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Cultural Responsiveness for Educators

A child’s background should not determine what they’re able to do in life…
~ Pedro Noguera at Hinckley High School


Culturally responsive pedagogy has long been described by a number of researchers as an effective means of meeting both the academic and the social needs of students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds (Gay, 2000, Ladson-Billings, 1994). Teachers and school leaders are increasingly engaging students from cultural, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and social class backgrounds different from their own. It is essential that we provide educators with professional learning that builds the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to effectively educate students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Culturally responsive leadership builds a learning community of “inclusive excellence” and produces schools that embody excellence and equity.

Brief Program Description

The Culturally Responsive Leadership Program is a 2 ½ day program designed for school leaders, teacher leaders, and teacher mentors. The program will focus on transforming educator perspectives and practices to create learning environments and experiences that engage students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Participants will engage in experiential activities that access knowledge from professional practice, from relevant research, and from the book, The 5 Dimensions of Engaged Teaching. The program will explore the aspirations, attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors that characterize a culturally responsive pedagogy. Specifically the program will support teachers to acknowledge and respond to cultural differences in ways that build relationships with students and support social justice. Program participants will collaborate on developing new approaches and classroom strategies that engage “all students regardless of their race, gender, ethnic background or learning style.”*

The program will include discussion and reflection on segments from the film: Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity. The film describes a “systemic approach to understanding racial inequity as a precursor to building strategies that address racial and socio-economic barriers.”


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