Culturally Responsive Teaching
Culturally responsive teaching or relevant teaching focuses on student learning, cultural competence, and socio-political awareness. Culturally responsiveness is grounded in teachers’ ability to demonstrate cultural competence by being rooted in their own culture and showing fluency in other cultures. This educational framework approaches teaching and learning with full recognition of systemic oppression and the empowering effect it can have on students.
The curriculum is the foundation of educational institutions, and all students deserve to see themselves represented in the curriculum. Systemic change in our society begins with what we teach our students about our society. The curriculum of our future needs to decenter dominant Western and white perspectives, in favor of more inclusive and intersectional standpoints.
Transforming education requires teachers who possess the knowledge, skills, and character to make change. Teachers must understand the sociopolitical context that defines American education and the characteristics of culturally responsive teaching. Educational institutions must strive to identify, support, and incentivize diverse teaching candidates and provide ongoing training and coaching for those who seek leadership positions. Education must functions as an instrument for liberation and the practice of freedom.