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Culturally Responsive Teaching


Culturally Responsive Teaching is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students' cultural references in all aspects of learning (Ladson-Billings,1994). Some of the characteristics of culturally responsive teaching are: Positive perspectives on parents and families. Communication of high expectations.


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Cultural values and learning practices transmitted from parents and from community guide how the brain wires itself to process information and handle relationships.


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Dr. Geneva Gay - Conversation about students' culture and teaching

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Pedro Noguera, Ph.D. - "Excellence Through Equity" 


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How does this picture frame your thinking about equality vs. equity?




Culturally Responsive Teaching/ Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings


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Article - Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP)

Dr. Sonia Nieto - Finding joy in diverse backgrounds

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3 Tips to Make Any Lesson More Culturally Responsive (and it’s not what you think!)


One of the biggest misconceptions about culturally responsive teaching is thinking you have to tie the lesson’s content to African American or Latino students’ racial background. The common belief is if you mention Africa, Mexico, or famous black and brown high achievers, it will spark students’ attention. Then they will be motivated to participate.


In reality, culturally responsive teaching is less about using racial pride as a motivator and more about mimicking students’ cultural learning styles and tools. These are the strategies their moms, dads, grandmas, and other community folks use to teach them life skills and basic concepts long before they come to school and during out-of-school time.


Culturally responsive teaching leverages the brain’s memory systems and information processing structures. Why? Many diverse students come from oral cultural traditions. This means their primary ways of knowledge transfer and meaning-making are oral and active. It’s a common cultural tradition that cuts across racial groups: African American, Latino, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander communities all have strong oral cultures. Each of these cultural groups uses the brain’s memory systems for turning inert information into useable knowledge. They use memory strategies to make learning sticky, like connecting what needs to be remembered to a rhythm or music (that’s why we still know the ABC song) or by reciting it in fun ways like a poem, riddle, or limerick.


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