Culturally responsive teaching

Teachers who use and respect their students' languages, cultures and life experiences follow these principles:


  • Communication of high expectations
    Consistent messages are delivered, from both the teacher and the school that students will succeed, based upon a genuine belief in student capability.
  • Active teaching methods
    Instruction promotes student engagement by requiring students to play an active role in crafting curriculum and developing learning activities.
  • Teacher as facilitator
    Within an active teaching environment, the teacher's role is one of guide, mediator, and knowledgeable consultant, as well as instructor.
  • Positive perspectives on families of culturally diverse students
    School teachers and staff participate in an ongoing dialogue with students, families and community members on issues important to them. The people and discussions are included in classroom lessons and activities.
  • Cultural sensitivity
    Teachers gain knowledge of the cultures represented in their classrooms and translate this knowledge into instructional practice.
  • Reshaping the curriculum
    A reshaped curriculum is culturally responsive to the background of students.
  • Culturally mediated instruction
    Instruction is characterized by providing students with culturally rich learning environments and culturally valued knowledge.
  • Student-controlled classroom discourse
    Students are given the opportunity to control some portion of the lesson, which allows teachers to see how speech and negotiation are used in students’ homes and communities.
  • Small-group instruction and academically related discourse
    Instruction is organized around low-pressure, student-controlled learning groups that help develop academic goals.


Download the Culturally Responsive Teachingflier

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