“All instruction is culturally responsive. The question is: to which culture is it currently oriented?”
-Gloria Ladson-Billings, Author of The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teacher of African American Children
Culturally responsive practice is a research-based approach that connects students’ cultures, languages, and life experiences to what they learn in school and pushes back on dominant narratives about historically marginalized people. Culturally responsive practice builds cognitive capacity and academic mindset. It does this by helping teachers develop their own awareness for how to connect students’ funds of knowledge to content and academic experiences.
In the field, culturally responsive practice calls on educators to develop their own cultural awareness and address their implicit biases in order to deepen connections with their students. Culturally responsive practice centers on fostering a sense of belonging for each student and supporting them as they move from dependent to independent learners.
While there are different pedagogies for culturally responsive practice, a shared goal is that they “defy the deficit model and ensure students see themselves and their communities reflected and valued in the content taught in school”. (Jenny Muñiz. Culturally Responsive Teaching: A 50 State Survey of Teaching Standards. New America)
Resources to Learn More
- Culturally Responsive Practice Guide
- Workspace: Culturally Responsive Practice
- Webinar: Creating a Sense of Belonging: A Critical Need for Student Engagement and Success
- Webinar: Cutivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literature
- Workspace: Critical Literacy
- Workspace: Sense of Belonging
- Blog: How to Recognize and Avoid Stereotype Threat In Your Class This School Year
- Webinar: Culturally Responsive Practice: So All Learners Can Be Seen and Understood
Hammond, Zaretta. Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. Corwin Press. 2014.