Culturally Responsive Teaching: More than Differentiation+Lesson

Culturally responsive teaching envelops the traditional values as a foundation and platform for lessons in the regular classroom.  In class, I studied Standard C as part of the Alaska Standards for curriculum which states “a locally responsive curriculum uses the local language and cultural knowledge as a foundation for the rest of the curriculum.”  After doing this activity, I believe a lot of teachers think of culturally responsive teaching as differentiation-accommodating to those of different cultural backgrounds, but it is us who should use the Alaskan cultural roots as the core of our curriculum.

I can use Standard C in music class by involving community members and school cultural specialists as a starting point to accomplishing standards.  For example, state standards for elementary music education include learning syncopation, ostinato, and the ability to do call and response songs.  Traditional Tlingit songs contain all of these elements…I would have students initially learn songs from a guest from the community while I emphasize the state/national standards.  This allows students to learn the cultural inter-relationships between multiple types of music.

One thought on “Culturally Responsive Teaching: More than Differentiation+Lesson”

  1. Awesome! You know, often I think teachers find inviting people into their class intimidating because it takes extra effort and time, and you don’t know what to ask or what not to ask. However, I think it’s actually not as hard as it looks (Paula does it so well) and it is totally worth it!

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