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Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: What Is Culturally Responsive Pedagogy?

Information on developing culturally responsive and inclusive pedagogy.

What is Culturally Responsive & Inclusive Teaching?

Overview and Definitions:

Culturally responsive pedagogy, as defined in the Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education is “…an approach to teaching that incorporates attributes and characteristics of, as well as knowledge from, students’ cultural background into instructional strategies and course content to improve their academic achievement. A primary aim of culturally responsive pedagogy is to create learning environments that allow students to use cultural elements, cultural capital, and other recognizable knowledge from their experiences to learn new content and information to enhance their schooling experience and academic success."

Stated further along in the article, referenced below, "Some theorists and researchers suggest that the cultural dissonance between students and teachers is one of the contributing factors to the wide-spread academic disparities between many students of color and their White counterparts. Culturally responsive teaching can serve as a bridge between students’ and teachers’ ways of knowing."

Characteristics of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy:

Culturally responsive pedagogy requires faculty as well as institutional involvement. These key characteristics are drawn from the National Center for Culturally Responsive Education Centers (NCCREST):

  • Students receive equal opportunities to achieve full potential.
  • Student receive preparation for competent participation in an increasingly intercultural society.
  • Teachers are prepared for effective facilitation of learning for every student.
  • Schools are active participants in ending oppression of all types.
  • Education is more fully student-centered and inclusive of student voices and experiences.
  • Educators, administrators, and others take an active role in re-examining educational practices and how they affect the learning of all students.

Key Readings & Resources

Below are some key general readings in the field of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. A more comprehensive list of resources, organized by audience/subject, can be found on other tabs in this guide.

National Organizations


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Julie Cornett
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