October 25, 2019

Educator's Voice XII: Culturally Responsive Teaching - Celebrating Diversity in Our Schools

Source: NYSUT Research & Educational Services
Educator's Voice XII

In this Issue:

This volume takes a close look at how culturally responsive teaching is defined while providing concrete instances of schoolwide and classroom-based initiatives. The programs described herein engage educators, school building leaders and members of the community in cultivating a mindset for culturally responsive teaching, creating an optimal learning environment and reshaping curricula to better reflect the increasingly diverse populations of students being served.

Consistent across them is the perspective that this seemingly daunting task can be accomplished by capitalizing on the assets students bring to the table through their unique strengths, cultural backgrounds and experiences. Authors demonstrate how to infuse culturally responsive teaching through programs that involve students in civic engagement, cultural and self-awareness, inquiry-led learning, restorative practices and multiliteracy. Throughout the issue, culturally responsive teaching is viewed as something foundational and integral to good teaching practice for all students.

  • Welcome from Jolene DiBrango
  • Being a Culturally Responsive Teacher in a Culturally Responsive Classroom
  • Students as Content Creators: A Brooklyn Ethnography
  • Building Culturally Responsive Learning Communities through Political and Civic Engagement
  • Closing the Opportunity Gap through a Culture of Care
  • “I don’t want to forget my language”: A case for culturally relevant heritage language literacy instruction in schools
  • Cultural Awareness and Self-Awareness at Thurgood Marshal Academy
  • Glossary Resources
  • Call for Proposals for Next Issue

Download Educator's Voice XII (pdf)

Being a Culturally Responsive Teacher in a Culturally Responsive Classroom

By Susan Lafond

Educators find themselves working with students who are increasingly more racially, culturally, economically and linguistically diverse. Culturally responsive instruction is a way to create an inclusive, student-centered environment that is accessible and relevant to all students. Learn ways to strengthen culturally responsive practices in the classroom and take advantage of the rich assets a broadly diverse classroom of students provides.

Students as Content Creators: A Brooklyn Ethnography

By David Mumper and Beth Clark-Gareca

Join a class of high school students as they focus on the school community itself as the primary source of content material. This article features exemplars of student-centered learning and student-led approaches to community engagement, focusing on the strategies secondary teachers can use to establish their own inquiry-led, culturally responsive classroom.

Building Culturally Responsive Learning Communities through Political and Civic Engagement

By Gladys Cruz, Theresa Longhi and Jose M. Melendez

The Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute (PR/HYLI) experience integrates Latinx students into a community of learners by providing culturally responsive learning experiences that culminate in civic engagement. This integrative process affirms students’ life experiences, linguistic diversity, and their cultures — who they are.

Closing the Opportunity Gap through a Culture of Care

By Philip Weinman and Colleen Wygal

Through the development of culturally responsive curricula, professional learning, and aligned instruction, faculty and administration at Schenectady High School are working together to cultivate a positive school climate and address systems inside the classroom and the school building that previously led to disproportionate educational outcomes for students of color.

“I don’t want to forget my language”: A case for culturally relevant heritage language literacy instruction in schools

By Emily Voegler and Erica Daniels

The Syracuse City School District’s Steps to the Seal program encourages students to view their heritage language as an academic resource and assists them in developing literacy skills to prepare them to attain the Seal of Biliteracy. The program increases family engagement by inviting families to participate, seeking their input, and emphasizing the role of family, language, and culture in education.

Cultural Awareness and Self-Awareness at Thurgood Marshall Academy

By Dawn Brooks DeCosta, Ife Gaskin-Lenard, and Danica Goyens Ward

In collaboration with valuable partners and the full school community, Thurgood Marshall Academy Lower School is finding success centering social emotional learning and emotional intelligence building practices in a culturally responsive approach. By incorporating mindfulness and self-awareness practices while celebrating the identities and cultures of the school community, the school has been able to build trust, safety and a positive self-concept in students.

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