5 Tips for Culturally Responsive Teaching

Educator Audrey Muhammad was recently named the recipient of The National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) $10,000 Scholarship Award. The author and former high school English teacher shares some quick tips for culturally responsive teaching.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Tip 1: Learn About Your Students

The first step toward effective culturally responsive teaching focuses on the basics. “Getting to know your students is a way to infuse some positive connections to their culture and to learning,” Muhammad says.

Muhammad will often start with an ice-breaking exercise, asking a series of questions such as: ‘Are you the oldest sibling in your family?’ ‘Do you speak a second language?’ etc. If the answer is yes, she asks students to stand; if the answer is no, they remain seated. The exercise helps her learn about each student and their background in a manner that is fast, fun, and engaging for students.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Tip 2: Help Students Get to Know Each Other

In addition to getting to know their students, culturally responsive teachers foster an environment in which their students get to know one another.

The ice-breaking exercise described above is one way to get students talking about their backgrounds and aware of similarities with others they may not have realized. Another strategy Muhammad employs is partner interviews in which students pair off and interview one another about their respective backgrounds.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Tip 3: Honoring Different Strengths

In addition to learning about students and having them learn about one another, Muhammad says educators need to celebrate the unique strengths each one has. “Pull some positive things out that you find out about various cultures,” she says.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Tip 4: Teach Acceptance With Inclusive Materials

Growing up, Muhammad read popular Mother Goose nursery rhymes but realized the stories didn’t offer children practical lessons about the world and didn’t reflect Black experiences. So she wrote ​Rhymes of the Times: Black Nursery Rhymes, which features original educational nursery rhymes such as “Martin Had a Little Dream” and is now available to teachers who work with younger students.

While this book is aimed at young learners, inclusive learning materials that celebrate various cultures are something that help learners at every level, Muhammad says.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Tip 5: Use Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is another passion of Muhammad’s and is a teaching approach that pairs naturally with culturally responsive teaching because it is focused on real-world applications.

One example of how Muhammad combines the two is an assignment in which she requires students to interview someone from their current profession or one they want to get into. To bring in culturally responsive teaching, she then asks students to try and find someone in that profession from their culture.

Excerpted from “5 Tips for Culturally Responsive Teaching” in Tech & Learning. Read the full article online.

Source: Tech & Learning | Tips for Culturally Responsive Teaching” in Tech & Learning, https://www.techlearning.com/news/5-tips-for-culturally-responsive-teaching | © 2022 Future Publishing Limited Quay House

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