Principles and Elements of Culturally Responsive Teaching

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Principles and Elements of Culturally Responsive Teaching by Mind Map: Principles and Elements of Culturally Responsive Teaching

1. Develop a Knowledge Base

1.1. Lnych speaks of obtaining more than book knowledge about students. He also mentions that it is a thin line between recognizing patterns of behavior from a certain group and over generalizing to the point of stereotyping. (2012)

1.2. Gay states that the simple statement, "we cant teach what we dont know" should be applied both content and student knowledge (2002, p. 106)

1.3. Chapter 8 of Diaz-Rico gives a beautiful account of many of the ethnic groups we teach, but this should only be used as a foundation or a catalyst for our learning, a mere historical perspective of how minorities have impacted American life (2014). They go on to explain how some are products of dual cultures and that one is not enough to fully explain individuals. Diaz - Rico gives some insight on how to obtain cultural information from students. Many articles suggested home visits (Diaz-Rico, 2014; NEA, 2006)

1.4. Synthesis - It was interesting to note the additional aspects of culture teachers need to know, such as how lifestyles affect motivation, task initiation, and social responses. It is not just about knowing the culture, the history, and the contributions but it is about knowing the particularities of how the culture impacts thinking, reaction, and response. (Gay, 2002, p. 107)

1.5. Reflection - When I completed my culture study of a particular student before completing all readings, I realized that there were many questions I failed to ask, like what is an upspoken rule in your house, or how is afterschool living?, what would your mom say about a failing grade?, How are you disciplined?, What is the expectation for how you speak to adults? Things like that would have led to a more intense conversation in culture instead of barely scratiching the surface.

1.6. Connection - I always have students complete a student survey in the beginning of the year. For the upcoming school year, I plan to incorporate more cultural style questions that will help understanding the living arrangements and belief systems that students are coming to school with.

2. Building Learning Communities

2.1. According to Gay (2002), it is important to understand the group dynamics of a culture so those dynamics and intricacies can be recreated or at least respected in the classroom. It may be important to teach students that the classroom space is a family extension and each one is responsible for the learning of another. Sometimes students are motivated by the idea that if I fail, I let the group down (

2.2. Brown University discusses the importance of the teacher being a guide that empowers students to take charge of their own learning.

2.3. Reflection - It is important as educators to collaborate with others in learning networks in order to effectively impacts kids. There is so much tacit knowledge that exist within a circle that, without talking and sharing personally, can be hard to codify by any other means.

2.4. Reflection - on the other hand, it is important for students to see your classroom space as a place of learning and of focus and timeliness (Gay, 2002, p. 109). They should know that when they come in they will be heard and understood but accountable and held to high expectations.

2.5. Connection - Since learning about cultural responsive teaching, to become a more aware, learned educator, I have joined several social sites that allow me to communicate with and receive information from many educators of various ethnic backgrounds around the world. I am now on Twitter, Pinterest, and Edutopia. I have connected with an educator in Australia that I have spoken to on the phone several times.

2.6. Connection - I have asked the Spanish teacher whose room is directly across from mines to be available when I make phones calls to parents on Wednesdays after school during her coach class.

3. Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Content

3.1. Connection - All Word problems should be tweaked slightly to be more easily related to students. Projects should relate to their world. Extensions o their world should be introduced as such by exposing students to new experiences through content knowledge. When introducing a new topic on concept, media is used to provide access.

3.2. Bird reiterates that students have something to offer and that teachers should not underestimate the power of their contribution (2011). Teachers should recognize culture and not give the impression that they ignore it (Nobel, 2012).

3.3. Reflection - Caution should be taken not to withdraw exposure of new material to students in an effort to relate to what may be a stereotype. For example African American students do not all or only listen to rap or r&b; teachers should allow students choice instead of automatically reverting to "create a rap".

3.4. Neito teaches us to consider the intracacies of the change and be able to explain, what, why, how of every incorporation (2008).

3.5. Nea (2006) suggested classroom activities that would allow teachers and students to explore student cultural awareness. Some teachers who represent the cultures they teach about are able to change the lesson and incorporate more accurate and primary source materials. Others however may never even know that the material is misleading. Teachers should do research themselves to get authentic material (NEA, 2006).

3.6. Gay (2002) seems to think it should be easy to spot material that lacks quality but I beg to differ. I do believe however that teachers should employ students and their families more to validate information.

3.6.1. Social, Symbolic, and formal curriculum

4. Communicating with Students

4.1. Connection - Davis (2012) spoke of the importance of welcoming students into your classroom. I related to the "why are you late" response given to students when they walk in the door and decided that I would not ask that question in front the class. Students should feel welcomed into your classroom no matter the situation.

4.2. Connection - An African American student said to me after a lesson that my strong personality implies that he should already know the material. I could not decide whether that was considered high expectations or something else. I felt more like it was something else and I thought about how I could change all weekend. Diaz (2012) speaks of the body language that we give when we speak. I want my intentions - care, understanding, faith- to match my body language in every way. I want to say, you can learn it not you should already know it (Education Alliance)

4.3. Reflection - Teenagers are teenagers and people are people and there is not a culture that will defy the logic that people relate to those with whom they have a personal connection. Personal connections initiate from communication.

4.4. Connection - I make myself available to students and families by setting up a google voice number and a remind account to keep in contact with families (Messages can be translated into over 50 languages) (Remind)

5. Diversity in Delivery of Instruction

5.1. The Education Alliance website explains the difference between student centered instruction and teacher centered. "Learning is cooperative, collaborative, and community-oriented" (Brown University). THey also speak of culturally mediated instruction where diverse forms of thinking, interpreting and expressing are embraced.

5.2. Connection - Often we students are learning a new skill, I will allow them to express their ability to solve a problem in different ways. I teach multiple ways to solve and allow students to chose they way that works best for them. I encourage students to share their forms of thought with the class, to see if anyone else feels especially connected with their method. There is not one way to interpret or solve a problem.

5.3. Reflection - I learned that it is important for students to connect to material in some way. It is also important for students connect material to previous knowledge or metadata. Teachers have a responsibility to connect with this schema so that students can create new connections and expand their current knowledge set.

6. References

6.1. Bird, M. V. (2011). Exposing cultural bias in the classroom: Self-evaluation as a catalyst for transformation. Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis, 32(1), 18–21. Retrieved from

6.2. Davis, B. M. (2012). How to teach students who don’t look like you: Culturally responsive teaching strategies (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

6.3. Diaz-Rico, L. T., & Weed, K. Z. (2013). The crosscultural, language, and academic development handbook: A complete K–12 reference guide (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

6.4. Education Alliance, Brown University. (n.d.). Culturally responsive teaching. Retrieved August 8, 2013, from Culturally Responsive Teaching | Teaching Diverse Learners

6.5. Gay, G. (2002). Preparing for Culturally Responsive Teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(2), 106-116 retrieved from: Preparing for Culturally Responsive TeachingJournal of Teacher Education - Geneva Gay, 2002

6.6. InTime. (n.d.). Culturally responsive teaching. Retrieved July 22, 2016, from

6.7. Jones, L. A. (2005). The cultural identity of students: What teachers should know. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 41(4), 150–151.

6.8. Lynch, M. (2012, January 2). Culturally responsive training: Exploring your students’ cultural backgrounds [Blog post]. Retrieved from

6.9. Nieto, S. (2008). Culture and education. Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, 107(1), 127–142. Retrieved from

6.10. Nobel, C. (2012, February 13). The case against racial colorblindness. Retrieved from The Case Against Racial Colorblindness

6.11. Remind. Retrieved from Remind

6.12. Saifer, S., Edwards, K., Ellis, D., Ko, L., & Stuczynski, A. (2011). Culturally responsive Standards-based teaching: Classroom to community and back (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

6.13. Sounds great, but how do I do it? (2006). NEA Today, 25(3), 29-31. Retrieved from

7. Culturally Responsive Teaching is: (intime)

7.1. Validating

7.1.1. It validates the culture student's identify with; teacher acknowledge it as a meaningful part of their lives instead of problem to be overcome (Jones, 2005)

7.2. Comprehensive

7.2.1. Culture can be easily incorporated into the everyday nuances of content lessons.

7.3. Multidimensional

7.3.1. Can be cross-disciplinary and involve many moving parts such as relationship, instructional techniques, context, and climate (Intime).

7.4. Empowering

7.4.1. Allows students to be who they are with confidence.

7.5. Transformative

7.5.1. Creates reflective beings who grow to be adults who explore their own learning and belief systems.

7.6. Emancipatory

7.6.1. Allows them to explore other cultural belief systems without neglecting their own.