Welcome to the April You Oughta Know blog hop!
You Oughta Know is a monthly blog hop where teacher bloggers share their tips, advice, websites, ideas, apps or whatever else they think would be helpful in your classroom. I was honored to be contacted the other day and asked to participate! I then spent the next several days thinking about what I was going to blog about. I decided that you oughta know about…
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Basically, the concept behind CRT is creating an environment that validates students’ home cultures and how they may differ from the “school culture”. You then teach them how to effectively code switch to the norms of the “school culture”. If you have had experience with Responsive Classroom practices, then CRT will make a lot of sense. The two are very similar, but CRT adds in the cultural element. I have had a lot of success the last two years in my classroom by incorporating the Culturally Responsive Teaching mindset. My students are more engaged and willing to take the risks that I ask of them, and they are more respectful towards each other.
When using the term “culture” we are not referring to ethnicity. It is the cultural norms that one subscribes to and is independent of race (think rapper Eminem). Cultural norms can be influenced by race, age, socioeconomic status, location, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
- You need to know who you are
- What is your cultural identity?
- What biases to do hold?
- Check your filter- where do you get your information about other cultures?
- You need to know who your students (and families) are
- What cultures do they subscribe to?
- What are some characteristic behaviors of cultures that may be represented in your classroom?
- Is it wrong or just culturally inappropriate?***
- You need to know what and how you are teaching
- Be mindful of your curriculum. Can the students see themselves reflected within it?
- An open mind and willingness to change
- The belief that ALL students can learn
In one of my workshops Dr. Hollie used this example: “A Southern Baptist is visiting in a Roman Catholic church. He is moved during the worship and shouts out “AMEN!” Heads turn and disapproving glances are shot his way. The question is, was this individuals behavior actually wrong?” The answer is no. It was just inappropriate for the cultural setting he was in. How many times does this happen in our classrooms? Think of the student that has trouble excitedly blurting out answers, and how many times they’ve been reprimanded for it… were they actually doing something wrong? I have found this to be the biggest mind shift change, and the one that causes the most resistance and struggle with my colleagues.
I plan to go more in depth over the course of the next year on this blog so stay tuned! In the meantime, if you want to learn more please check out the website for the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning or any of these books: