March 2021: Culturally Responsive Teaching Deadline June 1, 2020 Gloria Ladson-Billings first introduced the term culturally relevant pedagogy over 20 years ago, and her work has been built upon others such as Geneva Gay, who focused on developing a framework for culturally responsive teaching (CRT). This approach, according to Gay, uses "the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to and effective for them."
We know that background knowledge aids in the understanding of new ideas and learning. When learning is more meaningful for the students, they can readily engage and make more significant strides in long-lasting learning. Virtually every state has included CRT standards for promoting respect for student diversity and with linking curriculum or instructional practices to students' culture. In some states, CRT also includes being responsive to economic, social, cultural, linguistic, family, and community factors. Essential to responsiveness is knowing who your students are and what they bring to the classroom in terms of background knowledge and out-of-classroom experiences.
How are preschool and elementary teachers applying CRT principles in the science classroom? Where does CRT fit into science and engineering teaching and learning? How are teachers providing culturally relevant lessons that set high expectations for success and promote student self-efficacy?
Article suggestions for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:
Share a culturally responsive instructional sequence or lesson. Explain how this learning promotes student self-efficacy.
Describe how authentic science and engineering practices are supported and enhanced through CRT.
Describe how students made connections between science content, contributions of underrepresented scientists and engineers, and their own lives. How do children see themselves in the curriculum?
Share a lesson or sequence of lessons that focus on inclusivity or social justice in the science classroom. How can students be encouraged to develop their voice as scientists and engineers.