Culturally Responsive Teaching is a pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning. (Ladson-Billings, 1994.) Cultural competence is a key factor in enabling educators to be effective with students from cultures other than their own. Cultural competence is having an awareness of one’s own cultural identity and views and having the ability to learn and build on the varying cultural and community norms of students and their families. It is the ability to understand the differences that make each student unique while celebrating the variations that make our country a tapestry. This understanding informs and expands teaching practices as educators work towards having culturally competent learning environments. The goal is to eliminate academic gaps between cultural groups.
Dear Indiana Stakeholders,
Across the state and the country an achievement gap exists in our most vulnerable student groups. Indiana is no exception to the existence of this gap. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) prioritizes the inclusion and support for all students. Indiana’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan reflects the importance and level of priority this gap holds under my administration. The current data regarding proficiency for students of color and students in poverty illustrates a significant gap and need for immediate measures to address this gap.
Indiana’s achievement gap goes beyond low academic achievement and is evident in disproportionate numbers of suspensions and expulsions, access to rigorous courses, and equity in resources across the state.
Implicit bias regarding students of color is driving the disparity between this group and their counterparts throughout school systems nation-wide. IDOE is committed to providing Indiana educators with up-to-date, researched-based resources and training in the area of cultural competency and equipping educators with skills to better engage students of color and their families. IDOE’s Cultural Competency Resource page serves as a hub for educators to become versed in research and practices to meet the varied needs of our student groups. This website is a curation of the most relevant and appropriate resources. Additionally, IDOE offers educators ongoing professional development in culturally responsive teaching through both live and virtual options. A conference titled, Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap with leading expert Anthony Muhammed, has been scheduled for Fall 2020.
An additional cultural competency-related effort underway includes the use of Brown University’s Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching included in IDOE’s templates for schools to complete for the annual Comprehensive Needs Assessment and School Improvement Plan. These plans are required from Indiana schools that have shown gaps in student achievement.
Dr. Jennifer McCormick
- IC 20-28-3-3.5 - Incorporation of methods to establish culturally responsive school climates.
- IC 20-31-6-1 - Requires Cultural Competency Materials (pp. 1 of 1)
- IC 20-31-6-2 - Lists the Cultural Competency Components of a School Plan (pp. 1 of 1)
Evidence-Based Best Practices
- 5 Disturbing Signs That You Might Not Be An Antiracist After All
- Children and Racism: The Importance of Age-Appropriate Listening and Support
- Civil Rights and Ethnic Education Resources
- Culturally Responsive practices and your School Improvement Plan
- Culturally Responsive Physical Environment Rubric
Having a culturally responsive learning environment for students is essential in the school setting. A good place to start is by ensuring students have a culturally responsive physical environment. One of the first areas students, staff, and family members observe is the physical environment in the classroom i.e. posters, books, and other learning materials. This rubric is a great first step for those who are beginning the culturally responsive journey as well as a great resource for those who are experienced in this work.
- Black History Month
- African Americans Many Rivers to Cross: (Grades K-12)
- Black Mathematician Month: (Grades K-12)
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day In his book, Free at Last The Language of Dr. King's Dream, Michael Clay Thompson analyzes Martin Luther King Jr.'s use of poetics in his infamous "I Have a Dream" speech. Click here for a free sample of the Teacher Manual.
- Junior Great Books' shared inquiry on David Dinkins' speech delivered several days after Dr. King's assassination. Click here for a sample unit.
- Kids Explain Black History Month: (Grades K-5)
- Underground Railroad: The William Still Story: (Grades K-12)
- CNA SIP Cultural Competency Crosswalk
- Cultural Competence Resources
- Education Post: Here’s How You Can Talk About Christopher Columbus in Your Classroom
- School Building Physical Security and Safety
- The Opportunity Myth
- Tools that promote cultural responsiveness
- Brown University Principles for Culturally Responsive Teaching
- World History is Not Just a Western Civilization Course
- This is What Racial Trauma Does to the Body and the Brain
- Race and Equity Talks Have Magnified How Emotionally Unsafe I Feel at My School
- 27 Mistakes White Teachers of Black Students Make and How to Fix Them
- What White Colleagues Need to Understand
- The Challenge of Being a Black Principal in Today’s Racial and Political Climate
- How to Root Out Anti-Black Racism From Your School (Education Week)
- Column: White people don’t understand the trauma of viral police-killing videos (PBS News Hour)
- George Floyd, Racism and Law Enforcement Guide (Anti-Defamation League)
- Preparing to Discuss Race and Police Violence in the Classroom (DCPS)
- Resources for Discussions with Youth About Racism & Police Violence Resources (Institute for Educational Leadership)
- Resources for Talking about Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids (Center for Racial Justice in Education)
- Talking to Kids About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Teaching About Race, Racism and Police Violence (Teaching Tolerance)
- Teaching about Racism, Violence, Inequity and the Criminal Justice System (Anti-Defamation League)
- Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom: A Resource for Educators (The national Child Traumatic Stress Network)
- Let's Talk About Racism in Schools (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)
- Let's Talk: Discussing Race, Racism and other Difficult Topics with Students (Teaching Tolerance)
- Social Identities and Systems of Oppression (The National Museum of African American history & Culture)
- Talking about Race (The National Museum of African American history & Culture)
- Anti-bias Curriculum Guides (Anti-Defamation League)
- Books Matter (Anti-Defamation League)
- How Should I Talk about Race in my Mostly White Classroom (Anti-Defamation League)
- Coming Together: Standing Up To Racism - A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall For Kids and Families
- Stop Teaching Children To Never Be Angry - Teach Them How to Be Angry
- 21 Anti-Racism Videos to Share with Kids
- Reading about Race: Free YA Book Club Resources Created by Librarians & Literature Scholars
- Talking with Children about Racism (Aha! Parenting.com)
- Talking to Children about Racial Bias (Healthy Children)
- Talking About Race With Young Children (NPR)
- Raising Race Conscious Children (Raising Race Conscious Children)
- Student Book Bibliography
- Reading List in Celebration of Juneteenth
- 50 Amazing Books By Black Authors from the past five years
- IDOE Black History Month Texts
HEA 1419 (2009) Resources
Various professional development opportunities are available throughout the state. Click on the links below to find information about these opportunities and about your regional IDOE – School Improvement contact(s).
Talking about Race in the Classroom (LEA)