The key principle of culturally responsive educational systems is based on the strong belief that students with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds can achieve excellent results in their academic performance.
Culturally responsive pedagogy and practice aims to help all students develop their skills and abilities. In schools with culturally responsive environment teachers work hard to create the learner-centered atmosphere where the individual strengths of every student are identified and developed to improve student achievement and academic performance.
Culturally responsive pedagogy aims to engage all students, including diverse learners with distinct backgrounds. This is achieved by linking content with students’ past and present cultures.
Students will understand the new material better if the teacher encourages them to share thoughts, uses different work and study practices, understands student learning needs and practices various methods of culturally-significant instruction style, such as oral storytelling.
To create a culturally responsive classroom environment the teacher should:
Establish Inclusion — Focus on how the topics taught in school may relate to specific areas of interest for students. For example, when you teach how to calculate speed you can include things like fireworks in sample questions while fireworks festival runs, etc. This strategy is the most effective when the students are grouped as it will encourage discussion to solve problems.
Develop Positive Attitudes — Teachers are encouraged to allow students to choose the activities and assessments that let them demonstrate the skills acquired, their values, strengths and experiences. For example, the teacher may ask students to propose their own project ideas, etc.
Enhance Meaning — This means drawing connections with present day issues and encouraging students to express their opinions based on existing knowledge. For example, when teaching about government, the teacher can zero in specific municipal political issues.
Foster Confidence — To make the evaluation process less frightening for students make sure you offer different ways of assessing knowledge and checking how well the learners know the material and what new skills they have developed. Rather than handing out tests that are only multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank consider incorporating problems that require writing answers. After the students write the test, give them time to evaluate their achievement and performance, making emphasis on their growth.
There are special teaching approaches that help create culturally responsive environment in classroom. They include incorporating the elements of a game into the lesson, inviting guest speakers, using media like books and movies, encouraging students to work in cooperative groups and having problem-based learning scenarios in class.