Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) is study strategies involving making strong recommendations between what students learn in the classroom and their ethnicities, countries, and personal experiences. CRT recognizes the cultural identities of diverse ethnic communities as legitimate and worthy of respect. Therefore instructional learning with legacies influences students’ dispositions and perceptions of culture as valuable content to be taught in the formal curriculum (Krasnoff, 2016). This learning model incorporates a wide range of instructional methodologies linked to individualized instruction, and it educates students to appreciate and value their cultures and other people’s diverse beliefs. (Krasnoff, 2016). The learning system incorporates various intercultural data, resources, and instructional activities. The various aspects of CBT, including its application, the role of teachers in its implementation, and relatable experiences linked to these learning strategies are discussed.
The United States encompasses many ethnic groups, making it among the most diverse countries globally. However, according to the U.S department of education, the diversity gap in public versus private schools is growing significantly, making it easier to identify one as dominantly occupied by students from a specific race, class, and orientation (Krasnoff, 2016). This trend defies the inclusivity efforts in schools, creating the need to incorporate comprehensive interventions such as CRT (Krasnoff, 2016). This learning system is a method of instruction that connects students by initiating learning of diverse cultures, languages, and life experiences. These links enable students to appreciate their unique qualities and build higher-level academic skills. For example, teachers create a welcoming environment supporting empathy and selflessness to help develop authentic caring relationships.
Activities that support inclusion may include displaying instructional materials and other visuals reflecting on the student’s diverse backgrounds. This strategy ensures that the students learn the different aspects of life beyond what they know. This strategy will help them appreciate diversity, especially when they can learn some specific inputs from the culture (Krasnoff, 2016). For example, while watching a tutorial in class, the teacher can ask the students to relate the various interventions learned with the basic strategies used in their culture (Krasnoff, 2016). When learning about discipline, the teacher can ask the students, “Based on what we have watched in the video, what is your perception about discipline?” Others may say that it is when parents or people in authority exercise complete control. Some students may relate discipline with fear, and all these answers will help realize and appreciate diversity.
In addition, the teacher can support team building activities such as giving out group work assignments to enable students to work together to solve issues as they arise. This factor is the most integral strategy in developing cultural competence since it helps establish the skills of intercultural interactions (Krasnoff, 2016). The basics of cultural competence are established in the early years of learning since it is when students discover about relations and diverse personalities. Teachers are responsible for instilling the skills needed using the CRT principles, including communicating high expectations (Krasnoff, 2016). In addition, students should be made to understand the basics of interactions, such as mastering the accurate pronunciation of their peers’ names.
The Role of Preparing Teachers to be Culturally Responsive
Mentoring teachers to be culturally responsive is integral in enhancing inclusive learning since they help students understand the ethics of interaction and the consequences exclusive practices. This action promotes responsibility and accountability in schools, enhancing freedom, equity and justice for every student (Krasnoff, 2016). Understanding this learning system also ensures that the teacher understands attitude, constructive view and social-cultural awareness which promote CRT (Krasnoff, 2016). Creating awareness through instructional teaching enables the student to create an affirming attitude towards the different ethnic groups presented, encouraging academic performance.
Knowledge of CRT also promotes commitment and skills, which helps a teacher deal with obstacles as they arise without discriminating on individual persons (Krasnoff, 2016). This principle creates awareness that judging based on negative stereotypes affiliated with a specific community is wrong. For instance, if someone’s book goes missing in class, it is unethical to point out that the suspects must be people of color because of the biased perception that they are criminals. Another role of CRT is that it creates a constructivist view that promotes all the executive functions. Teachers should consider a mixed leadership system that accommodates all the ethnic groups presented to ensure that the environment is inclusive to promote collaboration.
Effective teaching is culturally responsive and is indicated through caring and community building, promoting cross-cultural communication, accommodating the needs of a diverse group and setting an equitable classroom climate (Krasnoff, 2016). Cultural responsiveness has the skills to interact and establish a working environment with people from the varying community and cultural norms. Teachers can exhibit some of the cultural competence skills by sustaining cross-cultural communication. Teachers should encourage students to maintain eye contact to sustain equity during interactions (Krasnoff, 2016). Using proper non-verbal cues such as gestures and expressions may help connect students since when rules of body language such as not pointing fingers at one another ensure that communication is not offensive.
Another culturally responsive behavior is providing the needs of the diverse population by supporting equity. Teachers can conduct learning using inviting strategies such as drawing out that encourages everyone to share their input without feeling left out (Krasnoff, 2016). For instance, graphic organizers can help accommodate all students by acknowledging their gifts and skills by involving them in different activities. An example is when the teacher allows an artistic student to help draw the class charts to acknowledge their talent as a strategy to promote inclusivity. (Krasnoff, 2016). Setting an equitable climate entails using cooperative learning structures such as enhancing students’ problem-solving skills and encouraging members to create peer support systems that promote academic achievements.
This diversity competence assignment has reminded me of a storybook I have been reading to my niece, titled “I am enough”. The book is a 2019 publication authored by Grace Byers for the elementary grade students that addresses the need to support girls’ empowerment. The main message in the book is that all children or students are unique in their different ways and should be worthy of respect and kindness (Krasnoff, 2016). When I write about kindness, I remember a boy bullied during our junior high level due to their social-economic status. He had no friends since he could not afford to buy snacks at the school cafeteria (Krasnoff, 2016). This story has reminded me that diversity is not just accepting the people we economically relate with but it is appreciating everyone despite their distinct character, race and culture.
Most of the ideas presented, including the need to incorporate talent in inclusive teaching, have triggered memories of my experiences as a tourist in a foreign country. I was privileged to visit Dubai and had to compromise some of my American habits to survive in that land (Krasnoff, 2016). First, I changed my dressing to Muslim attire out of respect for this.We also ate collectively on a single plate with my friends, and this was a stretch out of the ordinary that I knew. In my community, food is served methodologically with all sets of utensils on the table. We had to use forks, spoons and knives; however, I had a new experience of eating with bare hands and was perplexed by how amazing it was. Although it felt weird at first, I enjoyed how it united us and enabled us to bond well during my stay.
The Relationship between CRT and Global Efforts on Diversity
Cultural competence creates freedom since it deepens interactions beyond customs, race, or socio-economic restrictions.CRT principles such as respect, appreciation, and an inclusive environment promote the global efforts created by different countries to end discrimination (Krasnoff, 2016). People of color, people with disabilities, the marginalized, and those living below the poverty line have experienced bias at school and workplaces. Therefore, respect for individual differences is a quality that will help acknowledge people’s unique cultures, supporting unity (Krasnoff, 2016). These CBT principles align with most efforts to help promote cultural awareness and diversity. For instance, celebrating world day for cultural diversity may help realize the richness of the world’s culture (Krasnoff, 2016). This celebration encourages intellectual dialogue and interaction that helps realize the best in having unique qualities and how each distinct feature contributes to the world’s riches. This factor is simple logic since diversity complements the world, making it unique, full of creativity and innovation that steer development.
CRT compliments the diversity efforts since it corresponds with the measures to support inclusivity. For instance, CBT in practice is when the teacher sensitizes the students not to treat other students by considering preconceived notions about them (Krasnoff, 2016). This action creates awareness of the need to support human dignity by eradicating unbiased systems. Exclusive, backwards and oppressive systems prevailed in history because preconceived notions supported them. For instance, people living with disabilities were considered unworthy of leading others, and such beliefs delayed equality efforts (Krasnoff, 2016). However, CRT principles such as respect for diversity and new educational theories such as inclusive education systems have helped promote diversity efforts. Such improvements have broken the negative stereotypes of inequality promoting inclusion.
Similarly, CRT practices such as inclusive communication systems have promoted public awareness of inclusivity society (Krasnoff, 2016). For instance, teachers encourage communal communication as a CRT strategy to celebrate the different tribes represented to ensure diversity efforts are established. Although this strategy is controversial, it is used in some schools during specific occasions, such as a cultural day or sports day, to enable students to appreciate diversity (Krasnoff, 2016). Teachers are also encouraged to communicate with parents in their native language or call them by their surname to appreciate the distinct representations and acknowledge the different representations. All these actions relate to the efforts put in place in the past, present and future world in supporting inclusivity. The global inclusivity practices include promoting peace and unity by ensuring equal leadership representation, socio-economic opportunities, inclusive education and political parties.
CRT is a practical intervention that helps enhance cultural awareness in schools. This system follows a methodological approach encompassing specific metrics that enhance diversity awareness. Better teacher preparation plays a crucial role in tackling underperformance issues since culture has a significant impact on the attitudes, values, and habits that students and teachers contribute to the instructional process. Everyone can use specific CRT practices to support this change. Some of the interventions include multicultural communication, appreciation of distinct input, creating awareness and supporting creativity. All these practices help establish efforts that enhance global diversity.
Krasnoff, B. (2016). Culturally responsive teaching. A guide to evidence-based practices for teaching all students equitably. Region X Equity Assistance Center. Web.