Culturally Responsive Curriculum: Everything You Need to Know

This involves supporting and helping minority ethnic groups develop individual identities that tie in with their individual experiences and their experiences as part of a minority ethnic group. This is often achieved by including their culture in the curriculum so that fair and inclusive teaching and learning of history can occur. America, being a multiethnic country, is home to numerous ethnicities who have built the country together, and they all deserve a balanced teaching of history.

Culture is often thought of in terms of ethnicity, beliefs, customs, and norms found in human societies that get passed down from one generation to the next. However, culture could also be looked at from the perspective of gender, race, sexuality, knowledge, class, abilities, laws, arts, habits, or social behaviors. 

In a classroom, cultural differences could explain why a student doesn’t question teachers and persons of authority or isn’t comfortable making eye contact with them. There are many more such behavioral examples displayed by students that reflect their cultural differences. A culturally responsive curriculum recognizes and appreciates such diversity and the significance of students’ cultural references in learning.

Culturally responsive teaching is a pedagogy that tries to help teachers recognize and appreciate the cultural nuances, which might have otherwise adversely affected the student-teacher relationship and eventually made student achievement suffer.

With a culturally responsive curriculum, teachers can empower all students to thrive in class. It’s a research-based approach to teaching that links students’ languages, cultures, and experiences with school lessons. Such connections help students build and hone higher-level academic skills.

Culturally responsive teaching considers multiculturalism an asset. With culturally responsive instructions, teachers can help students understand diverse perspectives and build empathy. They can also help raise students’ awareness about cultural and racial stereotypes, prejudices, racism, and other forms of intolerance, injustice, and oppression, and even challenge their attitudes and biases. 

By challenging students’ preconceived notions and mediating power imbalances in classrooms based on culture, race, class, and ethnicity, a culturally responsive curriculum can pave the way for academic equity and social justice.

Studies have found that a culturally responsive curriculum inspires students to learn. The essentials of this inspirational framework are that such a curriculum respects diversity; keeps a wide range of students engaged; creates an inclusive, safe, and respectful learning environment for all; promotes equitable learning; and derives teaching practices from across cultures and disciplines. Thus, such a curriculum makes learning more effective and relevant for students.

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