Tool: Enacting culturally relevant teaching
The following are examples of practices that can engage students from
culturally diverse backgrounds in high-level learning. Developing these
practices requires hard work, time and deep commitment to students and
to transforming schools into sites of social justice. Culturally relevant
teaching evolves over the course of one’s teaching career. Use this
list to identify areas for learning and on-going growth for your beginning and experienced teachers:
||Evidence of current practice
||Plan for learning and future action
In the classroom:
- Help students examine multiple kinds of knowledge and perspectives
in relevant content areas.
- Involve students in inquiry projects through which they construct
knowledge, ideas and artifacts.
- Provide students with opportunities to explore topics/issues
of interest to them.
- Use cooperative learning to build on values of mutual support.
- Design instruction so that it builds on studentsí prior knowledge
and cultural competencies.
- Pay close attention to studentsí ways of learning and thinking
and incorporate these into instruction.
- Use examples and analogies from studentsí lives to introduce
or clarify new concepts.
- Provide opportunities for students to use their home languages
as well as academic discourse and practices.
- Help students identify the similarities and differences in
academic literacies/practices and studentsí home languages and
ways of thinking.
- Engage students in analyses of bias and misrepresentation of
social groups and issues of race, class and gender in curricular
- Promote candid discussions about topics often silenced in school
to help students understand the social conditions surrounding
these issues and to provide students with opportunities to explore
how these issues affect their lives and their communities.
- Foster and maintain partnerships with parents and community
members/organizations to support student learning.
In the school and beyond:
- Identify school practices and policies that result in students'
differential access to high-quality learning opportunities
due to their race, ethnicity, language, gender or other characteristics.
- Work with colleagues, parents and the community to establish
more equitable practices and policies.
- Foster studentsí genuine leadership in classrooms, schools and
- Forge positive relationships with parents, community members
and organizations to support studentsí well-being and community