Monday, December 14, 2015

December 16th, 7:30-8:15am: Chapters 2 and 3

Chapter 2: Pedagogical Potential of Cultural Responsiveness:
  • Some main points/claims:
    • No school is culture neutral--nor are schools melting pots. There are cultural differences within schools that must be valued.
    • Negative perceptions toward students' cultural backgrounds are damaging.
    • Part of recognizing student individuality is making an effort to learn about their cultural backgrounds.
    • Help students/teachers see strengths within our cultural diversity. Focus on those strengths; don't approach a student's home culture as a deficit.
    • Schools should teach the value of cultural diversity.
Chapter 3: The Power of Culturally Responsive Caring:
  • Some main points/claims
    • Caring about means to have feelings of concern; caring for is doing something active for students' well-being.
    • If we really care for students' well-being, then our attitudes toward our students and our actions for our students will reflect that.
    • Some teachers do not have positive attitudes toward their students.
      • "While most teachers are not blatant racists, many probably are cultural hegemonists. They expect all students to behave according to the school's cultural standards of normality... Rather than build on what the students have in order to make their learning easier and better, the teachers want to correct and compensate for their 'cultural deprivations.'" -- pages 48-49
Please join the discussion by responding to any of the questions raised below, add your own comment below, or join us on December 16th at 7:30am in the library (or all of the above!).
image source:


  1. In what ways does the ECVHS staff express that our cultural diversity is valued?

  2. Our staff is not as culturally diverse as our student population. What steps can we take to make sure this doesn't negatively impact learning?

  3. What comprehensive or multidimensional work have we done at ECVHS to encourage culturally responsive teaching? What are our next steps?

  4. What cultural biases currently exist at our school (among staff and/or students) that could negatively impact the students we serve?

  5. How often do our students participate in discussions like the one transcribed on pages 39-41?

  6. How have we worked to have our parents inform our cultural awareness? How can we do more?

  7. What actions have we done at ECVHS to care for students?

  8. What would cause educators to NOT "acknowledge the humanity, intentions, agendas, maps, dreams, desires, hopes, fears, loves, and pains of each" student?

  9. Look at the functional profile of cultural responsive caring (the list) on pages 51-52. Where do we have obvious strengths? Obvious weaknesses?

  10. How prevalent is Vida's "hard but fair" approach to expecting the most from her students (page 57) at ECVHS?