Jacklyn Blake Clayton challenges the notion of "tolerance" for cultural differences—a notion that implies resignation, passivity, superiority—and offers instead another challenge: to understand the building blocks of all cultures. This understanding is the keystone that holds together a variety of world views and creates a more solid structure for meaningful interactions between teachers and students. Each chapter of her book looks at an aspect of culture that affects the classroom:
- How children are socialized
- How values can differ from culture to culture
- How learning styles may be influenced
- How verbal and nonverbal communication differ across cultures
- How immigrant children acculturate
- How the mainstream classroom in the United States has its own culture
Deftly combining theory and practice, Clayton incorporates into her book general suggestions for applying concepts to the classroom, plus numerous sections called "Try this!" with specific questions, prompts, or activities to promote inquiry and reflection.