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Note: I originally planned this learning experience as part of our corps member

orientation in 2012. Since then, my team and I have evolved the session design and
collaborated to facilitate it for our new teachers as well as community partners and local
school teams.
Typically this session is a part of a series of learning experiences designed to help our
teachers examine their own experience with school, philosophy of education, and
personal biases and archetypes. This session marks a shift from theory to practice; after
this, teachers begin working on unit plans, lesson plans, and lesson execution. Weve
found that this session can be most powerful when co-facilitated by a white staff
member and a Native staff member.

Introduction to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy


Objective:
Teachers will be able to articulate what it means for them to be a culturally
responsive teacher; theyll be able to name 3-5 actions they can take to adopt a
culturally responsive pedagogy in their own practice.
What were looking for:
Teachers describing how their mindsets and beliefs influence the actions they take
in the classroom
Teachers creating classroom visions that reference what they learned in this
session
Graphic organizer teachers will connect theory to teacher actions, knowledge,
and skill.

How do we need to be during this learning experience?


Dont lose sight of academic achievement!
Learn with a beginners mind we need to encourage everyone to come in
believing they have something to learn from this discussion, even the facilitators.
Critical hope our schools procedures and policies dont always make it easy to be
the kind of teacher we know our students and their families want and deserve; we
have to maintain hope that we can find ways to integrate cultural responsiveness
into our practice.
With

flex time, the session should be scheduled for three hours:


Part 1: 1 hour and twenty minutes
Break: 15 minutes
Part 2: 1 hour and fifteen minutes

Session Plan
Timing

Description

Opening
10
minutes.

As teachers come in, ask them to write on a post it and stick it to the
wall: What do you think of when you hear the words culturally
responsive pedagogy?
Share objective:
Teachers will be able to articulate what it means for them to be a
culturally responsive teacher; theyll be able to name 3-5 actions
they can take to adopt a culturally responsive pedagogy in their
own practice.
Project or write on a poster: What does it mean for me to be a culturally
responsive _____ teacher?
Ask: What might go in that blank? Okay why does that blank matter?
Make sure someone calls out race, class, sexual orientation, gender. If
they dont, the facilitators should.

To transition, share:
1. (if this hasnt already come out) Your identity matters. The way
(COFACILLITATOR) and I approach our work is necessarily different,
because we come from really different backgrounds. (If we havent
before, share what some of those identity markers are; teachers will have
had a whole session on identity markers earlier in the week.)
2. Yall arent empty vessels. Maybe youve studied critical race theory or
even culturally responsive pedagogy; maybe youve been taught by
culturally responsive teachers yourself. Even if neither of those things are
true, youve probably spent at least sixteen or more years in school and
have a variety of experiences that contribute to your understanding of
what education is and should be. That stuff matters.
3. We need conceptual clarity. If were going to work together over the next
couple of years, were going to need to be on the same page when we
use words and phrases not because theres a right answer, but because
we dont really have time to waste. In a couple months, youll be in front
of students full-time. Its time to work!
Build
SAY: Lets get some conceptual clarity around what we mean when we
Conceptual say culturally responsive teaching. As you watch this video, listen for the
Clarity
three components of CRT and what they mean.
20 minutes
VIDEO: Conversation with Gloria Ladson Billings

Watch 30:11-37:47
(10 minutes) With a partner, identify each of the three components and
define it
Student Learning
Cultural Competence
Socio-Political Consciousness
As groups discuss, the facilitator will walk around and find people with
really solid answers for each component. At the end of ten minutes,
theyll call on one person to share each; co-facilitator will write the
definitions on the board.
SAY: While there are many ways to be culturally responsive, we do want
to ensure that we have a clear definition for what were looking for at the
heart of our work.
Student Learning: students show measurable academic growth in
your class
Cultural Competence: the teacher is able and the students gain the
ability to interact in at least two cultural situations, with one likely
being mainstream culture.
Socio-Political Consciousness: At the heart of everything are the big
questions: why does this matter? How does this relate to our
world?
*Be sure at some point in the discussion to reiterate GLBs point that
being culturally responsive means having a growth mindset. Start with
what you know well, and then begin to integrate more and more new
things into your practice.
Dive deep
30
minutes

SAY: Lets dive into some aspect of CRT a little deeper. Choose one of
these four articles. As you read, ask yourself:
What is compelling to me? Confusing? Surprising?
What would this look like in my classroom?
What (if anything) makes me feel uncomfortable?
Possible readings:
Article 1 from Educating Culturally Responsive Teachers, Strand
1: Gaining Sociocultural Competence
Article 2 - from Educating Culturally Responsive Teachers, Strand
4: Constructivist Teaching
Article 3 - from Educating Culturally Responsive Teachers, Strand
5: What Teachers Need to Know About Students
Article 4 - Te Kotahitanga: Addressing educational disparities facing
Maori students in New Zealand
SAY: You have about 30 minutes to explore your article. If you get done
early, choose another one! There are enough copies of each reading for
everyone to have them all.

Discuss
SAY: Lets take a stab at the original question we posed: What does it
20 minutes mean to be a culturally responsive _____ teacher?
Facilitators will guide the discussion, while recording ideas on the white
board. While we shouldnt stray from the three components of CRT, we
should guide participants to articulate what sorts of attitudes,
dispositions, and actions might help them get closer and closer to a
culturally responsive classroom. Facilitators should probe deeply, asking
participants questions like why? or how do you know? Encourage
people to look back at what they read, or share from their experience.
Break

(if needed participants can take a 10-15 minute break)

Apply 45
minutes

SAY: Weve got a definition, and weve built out our understanding of
what some influential thinkers say culturally responsive teachers should
know, believe, and be able to do. Now lets talk about what it looks like.
In the next room, weve got six stations set up with materials for you to
explore. Each station represents one teachers classroom. You could
choose a teacher with whom you share some identity markers, you
choose a teacher who will teach the same grade level or content as you
its up to you which teacher you choose. Youve got a guide explaining
each classroom in your packet.
Youve also got a graphic organizer. At the top, wed like you to narrow
your focus a bit: what aspect of culturally responsive teaching do you
most want to look for?
Then, in the two boxes below, try to record student and teacher actions
that show evidence of culturally responsive teaching. In the videos and
materials, what do students and teachers say or do that show evidence
of a culturally responsive classroom?
You can work on your own or with a partner. Well be circulating to
answer questions. Take a moment to figure out which set of materials
youd like to look at, and then head next door.
Participants have 40 minutes to explore classroom materials

Reflection
20
minutes

SAY: Were going to use a gallery walk to debrief. Think about the
classroom you just explored and take 15-20 minutes to record your
takeaways and read what others have written.
Questions for the Gallery Walk (two sets of each poster, depending on
the size of the group):
What actions did you see teachers taking in the videos?
What did you hear students saying or see students doing in the
materials?
What questions do you still have about Culturally Responsive
Pedagogy?

after ten minutes, encourage participants to begin reading others


reflections
Closing
SAY: Were going to return to our initial question one more time -- What
10 minutes does it mean to be a culturally responsive _____ teacher?
First, talk to a partner (5 minutes)
Ask for a few people to share out as a closing (10 minutes)
*Make sure we reiterate the three components of CRP, and make sure to
gather some reflections about CRP being a continuum you wont, as
GLB says, be 100% culturally responsive right out of the box, but you
can continue to learn, grow, and try new things.