A culturally-responsive curriculum uses the local language and cultural knowledge as a foundation for the rest of the curriculum.
A curriculum that meets this cultural standard:
- utilizes the local language as a base from which to learn the deeper meanings of the local cultural knowledge, values, beliefs and practices;
- recognizes the depth of knowledge that is associated with the long inhabitation of a particular place and utilizes the study of “place” as a basis for the comparative analysis of contemporary social, political and economic systems;
- incorporates language and cultural immersion experiences wherever in-depth cultural understanding is necessary;
- views all community members as potential teachers and all events in the community as potential learning opportunities;
- treats local cultural knowledge as a means to acquire the conventional curriculum content as outlined in state standards, as well as an end in itself;
- makes appropriate use of modern tools and technology to help document and transmit traditional cultural knowledge;
- is sensitive to traditional cultural protocol, including role of spirituality, as it relates to appropriate uses of local knowledge.
This curriculum is about including the local knowledge, beliefs, and values into the classroom. By inviting members of the community to share their knowledge and be part of your lesson, you as a teacher, connect the Native culture with the content standards.
I would use the local language in my science class to name different plants and invite an elder to speak about their medicinal use. That would engage students to learn more about the traditional cultural knowledge of their home.