According to Gay (2002), there are five components to developing successful culturally responsive teachers: developing a cultural diversity knowledge base, developing culturally relevant curricula, demonstrating cultural caring and building a learning community, exhibiting cross-cultural communications, and delivering cultural congruity in classroom instruction. Culturally responsive teaching denotes that teachers need not only be adept with content knowledge and pedagogical skills, but with their student populations as well. Culturally responsiveness in the classroom is a necessary skill that prepares teachers to work more effectively with students that are not a part of the mainstream culture of the United States and are ethnically diverse.
Teacher Knowledge of Culturally Responsive Practices
Knowledge and education level. With inadequate or incorrect knowledge, teachers cannot engage in classroom practices that are best suited for all learners. Research suggests that educational experiences and levels may make or break teachers when it comes to being open and effective in reaching ELL students. Byrnes,...
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...LLs in their classrooms. Due to a lack of emphasis in ELL training and certification, teachers such as those recent graduates featured in Webster and Valeo’s study felt inadequate when it came to the education of students that spoke English as a second language. Only two of the six participants mentioned any available ELL courses, and there was only one offered in all of their time in college. The course they spoke of was an elective, not a requirement, and several participants noted that very little class time was spent on ELL issues, if any - either a one day class or a three-hour session in another class. In addition, research suggested that mainstream teachers find it difficult to create a true atmosphere of positivity and acceptance for ELL students, which may ultimately negatively affect learning (Youngs & Youngs, 2001) and promote insufficient practices.
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