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
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
- Children and Racism: The Importance of Age-Appropriate Listening and Support
- Coming Together: Standing Up To Racism - A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall For Kids and Families
- Reading List in Celebration of Juneteenth
- Civil Rights and Ethnic Education Resources
- 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.
- Culturally Responsive practices and your School Improvement Plan
- CNA SIP Cultural Competency Crosswalk
- Cultural Competence Resources
- Education Post: Here’s How You Can Talk About Christopher Columbus in Your Classroom
- Black History Month
- 50 Amazing Books By Black Authors from the past five years
- 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.
- IDOE Black History Month Texts
- 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)
- School Building Physical Security and Safety
- The Opportunity Myth
- Tools that promote cultural responsiveness
- Brown University Principles for Culturally Responsive Teaching
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).