Embracing Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Gay (2010) defines Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CR) as instructional applications that help educators “improve the academic achievement of students from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and social-class groups." These pedagogical approaches take into account the “discontinuities between the school culture and the community cultures of low-income students and students of color." Despite the frequency of CR in the literature, its practice is not widespread, even though most educators are cognizant of it. We conjecture that educators have not internalized CR as a part of their knowledge-belief system, thus, when faced with classroom challenges, they abandon CR for conventional approaches. In 2002, Muijs and Reynolds verified that teacher beliefs impact their behavior. Given this connection, we expect teachers to behave based on their beliefs. Consequently, the question remains, what informs an educators’ beliefs about CR, and how can this be internalized? To answer this question, we identified ten educational leaders of majority-minority urban schools that are experiencing academic success and whose teachers consistently practice CR. This inquiry helps us understand how educators scaffold CR into their knowledge/belief system. With this knowledge, we will be able to equip educational leaders with processes to influence educators to internalize CR as a part of their philosophical repertoire.

Cultural Responsiveness, Student Learning, Teacher Beliefs, Leadership Influence

Pedagogy and Curriculum

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Dr. Douglas Hermond
    • Professor, Educational Leadership, Prairie View A&M University, United States Texas, United States
    • Research interests: 1. Developing and assessing educational leadership preparation programs that address the needs of culturally diverse students 2. Developing educational training programs in developing communities Academic Background: PhD., Educational Administration - Texas A&M University Present Position: Teaching research and leadership courses in a graduate program in educational leadership.
  • Dr. Tyrone Tanner
    • Prairie View University
    • Tyrone Tanner, Ed.D. is a professor of education at Prairie View A & M University. He has authored numerous books and articles ranging from helping parents become more involved with their children’s learning, “Parents Need Help Too: A guide for parents of school-age children,” to aiding teachers in effectively working with diverse learners, “Culturally Responsive Educational Theories: A practical guide with case studies for improving the academic performance of diverse learners.” These products provide the framework for Dr. Tanner’s mission and research. As a consultant, he has facilitated exciting research based workshops for more than 100,000 educators and parents at countless schools, districts, and conferences. Early in his career, Dr. Tanner was a middle and high school teacher, middle and high school principal, and central office school administrator. Dr. Tanner’s research and philosophy is firmly planted in the belief that all students can learn, and if provided a culturally active classroom environment they can learn with exceptionality. As a father and educator, he believes parents want the best for their children, and with the right approach, the necessary trust can be created to build powerful home and school partnerships. To that end, he is committed and dedicated to developing the tools necessary for educators and parents to experience success with all children.