplains who are studying in a Clinical Pastoral Education program in Minnesota. I’d like to print up a poster of your iceberg for my office. May I have permission, and how should I attribute it properly?

    • profile pic
      19. May 2020 at 06:45

      Hi David, you are welcome to use the illustration with proper reference (Janine Slaga, janinesmusicroom.com). If you prefer to print, you can find it here. Thanks!

  • 4. April 2018 at 09:21

    Hello Janine

    I would also like to know answers to Jane Kelly’s post above please! Brilliant resource. Thank you for sharing with the world.

  • 5. December 2019 at 19:16

    Hello Janine,
    A colleague of mine also shared your Cultural Iceberg poster with me. I love it! I am an Art Therapist working in a Community Based Mental Health clinic and I would like to have permission to paint this image so we can hang it in the lobby of our Clinic; or if you have a way for me to order poster size I would be interested in ordering. Thank you!
    You may contact me at: jorie@nyfs.org


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