3 CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHINGAlbemarle County Public Schools • A. Communicating and practicing high expectations to empower all students • B. Acknowledging and incorporating the relevance of cultural heritages of students into instructional strategies • C. Building positive relationships with and among students in the context of culture
Why: • Enables students to be better human beings and more successful learners. • Builds respect for cultures and experiences of various groups. These may be used as resources for teaching and learning. • Recognizes that good teaching “transcends place, people, time and context.” (P. 22) • Recognizes and nurtures the individuality of students by knowing your students. (P. 23) • Evidence and classroom practices “demonstrate that socio-culturally centered teaching does enhance student achievement.” (P. 25) • Builds self-esteem and self-efficacy of students.
How: • Teach “to and through their personal and cultural strengths, their intellectual capabilities, and their prior accomplishments” (P. 24) and relate concepts to students’ real-world experiences and personal stories. • Provide resources through one-on-one time, modeling positive behaviors, and celebrating group and individual accomplishments. • Use real-world examples that all students can relate to and comprehend. • Teach with flexibility, warmth, support, enthusiasm, and understanding, yet provide rigor and demand high quality academic performance for yourself and your students (P.44).
B:Acknowledging and incorporating the relevance of cultural heritages of students into instructional strategies
Why: • Educational processes are needed which enable all students to become positive contributors to a culturally dynamic society (P.26) • If you maintain that “you don’t see color”, then you don’t acknowledge the experiences of people of color around you. (Bonnie Davis, How to Teach Students Who Don’t Look Like You)
How: • Respect the cultural and linguistic characteristics of racial minority students by using elements of their cultures for instruction • The study of math concepts and operations can engage students in exploring crafts, economics, architecture, employment patterns, population distributions and consumer habits of different ethnic groups (P. 29-30) • Allow students to help teachers decide how their performance will be evaluated • Use African American storytelling in informal social interactions to teach writing skills • The tendency of Japanese, Chinese, and Filipino students to study together in small groups can be formalized in the classroom • Make authentic knowledge about different ethnic groups accessible to students (P. 33-35)
C:Building positive relationships with and among students in the context of culture:
Why: • to demonstrate a commitment to the individual student in support of his/her academic, social and emotional growth, and to help build accurate, authentic and comprehensive knowledge
How: • create and structure activities and lesson plans that allow students to “tell their story” which may include their unique heritage and cultural background and share the information with their peers and the teacher through: • journal writing, • teacher modeling of storytelling, • AVID program curriculum, • use of visual imagery and symbols; • engage in dialogue about conflicts among cultures; and • engage students in self-assessment. (P.2,3, 8-14,32-33,39-43, 213-214) • associate with students outside of school at various club functions, sporting events and fine arts presentations within the community • Develop a “creed of caring” for the classroom (P. 52-53) • Integrate cooperative learning within the classroom (P. 34)
How: • consider one-on-one mentoring/teaching with individual students • attempt to make connections with students on similar personal matters • make a conscious effort to translate any important communications to parents in their native language by contacting the ESOL Office at ACPS and/or by working with the school-based ESOL teacher • sponsor Diversity Clubs to promote the heritage, culture and issues of all students
Impact: • life-long learners in the global society • develop students’ perseverance • develop intrinsic motivation within students
Next Step: • Analyze and evaluate the faculty survey. • Choose a characteristic that needs to be emphasized in your school based on your survey results or other observations and concerns. • Apply the “How” strategies recommended for your school presentation.