Culturally Responsive TeachingBeing a culturally responsive classroom teacher meansbeing willing to reflect on the ways that classroommanagement decisions help or hinder students access tolearning. A culturally responsive teacher can be aninvaluable guide for students, helping them bridge the gapbetween their own culture and the culture of schools. http://www.intime.uni.edu/multiculture/curriculum/culture/teaching.htm
ValidatingIt is important to validate the cultural knowledge andexperiences of the students in your classroom. Doing sogoes beyond the one time acknowledgement of astudents culture to embedding his beliefs, customs,traditions, and values into the learning environment.For example, accepting alternative algorithms from thestudents country as a teaching tool in math,incorporating the music from the varying backgrounds inyour classroom, or providing culturally diverse texts.The goal in the classroom is to respect and be inclusiveof all cultures and not to expect students to conformto your personal culture.
ComprehensiveWhen we say that culturally responsive teachers arecomprehensive, we are referring to the way the teachersdevelop the students’ intellectual, social, and emotional skills.The teachers incorporate the students’ own cultures into theirclassroom. They create a classroom where the students arevalued and develop a sense of belonging to the community.Teachers and students see the classroom as “our classroom.”The teacher takes time to get to know her children anddevelop them socially and emotionally in addition tointellectually. In other words, teachers teach the WHOLEchild.
MultidimensionalTeachers use a variety of teaching strategies to reach thestudents. They know their students learning styles andmultiple intelligences and use them to reach each child.The teacher knows that there is more than just content thestudents must learn. Integrating the arts into instruction is agreat way to meet the needs of all your students. Oftenteachers will work with the special area teachers to createinterdisciplinary units.
EmpoweringTeachers empower their students to succeed. Students mustbelieve they can succeed in learning tasks and havemotivation to persevere. Success and motivation are cyclical,success leads to motivation and motivation leads to success.Teachers must demonstrate high and appropriateexpectations and give their students support towardsacademic achievement. Teachers celebrate individual andcollective accomplishments with their students.
TransformativeTeachers promote respect and acceptance of all students’cultures. Teachers use the students’ culture, strengths andaccomplishments when teaching. They become a resourcefor teaching and learning.For example, a teacher may use the verbal creativity andstory-telling that is unique among some cultures andacknowledge it as a gift and contribution and use it to teachwriting skills
EmancipatoryCulturally responsive teachers help students find their voice.They engage them in multiple ways of knowing and thinking.Teachers help students take an active role in shaping theirlearning, they learn about themselves as learners.For example, teachers have students learn about theirlearning style and/or multiple intelligences and have studentsreflect why that is important for them to know aboutthemselves. The students become liberated by theireducation, not held captive by it.