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19.1: Culturally responsive teaching

  • Page ID
    87581
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    State of Washington, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

    Culturally Responsive Teaching

    To achieve a high quality public education for all students, all educators must be able to work effectively in diverse settings. To become effective in diverse contexts, educators must be willing to learn about systemic racism and inequities in the public education system and to develop culturally competent skills and mindsets (EOGOAC, 2017). Professional learning opportunities aimed at increasing cultural competencies are focused on increasing educators’ knowledge of student cultural histories and contexts (as well as family norms and values in different cultures), the ability to access community resources for community and family outreach, and developing the skills for adapting instruction to align to students’ experiences and identifying cultural contexts for individual students (RCW 28A.410.260). In accordance with best practices regarding family engagement, districts should make every effort to ensure cultural competence training programs are developed and implemented in partnership with families and communities (EOGOAC, 2017).

    When considering mathematics teaching practices to reach students who have not yet met grade-level standards in mathematics, it is important to consider the positive impact of culturally responsive teaching in order to better support all students in mathematics. Studies have shown that culturally responsive teaching, defined as teaching that leverages students’ cultural knowledge to facilitate learning, has positive effects on students’ learning. Furthermore, teachers having respect for cultural diversity positively influences the students’ motivation to learn.

    Margery Ginsberg suggests a motivational framework for culturally responsive teaching which can support learning. The framework is made up of four essential motivational conditions, which Ginsberg has found to act “individually and in concert to enhance students’ intrinsic motivation to learn.” The conditions are:

    1. Establishing Inclusion—the teacher creates a learning environment in which students and teachers feel respected by and connected to one another.
    2. Developing a Positive Attitude—the teacher creates a favorable disposition among students toward learning through personal cultural relevance and student choice.
    3. Enhancing Meaning—the teacher creates engaging and challenging learning experiences.
    4. Engendering Competence—the teacher creates a shared understanding that students have effectively and authentically learned something they value.

    Teaching mathematics with a culturally responsive lens means that the teacher creates an inclusive environment, makes the learning relevant with some aspects of student choice, plans and enacts learning activities that are engaging and challenging, and supports his or her students in knowing what they have learned and why it is of value.

    When classrooms and schools are staffed with culturally competent educators, schools are more likely to effectively work towards closing the opportunity gap and increasing student achievement. OSPI has created a toolkit to support educators as they integrate students’ funds of knowledge in the classroom. Additional resources that support culturally responsive practices include: Culturally Responsive Teaching Matters!, Culturally Responsive Classroom Management, and Culturally Responsive Teaching.

    References

    • Ginsberg, M. B. (2015). Excited to learn: motivation and culturally responsive teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
    • Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The Dreamkeepers: Successful teaching for African-American students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
    • Pewewardy, C. (1994). Culturally responsive pedagogy in action: An American Indian magnet school. In E. R. Hollings, J.E. King, & W. C. Hayman (Eds.), Teaching diverse populations: Formulating a knowledge base (pp. 77–92). Albany, NY: State University of New York.
    • Ginsberg, M. B. (2015). Excited to learn: motivation and culturally responsive teaching. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
    • Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The Dreamkeepers: Successful teaching for African-American students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
    • Pewewardy, C. (1994). Culturally responsive pedagogy in action: An American Indian magnet school. In E. R. Hollings, J.E. King, & W. C. Hayman (Eds.), Teaching diverse populations: Formulating a knowledge base (pp. 77–92). Albany, NY: State University of New York.

    19.1: Culturally responsive teaching is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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