A System For Cultural Responsiveness and Best Practices
According to Ladson-Billings (1994) culturally responsive teaching is “pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning.” The Education Alliance at Brown University suggests that “culture is central to learning. It plays a role not only in communicating and receiving information but also in shaping the thinking process of groups and individuals. A pedagogy that acknowledges, responds to, and celebrates fundamental cultures offers full, equitable access to education for students from all cultures.” Teaching encompasses a variety of areas besides instruction. The concept of cultural responsiveness has been attributed to various aspects of teaching such as facilitation, academic feedback, course climate, and the community of inquiry theory. Much has been written about culturally responsive teaching and higher education in various areas including curriculum, instruction, and course design. Since the initial inception, culturally responsive teaching has gained momentum across teaching and learning institutions in the United States. There is little need to revisit the history or why the need for culturally responsive teaching is relevant. However, it is important to highlight the next steps of its application.
Culturally responsive teaching relies on the instructor’s level of desire and effectiveness at applying culturally responsive teaching practices in the classroom.
Culturally responsive teaching is a framework that supports the inclusion and application of cultural realities, norms, and variances within the teaching and learning process.
Culturally responsive teaching requires an organized structure for design, planning, and application.