Becoming Culturally Responsive Teachers

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  • Title: Becoming Culturally Responsive Teachers: A Journey Described by Preservice and Classroom Teachers
  • Author(s): Laura Mitchell
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Year: 2016
  • ISBN (hbk): 978-1-61229-879-5
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-61229-880-1
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-61229-881-8
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Mitchell, Laura. 2016. Becoming Culturally Responsive Teachers: A Journey Described by Preservice and Classroom Teachers. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-61229-881-8/CGP.
  • Extent: 106 pages


Teaching and learning are transformative processes for teachers and students. By creating tension between the known and unknown, the culturally-responsive teacher learns how to meet the needs of all students, including the English language learner, through language, culture, and perspectives. Teachers find that the learning process is much like the process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Culturally responsive teachers treasure watching their students transform into bilingual/bicultural students who know two or more languages and can understand different perspectives of learning. This book describes the journeys of preservice and ELL classroom teachers and how they have become culturally responsive teachers. By following these teachers, readers can become better teachers by responding to the social, emotional, and academic needs of their students. By reflecting on and identifying one’s cultural identity, making connections and developing empathy for others, and utilizing teaching strategies and skills, readers will understand how to implement culturally responsive teaching strategies in the urban classroom. They can create an awareness of their cultural perspectives and beliefs through reflective practices and successfully develop tools and strategies to teach culturally diverse students in the classroom. In this two-part process, readers can explore their own beliefs about culture, identity, and language. Hopefully, they will experience the transformative learning process of becoming culturally responsive teachers that are so desperately needed in today’s classrooms.