Culturally Responsive Practice
We invite you to download some or all of our Topical Briefs for free. These publications have been written by a variety of researchers, practitioners and family members about specific practices that support inclusive schooling and culturally responsive practice. We write these Topical Briefs with three standards in mind:
(1) We strive to make these products authentic so that the ideas and illustrations that you read about can be applied in a variety of educational settings.
(2) You should find our Topical Briefs accessible. We work to make our language clear and precise. When possible, we translate our Briefs into a variety of languages.
(3) These Topical Briefs should help you link theories and practices so that you have framework for exploring or informing practice as well as examples of how the theory is translated into practice that is effective and produces learning results for students. All of our Topical Briefs are distillations of research, so all references are listed at the end if you want to read more about a particular topic.
Many school leaders, teacher educators, and technical assistance providers use our Topical Briefs to support professional learning in their work. These helpful publications are also available for purchasing for a minimal cost – around $5 per copy. Order your own glossy, durable booklets using our online order form.
Every student has the right to an education free from discrimination that provides high-quality, equitable opportunities to learn. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals or systems may act in ways that violate this right. Discrimination occurs when people are treated unequally or less favorably than others because of some real or perceived characteristic. In every community and every school, discrimination exists in both intended and unintended ways. It may take the form of direct, overt discrimination, such as barring all members of a specific group from being admitted to an organization. Discrimination may also be indirect or less obvious, such as seemingly neutral admission policies that actually favor one group over another. All kinds of discrimination are wrong and can be harmful to those involved. In schools, discrimination can make it difficult for students to learn because they do not feel safe or accepted. As such, finding ways to fight discrimination is essential to ensuring students educational opportunity.
As more and more students from diverse backgrounds populate 21st century classrooms, and efforts mount to identify effective methods to teach these students, the need for pedagogical approaches that are culturally responsive intensifies. Today’s classrooms require teachers to educate students varying in culture, language, abilities, and many other characteristics (Gollnick & Chinn, 2002). To meet this challenge, teachers must employ not only theoretically sound but also culturally responsive pedagogy. Teachers must create a classroom culture where all students regardless of their cultural and linguistic background are welcomed and supported, and provided with the best opportunity to learn.
Coming to an understanding if the ways in which ones beliefs, experience, values, and assumptions are linked to culture is an essential feature of culturally responsive practice.
In order for culturally and linguistically diverse students to reach their full potential, instruction should be provided in ways that promote the acquisition of increasingly complex knowledge and skills in a social climate that fosters collaboration and positive interactions among participants. Such classrooms are inclusive in their emphasis on high standards and outcomes for all students, including culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Important features of such settings include high expectations, exposure to academically rich curricula and materials, approaches that are culturally and linguistically responsive and appropriate, use of instructional technologies that enhance learning, and emphasis on student-regulated, active learning rather than passive, teacher-directed transmission.
This What Matters brief presents general trends in the social and emotional well-being of youth who identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (GLBTQ), followed by a guide of sexual orientation definitions. Additionally, readers learn a series of steps that schools must address in order to build inclusive, safe, and effective schools for all students, including those who identify as GLBTQ.
There is a lot to be encouraged about when we look at the current state of gender equity in education between girls and boys, young women, and men. To start, the average educational performance of both girls and boys has improved over the past couple decades, and more women and men are likely to complete high school and postsecondary education than any time in United States history (AAUW, 2009). Yet, we must not become complacent in our knowledge of these improvements; both girls and boys continue to experience disparities in multiple educational and social outcomes, and while numbers are important indicators of success and improvement, they paint an incomplete picture at best, of the day-today experiences of discrimination by both girls and boys, on the basis of gender.
This brief, in Spanish, defines the concept of overrepresentation, identifies possible causes for the problem, and offers a variety of ways that parents and families can help prevent or decrease overrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education programs.
This OnPoint introduces Multiple Intelligences theory and explores its use with all students by looking at the research on classrooms that use MI. In particular, we explore the Project on Schools Using Multiple Intelligences Theory (Project SUMIT) in depth so that readers can have a robust example to draw on for their own classrooms.
This OnPoint is designed to develop understanding about the contexts in which this country has viewed immigration and how these contexts constrain our responses to the new waves of immigration.
The laws governing special education, and overrepresentation issues in particular, can be intimidating. Lost in the mishmash of federal and state laws and regulations, however, are some fairly basic rules. This practitioner brief explains and outlines those rules.
In this brief, we highlight four key elements of culturally- and linguistically-responsive prereferral intervention for culturally and linguistically diverse students. These elements are (1) Preventing School Underachievement and Failure, (2) Early Intervention for Struggling Learners, (3) Diagnostic/Prescriptive Teaching, and (4) Availability of General Education Problem-Solving Support Systems.
This publication demonstrate the need for rethinking current approaches to professional learning and provides guidelines for professional learning for culturally responsive teaching, as well as research-supported examples of schools and districts engaged in this process.
This OnPoint describes the way in which NIUSI defines culture and how to think about educational settings and scenarios from the point of view of culture.