creating and sustaining culturally responsive educational systems
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Creating and Sustaining Culturally Responsive Educational Systems. High Achievement for All Students, Closing Gaps and Eliminating Disproportionality. What do we mean when we talk about culturally responsive practices?. Culturally Responsive Educational Practices.

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creating and sustaining culturally responsive educational systems

Creating and Sustaining Culturally Responsive Educational Systems

High Achievement for All Students, Closing Gaps and Eliminating Disproportionality

March 2008

culturally responsive educational practices
Culturally Responsive Educational Practices

Specific educational practices, instructional strategies, curricula content, and [teaming processes] which have been established by research to increase the achievement of historically underachieving culturally diverse students (NCCRESt 2004)

March 2008


Instructional practices not supported by research

Intervention Effect Size

Modality Matched Instr. (Aud.) +.03

Modality Matched Instr. (Vis.) +.04

Right Brain/Left Brain .??

Cultural Learning Style .00

Adapted from Reschly, Innovations 2006

March 2008

culturally responsive educational practices include
Culturally Responsive Educational Practices Include…

Explicit Instruction in Critical and foundational Skills

Collaborative Problem Solving, Direct Assessments, and Multi-tiered Supports

Cooperative Learning

Peer-assisted Learning

Culturally Responsive Practices

Multicultural Education


Supports for



To bring about sustainable change in the performance of culturally diverse students, school improvement efforts must move discussion about culture from the background of consideration to the foreground of planning





What’s Prized and Valued at the school


Beliefs, Values, Ways of Knowing and Doing






Cultures in the system

Schools and school systems that are predicated on continuous improvement and responsiveness to the changing needs of new generations of students work to deepen their understandings of race, class, gender, language, culture, and democracy and develop practices that promote the success of all students. NCCREST Position Statement 2005
when we don t focus on culture we are in danger of perpetuating institutionalized bias
When we don’t focus on culture we are in danger of perpetuating institutionalized bias

Institutional bias can be defined as asystem of advantage based on race, culture, gender etc. which includes systems of cultural messages, institutional policies and practices as well as beliefs and actions of individuals (adapted from Beverly Daniel Tatum).

indicators of institutionalized bias
Indicators of Institutionalized Bias
  • Opportunity Gaps
  • Achievement Gaps
  • Disproportionality

March 2008

Understanding the challenges some culturally andlinguistically diverse students face in schools today
  • Opportunity Gaps
    • Accessing and connecting to the provided instruction
    • Missing instruction due to responses to behavior problems
    • Often not encouraged or recruited for more rigorous studies
a critical understanding the potential impact of cultural mismatch

Students’ norms reflect their own

    • Ethnicity/Race
    • Social economic status
    • Family
    • Religion
    • Community
    • Etc.
A Critical Understanding: The Potential Impact of Cultural Mismatch

School norms reflect

  • White
  • Middle Class
  • Protestant
  • Mainstream culture
cultural mismatch
Cultural Mismatch




When expected classroom behaviors are a mismatch with those that children experience in their home and community problems or “cultural clashes” can occur.
  • Researchers theorize that a cultural mismatch between school culture and the cultural expectations of students as the reason for many of the difficulties experienced by culturally and linguistically diverse students.
what behaviors are students referred for by race
What Behaviors are StudentsReferred For? By Race
  • White students referred more for:
    • Smoking
    • Vandalism
    • Leaving w/o permission
    • Obscene Language
  • Black students referred more for:
    • Disrespect
    • Excessive Noise
    • Threat
    • Loitering
culturally responsive strategic planning
Culturally Responsive Strategic Planning
  • Who is Teaching
  • What is being taught and how
  • Who is learning
  • Attention
  • Discourse
  • Decisions
  • Practices

Toward the goal of increasing the achievement of all students, closing achievement gaps, and eliminating disproportionality

culturally competent organizational practices are
Culturally competent organizational practices are …

A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system or agency or among professionals and enable the system, agency, or professionals to work effectively with diverse populations.

March 2008





Where can Institutionalized Bias Be Demonstrated: We Examine Systems Variables

complex systems are multi layered and multifaceted


Core Instruction



Support Services

School Climate

Complex systems are multi-layered and multifaceted
is there evidence of institutionalized bias in your system asking the right questions
Is there evidence of institutionalized bias in your system: Asking the right questions

Is our system working?

For whom is our system not working?

In what areas is our system exhibiting performance gaps?

March 2008



  • Reflect and support research
  • Non-discriminatory and allows for equitable access
  • Provide clear parameters but allow for decisions based on local data and situation specific information
  • Regularly examined for unintended outcomes resulting in institutionalized bias towards any student group (e.g. Zero Tolerance policies)

March 2008

  • Educators’ beliefs about their own ability to teach students from diverse backgrounds
  • Educators’ belief that all students can achieve at high levels when taught to high levels
  • Cultural competence
  • Knowledge of subject matter
  • Skills in effective/research-based teaching strategies
  • Sense of self as a continual learner
  • Commitment to problem solving


March 2008

  • Universal use of prevention and intervention strategies
  • Consistent implementation of research-based/evidence-based curricula and instructional methods
  • Use of multicultural curricula and instructional practices
  • Reflective Practice
  • Collaboration and problem solving
  • Data-based Decision Making


March 2008

classroom instruction
Classroom Instruction
  • Curriculum
  • Instruction
  • Assessment


March 2008

the 5 rs
The 5 Rs

Connecting to current real life situations; practical and socially applicable

  • Relevance
  • Respect
  • Responsive
  • Rigor
  • Research-based

Giving particular attention and consideration; of diverse viewpoints and contributions

Engaging in an action responding to a need or request

Consistently challenging and meaningful

Demonstrating evidence of effectiveness

culturally responsive educational systems
Culturally responsive educational systems

Culturally responsive educational systems are sustaining learning communities where all adults work to ensure that all students but specifically culturally and linguistically diverse students (1) feel that their culture is respected, (2) understand the relevance of school-based learning experiences and their life success, (3) have a connection to the school community, (4) experience adults who are responsive to student needs, (5) and where high expectations for all are demonstrated through consistent rigorous instruction that is research-based and high standards.

the journey towards creating culturally responsive schools
The Journey Towards Creating Culturally Responsive Schools
  • Self examination and reflective practice
  • Focused discussion and planning
  • Strong Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Cultural Competence

March 2008