"Staying Woke" on Educational Equity through Culturally Responsive Teaching
Affolter, Emily Alicia
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The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a culturally responsive professional development intervention for teachers and school leaders in a K-5 school setting. This qualitative case study involved a five-month long professional development intervention called the Culturally Responsive Professional Development (CRPD) series, largely informed by Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) tenets. A selected review of research and scholarship was conducted to design the CRPD and develop the trajectory of the study, it involved: critical social justice in education, social justice teacher professional development, multicultural education, multicultural teacher preparation, and critical ethnography. The major findings by category and specifics within categories were: ● Teachers Gained -Tools and strategies to reform their curricula -Increased ease with discomfort -Greater self-knowledge resulting from reflections on and analyses of the influences of one’s positionality in different settings. ● Areas of Strength and Growth -Incorporating tenets of justice and anti-bias action into curricula -Deeper insights about Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) -More leadership in CRT -Unwavering commitment to culturally responsive teaching. ● School-Wide Growth Needs -Feeling equal and safe -Countering arrogance about how much progress the school has made in CRT that impedes further growth -More consistency in what culturally responsive teaching means and how it is enacted -Updating ideas of progressivism to better facilitate efforts in CRT. The findings suggest that there was a gap in teachers’ beliefs and behaviors regarding culturally responsive teaching. In addition, teacher readiness and receptivity to the intervention varied, and receptivity could be cultivated by peer mentorship among teachers at different stages of readiness for CRT. The study translated theory to practice: with the design of the intervention, its implementation, and teachers critically reflecting on their practices. Recommendations for future research and practice were made to improve CRT continuity, increase continued teacher learning, and to help teachers in becoming more culturally responsive in their classrooms and beyond.
- Education - Seattle