Toolkit on Teaching for Diversity - How can you create a more culturally responsive classroom?

 

There are many characteristics which are associated with culturally responsive teaching, including:

  • Sociocultural consciousness, which means understanding that everybody’s way of thinking, behaving, and being is influenced by culture, ethnicity, social class, language, religion, etc. In order to foster this, teachers should critically examine their own identities and inspect and confront any negative attitudes they might have toward groups. Ideas on how to do so can be found here. 

  • A positive attitude and high expectations for all students, including those from diverse backgrounds, has a significant impact on their learning, belief in self, and overall academic performance. By respecting cultural differences and adding elements related to the culture of students, programmes become more inclusive.

  • Learning about students’ past experiences, home and community culture, and
    world both in and outside of school helps build relationships and increase
    teachers use of these experiences in the context of teaching and learning.

The first section of the toolkit has provided ideas for how to create a culturally responsive classroom. This section introduces the use of culturally responsive teaching strategies and how to make material accessible to all students by including different kinds of thinking and knowing in the classroom.

  • Culturally responsive teaching strategies support the constructivist view of
    knowledge, teaching, and learning. As teachers assist students to construct
    knowledge, build on their personal and cultural strengths, and examine the
    curriculum from multiple perspectives, they create a more inclusive classroom.

It is important to keep in mind that the constructivist view, too, comes with its own cultural orientation, and that some non-Western cultures may not adapt as easily to this orientation.

Before moving on to the more specific elements, you may want to assess where things stand in your current classroom.

Web Resources and Further Reading:

 

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