The Collaborative, with the leadership of its diverse members, is making culturally responsive teaching a focus of the 2020-21 iteration of its current National Endowment for the Arts - funded national online teacher professional development.
What is culturally responsive teaching (CRT)?
Bernnell Peltier-Glaze, Ed.D, Interim Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University, an HBCU (Historically Black College and University), an expert in CRT who teaches CRT at the college level, and who is leading this work for the Collaborative, provides an important look at this important teaching strategy. She points out that Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings (1994) defines culturally responsive teaching as a pedagogy that empowers students intellectually, socially, and emotionally by using cultural references to provide students with knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
What are its benefits?
Using a culturally responsive approach, Dr. Peltier-Glaze says, teachers can appreciate each student as an individual informed by his/her background. CRT also helps bridge cultural gaps between teachers and their students. By adapting classroom instruction that overcomes these potential barriers, research shows that teachers can help students overcome obstacles and succeed.
How do CRT strategies align with STEAM?
Recent Collaborative K-12 Effective Practices research showed that by using Collaborative STEAM lessons and strategies, students of color performed the same as white students. This is called “closing the gap”, which means that students of color performed as effectively or more effectively than white students in STEAM learning and thinking. Interestingly, many of the strategies that make STEAM effective also are those that are used in culturally responsive teaching.