- What is teaching that is culturally sensitive?
- Traditional vs. Culturally Responsive Teaching Methods
- Why is culturally competent instruction crucial?
- 5 Culturally Sensitive Teaching Methods for Teachers
What is teaching that is culturally sensitive?
A pedagogy known as culturally relevant teaching, also known as culturally responsive teaching, emphasises the significance of incorporating students’ cultural references into all facets of learning. The teacher-student relationship is emphasised in conventional teaching methods: While imparting knowledge to the student, the teacher, who is the subject matter expert, strictly follows the curriculum that underpins standardised tests. Childers-McKee claims that this approach to teaching is out of date.
“Today’s classrooms are more diverse for teachers. Instruction must be different because not all of the students in front of us have the same background or experiences, she asserts. “It needs to build on their prior knowledge, as well as their cultural and personal experiences. It must emphasise justice and take into account the current state of society. When we discuss culturally responsive teaching, that is what we mean.
Traditional vs. Culturally Responsive Teaching Methods
There are various ways that culturally responsive teaching can appear. When teaching literature using conventional methods, educators might automatically teach works by well-known authors, such as Charles Dickens, J.D. Salinger, and William Shakespeare, adhering to generally accepted interpretations of the texts.
Contrarily, culturally responsive teaching aims to include literature from various cultures, regions of the world, and authors of different backgrounds while acknowledging that there is nothing wrong with traditional texts. Finding a “hook and anchor” to draw students into the material by drawing on their prior experiences is another key component.
“In this manner, students can identify with some of the literature they read rather than just the white, western world. According to her, learning is more experiential and practical. Instead, you’re exposing them to a global, multicultural community while searching for various interpretations and connecting them to what it means for contemporary society.
Why is culturally competent instruction crucial?
Culturally responsive teaching is particularly important today because not everyone follows the traditional educational path of attending school, going to college, finding a job, and living in the suburbs. The methods teachers use to teach need to take into account these variations.
“That conventional, mainstream education does not take into account the realities facing students today. Every student should benefit from culturally responsive instruction; it is not just for students from non-white, middle-class, English-speaking families. It has the potential to be transformative when done properly.
Culturally sensitive methods for instruction in the classroom can provide significant advantages like:
- improving students’ sense of self
- Engaging students with the course material while promoting equity and inclusivity in the classroom
fostering critical thought.
- Here are five culturally sensitive teaching techniques that all teachers can use in their classes.
5 Culturally Sensitive Teaching Methods for Teachers
1. Bring students’ prior knowledge into play.
Students bring a variety of experiences to the classroom rather than being a blank slates. For group discussions to serve as an anchor for learning, teachers should encourage students to use their prior knowledge as a starting point. One example of this is applying a different perspective to the literature that is taught in classrooms.
2. Provide context for learning.
Connecting curriculum lessons to the student’s social networks to make them more relevant and contextual. “Discuss why it matters today, in your school, or in your community,” she advises when reading a history chapter in class. Make a project that enables them to draw parallels with the idea you’re learning.
3. Motivate learners to use their cultural capital.
The fact that not all students come from the same background makes it crucial to empower those who do. Imagine that you instruct an English class that includes ESL students. The experiences they do have—their cultural capital—must be put to use.
For instance, the teacher might pick a book that the ESL students can relate to and feel like they are the experts in for the class to read. Because some of her students came from an agricultural background, once chosen as a teacher a book told the tale of a migrant worker’s child.
“In a mixed-gender classroom, you want the minority students to feel knowledgeable. You should be inspired by their experiences, she advises. “However, I do warn against going overboard and making ‘Johnny’ feel as though he must represent all Mexicans by, say, putting them on the spot. There is a line you must cross.
4. Reassess the design of your classroom.
The books in your classroom library should be inventoried: Do they have writers of different races? Is there a presence of the LGBTQ community? The families in the books are they suburban or urban? Think about your classroom’s posters and bulletin boards in addition to the classroom library. These are all simple adjustments you can make to your classroom to make it more culturally sensitive.
People frequently automatically think of black students when discussing culture and diversity, but that is no longer enough. Some teachers find it difficult to adapt culturally responsive teaching techniques to their students, who are all middle-class white. They should stress diversity education to students just as much. These are effective teaching techniques that benefit all students, not just those from underrepresented groups.
Training Future Generations
Teachers have a special ability to change the lives of their students. The use of thoughtful, inclusive instruction can benefit students in ways that go well beyond what happens in the classroom.
Implementing culturally responsive teaching methods is the first step toward making real changes in the educational system. Getting an advanced degree is one way to acquire the knowledge and abilities required to lead your organisation toward positive change on a larger scale.