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Promoting academic, social, and emotional learning for lifelong success
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Why is Culturally Responsive Teaching Currently Trending?


I was recently conversing with an acquaintance at a meeting about the importance of multicultural education being a part of the academic curriculum throughout the school year—not just on holidays that celebrate a specific culture, race, or ethnic group. As an example, teaching African American History or having students engage in lessons about Rosa Parks should not be confined to the month of February. We do not need to wait until Cinco de Mayo to learn about the diverse cultures of Mexico and the American West. This approach to multicultural education is what culturally responsive teaching is all about.  Hopefully, this will be viewed simply as good pedagogy, and not just the latest hot topic or trend.

According to Chartock (2010), culturally responsive teaching can bring about many positive results, including:

  • Strengthening students' self-concept and reducing behavior problems. When students feel respected and a part of the learning community, behavioral issues decrease.
  • Building a stronger connection among students, parents, and the schools. Studies have shown the many benefits of parental involvement, including reduced absenteeism and greater academic motivation.
  • Increasing the academic success of ethnically diverse students—for example, when the class contributions of diverse students are valued and recognized by teachers, student learning increases.

As our society continues to become more and more diverse and global, educators are increasingly interested in new ways to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of all students.

If you are an educator, and would like to learn more about how you can become a culturally responsive teacher, please be sure to check out http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cook/summerenrichment/ for information about our 2014 Summer Teacher Institute.

 

 

Resource:

Chartock, R.K. (2010). Strategies and lessons for culturally responsive teaching: A primer for K-12 teachers. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.



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