Cultural Pedagogy Essay

1693 WordsOct 21, 20117 Pages
Culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) empowers students intellectually, socially, and emotionally by using cultural awareness to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes. It was introduced as culturally relevant teaching by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings in 1992 (Coffey). Teachers use CRP to maximize the learning of their racially and ethnically diverse students. All students – regardless of race or ethnicity – bring their culture into the classroom through their behavior, attitude, and character. Although the term culturally relevant pedagogy is usually correlated with teaching racially and ethnically diverse students, its efficacy is not confined to those students (Gay, 2006). A teacher’s main priority should be maximizing learning in the classroom, thus making it his or her responsibility to create an appropriate curriculum for the entire class. It should reflect a comfort level so every culture and race is equally represented. John Dewey was a theorist who spoke of the significance of reflective thought in education (Southern Poverty Law Center). Critical reflection allows a deeper understanding within moral and ethical perspectives of teaching. Once cognitive processing is complete, reflective action can be a more useful tool for addressing social and emotional issues, namely those issues pertaining to race and culture (Dewey, 1993). Self-reflection can only succeed when teachers are honest in their reflection and assessment of their thoughts and performance in the classroom. The process may be challenging and painful at times, but this is the most effective way for teachers to comprehend what it means to teach students from different cultural backgrounds. Parker Palmer expands on this simple, yet profound statement from The Courage to Teach, “we teach who we are,” in this manifesto-like
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