Culturally Responsive Teaching

“When a class sees their teacher as an ally in their quest for an education, they perform better.”  

     -Monica Fuglei

I love this powerful quote by Monica Fuglei! If this doesn’t fire you up as an educator to reflect on your practice and make sure the students in your room know you are their ally then I don’t know what will! Students who are taught in a culturally responsive environment feel supported and are more successful academically than when their teachers do not take the time to foster culturally responsive teaching.

According to Fuglei, Culturally Responsive Teaching is “making students’ own skills, languages, and attitudes meaningful in the classroom.”

According to Ladson-Billings (1994), there are seven principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching. These include:

  1. Positive perspectives on parents and families
  2. Communication of high expectations
  3. Learning within the context of culture
  4. Student-centered instruction
  5. Culturally mediated instruction
  6. Reshaping the curriculum
  7. Teacher as facilitator

Here are some helpful resources I have compiled with more information and suggestions for CRT.

1. Culturally Responsive Teaching Brown University Although I’m pretty sure we all know what culturally responsive teaching is, I thought the short article on this website was helpful because it explicitly lists 7 traits of culturally responsive teaching.                                                            Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The dreamkeepers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishing Co.

2. Culturally Responsive Teaching: Empowering Students Through Respect                by Monica Fuglei of Concordia University This article asks teachers to examine their own belief systems and reminds us of the importance of encouraging students to code-switch/use their own languages By giving students comprehensible input we are not lowering standards but having high standards that ALL students deserve and can learn at high levels. I also like that it reminds us that students will take ownership of their own learning when they feel validated!

3. Culturally Responsive Teaching Matters! from the Equity Alliance has some really great reasoning for CRT. This is a short PDF that defines key terms, explains why CRT should be the norm in teaching, gives non-examples (I always love having non-examples! I’m just that kind of learner I guess. I like when things are explicit…) and then it has LOTS of great examples of how to be more culturally responsive.


4. Edutopia  This is basically a collection of articles all about culturally responsive teaching. So many great articles and ideas!

5. Kentucky Department of Education KDE has compiled some fantastic resources for CRT including diagnostic tools, lesson plans, lesson resources and articles about CRT. I wish I had found this sooner!


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