Culturally Responsive Teaching

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In her book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, Zaretta Thompson combinesbrain based learning and culturally responsive teaching to construct a framework for activating the brain’s schema and cultural knowledge to allow for increased learning and discovery by students. She divides the book into three parts: 1) building awareness and knowledge, 2) Building learning partnerships, and 3) building intellective capacity. Throughout each of these sections she incorporates classroom practices as well as self-reflective practices that encourageteachers to understand themselves and their students and to develop the ability to think andunderstand outside themselves. Thompson’s work challenges teachers to go beyond simplistic tropes for addressing …show more content…
Asking the teacher to go through the process of recognizing their own cultural reference points allows the teacher to recognize how they makecritical decisions and judgements based on the values that she grew up with. Through recognizing the ways culture influences us, we can begin to make intentional decisions in the classroom that room for other cultures. Beyond just recognizing the role we play as teachers, Thompson also points to the imperative of recognizing the sociopolitical context. I think this is so often trivialized when it comes to education and education reform. However, Thompson conveys the importance of recognizing the biases and structural racism that affects students in classrooms. Culturally responsive teaching is the response to these chronic injustices.Part II pushed me to think beyond the framework of culturally responsive teaching into what it looks like in practice. Through identifying the student-teacher relationship as one of alearning partnership both parties are given