Culturally Responsive Teaching - Digital Promise

Culturally Responsive Teaching

“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 teaching 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 teaching 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 teaching calls on educators to develop their own cultural awareness and address their implicit biases in order to deepen connections with their students. Culturally responsive teaching centers on fostering a sense of belonging for each student and supporting them as they move from dependent to independent learners.

Culturally Responsive Teaching

While there are different pedagogies for culturally responsive teaching, 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)

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