Culturally Responsive Teaching in Education Essay

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Culturally responsive teaching cannot be taught in a piecemeal fashion. Coffey & Farinde-Wu (2016) use a case study to show how the development of self-awareness through extensive personal exploration of biases is even more crucial to a teacher’s ability to creating a culturally responsive learning environment and pedagogy. Strong mentoring of student-teachers can help new educators to develop the self-awareness as well as specific skills needed to teach in a culturally responsive way. Coffey & Farinde-Wu (2016) also explore the relationship between teachers’ ethnic identity/group membership and that of their students. Being Black does not necessarily lead to a culturally responsive pedagogy when working with Black students, as Tracie’s case study shows (Coffey & Farinde-Wu, 2016). Classroom structure, the student-teacher relationship, the integration of cooperative learning strategies, and actively teaching about race, class, gender, and power are all critical components of culturally responsive teaching.

Like Coffey & Farinde-Wu (2016), Kea & Trent (2013) also point out the need for truly transformational teaching, and not simply superficial instruction in cultural responsiveness. Using a mixed methods research design, Kea & Trent (2013) found that pre-service teachers were familiar with the concept of cultural responsiveness and understood its general importance.

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Moreover, the researchers also found that pre-service teacher lesson plans included culturally responsive content. Yet in spite of the attention paid to cultural responsiveness in their lesson plans, the pre-service teachers did not incorporate effective culturally responsive practices in their classrooms. Just as the Coffey & Farinde-Wu (2016) case study demonstrated, the Kea & Trent (2013) research draws attention to the need for dramatic changes in pedagogical practices, classroom design, and learning environments. Less lecturing and more cooperative learning or cooperative teaching seem to be the most important pedagogical changes indicated by these two studies.

I would apply the results of the Coffey & Farinde-Wu (2016) and Kea & Trent (2013) articles by altering my teaching methods, and not just focus on the content of my lesson plans. Both of these studies demonstrate that authoritarian teaching styles are generally not culturally responsive, partly because they entail unilateral communication and perpetuate cultural hegemony. Students need to be listened to and empowered, not commanded. Less about lesson plans and more about methods, my culturally responsive teaching would also integrate some of the suggestions made by the researchers. For example, I would seek an experienced mentor successful.....

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Coffey, H. & Farinde-Wu, A. (2016). Navigating the journey to culturally responsive teaching: Lessons from the success and struggles of one first-year, Black female teacher of Black students in an urban school. Teaching and Teacher Education 60(2016): 24-33.

Kea, C.D. & Trent, S.C. (2013). Providing culturally responsive teaching in field-based and student teaching experiences: A case study. Interdisciplinary Journal of Teaching and Learning 3(2).

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