Best Practices

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.

Cultural Responsiveness

Historically, there is no cohesive system to consistently and monitor applied cultural responsiveness within a framework. To that end, CASEPS has developed a system of evidence-based practice to effectively apply cultural responsiveness to instructional practices in K12 and Higher Education classrooms.


Acculturative Stress: Causes students to self-select one of 4 ways of coping with the environment.

Coping with Acculturative Stress Assimilation Integration Separation Marginalization
Cultural Responsiveness Required Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Best Practices Instructional or Design Example Culture and Collaboration Cultural Learning Labs Culturally Responsive Feedback


Our culturally responsive teaching certification for both online and face-to-face introduces faculty to this model as well as the specific cultural attributes associated with more than 50 ethnic cultures and 100 design and instructional strategies. Each tier aligns with levels of marginalization and a practice is effective at learning when marginalization is present. Educators and instructional designers no longer have to arbitrarily guess and apply cultural responsiveness in a course. This system allows for strategic placement of culturally responsive strategies to be placed in various aspects of course design, curriculum, and instruction in order to support best outcomes for marginalized, racialized, and under-resented students.

Become CASEPS Trained and Certified

Full certification is available to faculty and staff who complete the two-day training. Over 20,000 educators, staff, and leaders have become certified.

Expands your knowledge and skill set.

Adds credibility to your teaching and learning environment.

Validation of your teaching and other professional experiences.

Expands personal and professional development for nontraditional student populations.

CASEPS Accreditation Guide cover

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