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Culturally Responsive Teaching. CAFÉ New Faculty Seminar Series February 19, 2004 Dr. Letitia Fickel College of Education. Session Goals. Examine the role of culture in learning Explore together a conceptual framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching

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Culturally Responsive Teaching

CAFÉ New Faculty Seminar Series

February 19, 2004

Dr. Letitia Fickel

College of Education


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Session Goals

  • Examine the role of culture in learning

  • Explore together a conceptual framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching

  • Identify Culturally Responsive Teaching strategies that will help you address your identified needs and concerns.


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Culturally Responsive Teaching

  • Is a pedagogical framework that respects the backgrounds and contemporary circumstances of all learners regardless of individual status and power, and employs learning processes that embrace the range of needs, interests, and orientations to be found among them.

    --Wlodkowski & Ginsberg


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Educational Goal for a Pluralistic Society

  • Create learning experiences that allow the integrity of every learner to be sustained while each person is intellectually challenged in ways that allow them to attain relevant educational success and mobility.


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Epistemological Assumptions

  • Knowledge is socially-constructed and therefore all knowledge is a reflection of the culture in which is was developed

  • Knowledge is not neutral; it is value-laden and reflects specific beliefs and worldviews

  • Education/learning is enculturation; it is the appropriation of the knowledge of a culture group

  • Motivation is inseparable from culture

  • Language is a primary conduit of culture


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What is culture?

  • "A shared organization of ideas that includes the intellectual, moral, and aesthetic standards prevalent in a community and the meanings of communicative actions" (LeVine, 1984).

  • "...standards for deciding what is, standards for deciding what can be, standards for deciding how one feels about it, standards for deciding what to do about it, and standards for deciding how to do about doing it" (Goodenough, 1963).

  • "…a dynamic process which people use to make sense of their lives and the behavior of others" (Spindler and Spindler, 1990).



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What does culture do for us?

  • It imposes order and meaning on all our experiences.

  • It provides a world view that includes values, ideas, beliefs, and assumptions about the nature of the world, and the way it works.

  • It provides a perceptual lens through which experiences are filtered and knowledge and meaning is made.

  • It allows us to predict how others from our group will behave in certain situations, but it is not effective at providing us ways of predicting how people from other groups may behave.

  • It provides us a language and imagery for talking about and explaining our world.


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Enculturation:Development of Cultural Capital

Individuals acquire their cultural capital, or ability to function in the group, through:

  • the many and varied adult-child interactions

  • interactions between "initiated" youths and children

  • child-rearing practices

  • linguistic forms

  • role modeling of body movements and behaviors in various situations

  • participating in defined and organized events with adults and other group members



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Disciplines are Cultures Academic

  • Bernstein (1971) argues that induction into a subject discipline should be understood as induction into a culture with its accepted assumptions and supporting beliefs about what constitutes content knowledge, rules for determining evidence and forms of inquiry, formalized language and rhetorical forms, and a social organization that includes issues of power, influence, and status.


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Building Cultural Capital in Academics

  • Create many and varied teacher-student interactions

  • Ensure high frequency of interaction between "initiated" students and “non-initiated” students

  • Pay explicit attention to use and development of academic linguistic forms--speaking, reading, writing.

  • Role model behaviors in various discipline-based and or other academically oriented situations

  • Develop a variety of ways that students can participate in defined and organized events with teacher and other academic group members


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English Language Learning

  • There are two types of English language usage--social and academic.

  • Cummins (1981) distinguishes these as “Basic Interpersonal Communication skills” (BICS) and “Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency” (CALP)

  • We cannot assume that because a student seems proficient with social English that s/he is equally capable in Academic English.

  • It takes ELL’s 5-7 years to become develop native-like proficiency in CALP, but only about 2 years for BICS.

  • Students who grew up speaking dialects of English also struggle with the development of CALP, and likely were not explicitly supported in K-12 school in developing it.


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Cognitive Academic Language

  • CALP enables learners to deal with cognitively demanding and context-reduced communication situations and materials, such as lectures, lengthy class discussions, traditional testing formats, textbooks, and educational films.

  • Context-reduced communicative situations offer few clues and aides for making sense of concepts and ideas.


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Range of Contextual Support & Degree of Cognitive Involvement for Communicative Activities


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Culturally Responsive Framework Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Establishing inclusion

  • Developing attitude

  • Enhancing meaning

  • Engendering competence

    • Wlodowski & Ginsberg (1995)

      Diversity & Motivation: Culturally Responsive Teaching


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Establishing Inclusion Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • The norms, procedures and structures that are woven together to form a learning context in which all learners and the teacher feel respected by and connected to one another.


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Establishing Inclusion Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Make explicit the classroom norms so that if they are different from what students are used to at home or in their communities they are able to understand and negotiate alternative ways of being.

    • Model behavior

    • Elicit information about clarity through an on-going feedback system

    • Establish ground rules with students for the discussion of controversial or sensitive topics and use dialogue structures

  • Make collaboration an expected way of proceeding throughout the course.

  • Share ownership of knowing with students.


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Developing Attitude Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Norms, procedures and structures that create through relevance and choice a favorable disposition among learners and teachers toward the learning experience and learning goals.


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Developing Attitude Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Develop creative and effective ways to learn about your student’s lives and interests.

    • Conduct interest inventories both general and content specific.

    • Use “getting to know you” activities.

  • Organize regularly scheduled discussion topics (including current events) that allow students to connect course material to the “real world”

  • Design course in ways that encourages learners to make choices about class topics and assignments.


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Enhancing Meaning Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Norms, procedures and structures that expand, refine, or increase the complexity of what is learned in ways that matter to learners, includes their values and purposes, and contributes to a critical consciousness.


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Enhancing Meaning Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Examine the embedded values in your discipline that may confuse or disturb students, or may be challenging to their own cultural perspectives.

    • Have students identify their prior knowledge and understandings of key concepts, issues, or content or how it is understood in their culture/community.

    • Include readings/authors that reflect the diversity of thought and people within your discipline.

    • Encourage students to represent alterative perspectives or construct panels that can discuss issues from diverse perspectives.

    • Use language that reflects the disciplinary way of “knowing” or understanding”as one way, not the only or “right way.”

    • Explicitly address the embedded values in the discipline.


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Enhancing Meaning Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Critically examine the examples you use to illustrate key points to ensure they are meaningful and sensitive to your students.

    • Use analogies or metaphors from everyday life to help illustrate abstract concepts.

    • Have students suggest other examples, analogies or metaphors, or ones that illustrate other key points.

    • Systematically collect examples, metaphors, and analogies from students to use in the future--and give credit!

    • Use graphic organizers, and context-rich visuals or materials


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Engendering Competence Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • The norms, procedures and structures that create an understanding for learners of how they are or can be effective in learning something of personal value.


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Engendering Competence Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Support student in goal setting for projects.

  • Create some learning activities and assessments that are suited to different multiple intelligences.

  • Provide clear and explicit criteria for assignments/assessments.

  • Use multiple forms of assessment that reflect the modes of teaching and learning you have employed.


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Engendering Competence Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Provide models of “high quality” work and discuss them with students.

  • Adopt a “cognitive coaching” stance to teaching; model and highlight in course readings & discussions the thinking, ways of making arguments, and use of academic rhetoric.

  • Provide frequent feedback that is based on agreed-upon standards, specific and constructive, and personally informative to student development and growing competence.


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Engendering Competence Involvement for Communicative Activities

  • Use the “writing process” format so that students get on-going feedback from you and form peers as they develop their work.

  • Use self-assessment to engender student understanding of their attainment and on-going development toward competence.

  • Use reading & anticipation guides to support critical engagement with text.

  • Increase the amount of time that students are talking about the concepts and ideas--collaborative and cooperative group work.


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Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model Involvement for Communicative Activities

Source: Smith & Kolb, 1986, as printed in Wlodkowski & Ginsberg


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Sample Learning Activities Involvement for Communicative Activities

Source: Svinicki & Dixson, 1987, as printed in Wlodkowski & Ginsberg


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Degree of Direct Student Involvement in Various Teaching/Learning Activities

Source: Svinicki & Dixson, 1987, as printed in Wlodkowski & Ginsberg


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Developing Culturally Responsive Practice Teaching/Learning Activities

  • Proceed carefully and gradually

  • Learn with others

  • Create an action plan

  • Be kind to yourself, but don’t let yourself “off the hook”

  • Be prepared for doubt and anxiety, they are signs of change and growth

  • Share your work with others


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Key Ideas and Authors Teaching/Learning Activities

  • Multiple Intelligences-Gardner

  • Learning Styles-Tharp, Shade, Hilliard

  • Assessment-Wiggins

  • Language Development-Cummins, Kinsella

  • Cultural Diversity in colleges-Adams

  • Instructional Strategies-Marzano


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