Culturally Proficient Pedagogy
Effective teachers strive to acknowledge the kaleidoscope of background experiences students bring to the classroom and to ensure the materials and methods are representative of this ever-growing diversity. Given the largely monocultural nature of the teaching profession, and one’s propensity to see the world and act in it from the perspective of a single culture, employing culturally relevant pedagogy is neither easy nor intuitive. One way for district and school leaders to begin the process of examination is to lead staff members through a personal inventory about their backgrounds and cultural heritages. While research supports multicultural education as a means for improving student achievement, the primary reason to explicitly teach students about other cultures is simply because it’s the right thing to do. Beginning with expressing one’s own story and sharing the stories of others is one aspect of multicultural education.