Culturally Responsive Teaching

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Culturally Responsive Teaching by Mind Map: Culturally Responsive Teaching

1. Educator Exemplars

1.1. Laurence Tan

1.1.1. To be a culturally responsive teacher, Tan makes sure that he values the identity and heritage of his students. (Teaching Tolerance Staff 2013). He does so through various means. One strategy he uses is asking families to "share their expertise with students through mini-lessons" (Teaching Tolerance Staff 2013). This allows him to start building relationships with both the students and their parents. Furthermore, it allows Tan to open up collaboration opportunities and a line of communication with the families. Another strategy he uses is hosting an end-of-the-year parent appreciate night where he, along with his students, praise the parents for their importance in a child's educational success (Teaching Tolerance Staff 2013).

1.2. Darnell Fine

1.2.1. Fine, in his classroom, focuses on "building on the knowledge students bring from home . . . [and] emphasiz[ing] meaningful connections" (Teaching Tolerance 2013). To do so effectively, Fine makes sure that he reaches out and builds relationships with his students' families (Teaching Tolerance 2013). By doing so, he is able to display to his students that he values their home cultures. He also hosts open forums, town hall meetings, and Socratic seminars, ensuring that his students voices are heard and made into a focus. This also works to show students that they matter in the class. Outside the classroom, Fine serves on his school's diversity committee, further demonstrating his commitment to culturally responsive teaching.

1.3. Lhisa R. Almashy

1.3.1. Almashy strongly believes in serving as a resource to her students. In her ESL ninth, tenth, and twelfth grade classes, she uses draws from her students cultures to best teach them; to do so, Almashy works to "integrate their home and school lives" (Teaching Tolerance 2013). She also demonstrate a commitment to building relationships with her students by learning about their values, experiences, and communities" (Teaching Tolerance 2013). Almashy engages in these practices to ensure that she does not stereotype and instead views them as individuals (Teaching Tolerance 2013).

1.4. The educator exemplars allowed me to see real-world examples of Culturally Responsive Teaching in action. This information worked well to complement the abstract readings that dived deep into the different parts of Culturally responsive teaching. By reading through each exemplar example, I was able to take note of different strategies and practices that teachers implemented to bring about a culturally responsive classroom environment. I hope to utilize some of them in the future.

2. Desired Results

2.1. Empowering

2.1.1. Culturally responsive teaching allows students to develop a mindset that is greatly beneficial for both their wellbeing and ambitions. It empowers students to improve both inside and outside the classroom. This can be seen as this practice has students improve their "academic competence, self-efficacy, and initiative (InTime p. 3). They learn to not only the content but also how to use a newfound self-belief to make progress towards their goals. Way to Bring About Empowerment A way that educators can bring about empowerment in the classroom is by holding high expectations for students and supporting them appropriately to meet said expectations (InTime p. 3).

2.2. Transformative

2.2.1. Culturally responsive teaching does away with the "traditional education practices" that disadvantage students of color (InTime p. 3). Instead, it works to transform the teaching process into one that incorporates the often ignored identities and heritages of minority students in the classroom. This manifests in practices that allow teachers to use these identities as "resources for teaching and learning" (InTime p. 3). This, in turn, fosters an appreciation for the strengths and accomplishments of each student's heritage and existing strengths (InTime p. 3). Way to Bring About Transformation A way that educators can foster transformation in the classroom is by guiding students to develop the skill-set, virtues, and knowledge to become scholars who question institutional injustices (InTime p. 3)

2.3. Emancipatory

2.3.1. Culturally responsive teaching works to hep students understand that there is "no single version of the truth" (InTime p. 5). This means that dominant culture and hegemony are not absolute and students should question these structures. As a result, students are able to break free from negative generalizations about their identities and cultures stemming from hierarchical binaries (InTime p.5 ). This, in turn, allows students to improve academically and virtuously. Way to Bring About Emancipation A way that educators can achieve a level of emancipation in the classroom is by making it easier for students to seek out and find "authentic knowledge about different ethnic groups" (InTime p. 5)

2.4. The desired results pertaining to culturally responsive teaching gave me a reference point to strive for. When looking at my own classroom, I can look to see if I am close to accomplishing these results. If not, I can then reference the reading to see possible ways to make significant progress.

3. Essential Components

3.1. Building Relationships

3.1.1. Davis writes that students come into the classroom with a "diversity of experiences" (Davis, 2012, p. 59). They carry with them experiences and an upbringing that may differ in terms of "ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, learning modalities, cognitive development, and social development" (Davis, 2012, p. 59). To best navigate this dynamic, Davis recommends that educators develop relationships with their students (Davis, 2012, p. 59). By doing so, teachers can employ teaching methods that are culturally responsive, rather than continuing practices that fit the dominant culture. This component especially carries weight as students may first need to develop a relationship with a teacher before learning from him/her (Davis, 2012, p. 59). In addition, if a student does not feel comfortable disclosing or sharing personal issues stemming from culture, the educator cannot address it effectively (Davis, 2012, p. 59).

3.2. Taking Communication Styles Into Account

3.2.1. Saifer explains that communication styles vary between different groups and identities (Saifer, Edwards, Ellis, Ko, & Stuczynski 2011, p. 47). As a result, it is imperative that teachers understand these differences to best serve their students. If educators fail to do so, they "may be contributing to [the students'] failure (Saifer, Edwards, Ellis, Ko, & Stuczynski 2011, p. 47). It is important to communication styles also encompass nonverbal forms. Some examples are the following: nonverbal gestures, preferences for interacting with others, and seating arrangements (Saifer, Edwards, Ellis, Ko, & Stuczynski, 2011, p. 47).

3.3. Culturally Aware Classroom Behavior Expectations

3.3.1. Saifer states that students coming from different backgrounds also come with differing "expectations for classroom communication with their teacher and classmates" (Saifer, Edwards, Ellis, Ko, & Stuczynski 2011, p. 63). These sets of beliefs manifest in varying behavior norms for each student. To be culturally responsive in addressing the range of expectations and avoid alienating certain students, educators make classroom procedures clear and form them with the students' perspectives in mind. When attempting to create culturally aware classroom behavior expectations, it is important to first observe one's students. Saifer shares his own experiences with this practice, writing that he was able to "see cultural differences among students," as he saw varying behavior patterns stemming from culture (Saifer, Edwards, Ellis, Ko, & Stuczynski, 2011, p. 63).

3.4. By looking at the essential components, I was able to see which aspects of teaching I should prioritize. It also allowed me to map out which components were my strengths and which ones were my weaknesses. I began to realize that while I was confident in my abilities to build relationships and take communication styles into account, I was lacking in creating culturally aware behavior expectations. I aim to address this deficiency while also developing my strengths with the insights I gained through the reading.

4. Elements

4.1. Validating

4.1.1. The act of culturally responsive teaching must draw from the "cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and performing styles" of the students (InTime p. 1). Educators who wish to effectively implement culturally responsive teaching must utilize the aforementioned elements to make the content and teaching strategies both relevant and effective (InTime p. 1). Instead of adhering to the dominant culture, teachers must place the students' culture at the forefront. Ways that Culturally Responsive Teaching Can Be Validating Educators can commit themselves to building connections between the home and school for students (InTime p. 1). They can also work to connect the students' lived experiences and the content (InTime p. 1). Educators can use communication styles and teaching strategies that apply to different cultures and learning styles (InTime p. 1). Educators can ensure that students learn about and value their own culture, along with those of their peers (InTime p. 1).

4.2. Comprehensive

4.2.1. To teaching in a manner that is culturally responsive, educators must first foster "intellectual, social, emotional, and political learning" within themselves (InTime p. 2). To do so, they must effectively utilize cultural reference points to pass on "knowledge, skills, and attitudes" (InTime p. 2). It is not a matter of teaching students the content. Educators must develop the child holistically. Ways Culturally Responsive Teaching Can Be Comprehensive Educators can make sure that the course is "designed specifically for students of color (InTime p. 2). This can be done by incorporating the following elements "culturally appropriate social situations for learning and culturally valued knowledge in curriculum content" (InTime p. 2). This allows students to not only thrive academically but also strengthen their cultural identity and heritage (InTime p. 2). Educators can create an "academic community of learners" (InTime p. 2). By doing so, teachers can fulfill their students' need for relationships and help them develop their individual identity (InTime p. 2).

4.3. Multidimensional

4.3.1. To be multidimensional in culturally responsive teaching, teachers must address the following aspects of their class: "curriculum content, learning context, classroom climate, student-teacher relationships, instructional techniques,, and performance assessments (InTime p. 2). As culture bleeds into all components of teaching, it is important to look deep into each one. By being multidimensional, educators can ensure that students are not disadvantaged in specific areas of schooling. Ways Culturally Responsive Teaching Can Be Multidimensional Educators can have students "participate actively in their own performance evaluations" (InTime p. 2) Educators can work towards building relationships with students and better understand their cultures as a result.

4.4. As I looked through the elements of Culturally responsive teaching, I became more aware of why it is so effective; I gained valuable insight on the reasons behind its success. This allowed me to reflect upon my own practices and gauge if they drew upon this criteria. In addition, I learned about ways I can incorporate these elements, as the readings had a myriad of helpful suggestions.