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Imagining, Supporting, and Realizing Exemplars of Culturally Responsive Practice
Unformatted Document Text:  2006 AACTE Call for Papers challenge teachers’ implementation of the common curriculum and assessment (Taylor & Sobel, 2001). Yet, all teachers are responsible for educating all students and for providing culturally-responsive instruction, curriculum, and assessment practices. Teacher educators and professional organizations share the common charge of teacher preparation and must mobilize to address the need to better prepare teachers for issues of students’ diversity. With a truly pressing sense of urgency, we must prepare current and future teachers with the necessary and adequate knowledge about cultural differences and culturally responsive practices so that they can meet the diverse educational needs of all learners (Taylor & Sobel, 2003). Teachers today cannot “transform schools until they transform themselves” (Banks, 2002, p. xi). C. Contributions:Content from this presentation directly relates to Strand I: Imagining Future Students, Future Teachers. While it may be easy to give ‘lip service’ to issues of equity and the need for culturally-responsive practices, it is a more difficult task to realize responsive practices and behaviors in classroom instruction, curriculum, and assessment. Teacher educators must be able to demonstrate and provide clear examples of teaching skills and strategies that are necessary to successfully prepare teachers for a diverse student population (Sobel, Taylor, & Anderson, 2003a & 2003b). Grounded in classroom-based research, this presentation provides a set of exemplars of teaching responsiveness regarding classroom environment, adapting instruction for learners, grouping strategies, making instructional content relevant, student-teacher interactions, implementing positive standards for classroom behavior, and personal growth towards principles of equity and diversity. D. Relevance: Teacher quality is inextricably tied to the work of school - student learning (Schalock & Imig, 1999). Moreover, as teachers are charged with meeting the current policy demands of standards-based curriculum, their goal is to make the environment, the instructional content, and the delivery more meaningful and more effective all students. With 80% of teachers recently polled reporting that they feel ill-equipped to teach diverse populations (Futrell, Gomez, and Bedden, 2003), teacher educators are clearly challenged to prepare highly qualified educators who are accountable for educating all learners and meeting standards. Given the daunting range of multidimensional skills that are required to teach in today’s diverse classrooms, school professionals need training, support, and mentoring in order to effectively implement culturally-responsive practices. This presentation provides research-based exemplars of successful classroom practices useful for improving teachers’ cultural responsiveness. E. Implication for Action: Recent policy changes and redesign efforts by professional organizations and university schools of education across the U.S.A. have led to the creation of performance-based assessments that align with national, state, and district teaching standards. To meet these standards, teachers are expected to provide instructional strategies and curriculum consistent with students’ life experiences, linguistic and cultural perspectives, and developmental needs. 2

Authors: Taylor, Sherry. and Sobel, Donna.
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2006 AACTE Call for Papers
challenge teachers’ implementation of the common curriculum and assessment (Taylor &
Sobel, 2001). Yet, all teachers are responsible for educating all students and for
providing culturally-responsive instruction, curriculum, and assessment practices.
Teacher educators and professional organizations share the common charge of
teacher preparation and must mobilize to address the need to better prepare teachers for
issues of students’ diversity. With a truly pressing sense of urgency, we must prepare
current and future teachers with the necessary and adequate knowledge about cultural
differences and culturally responsive practices so that they can meet the diverse
educational needs of all learners (Taylor & Sobel, 2003). Teachers today cannot
“transform schools until they transform themselves” (Banks, 2002, p. xi).
C. Contributions:
Content from this presentation directly relates to Strand I: Imagining Future Students,
Future Teachers
. While it may be easy to give ‘lip service’ to issues of equity and the
need for culturally-responsive practices, it is a more difficult task to realize responsive
practices and behaviors in classroom instruction, curriculum, and assessment. Teacher
educators must be able to demonstrate and provide clear examples of teaching skills and
strategies that are necessary to successfully prepare teachers for a diverse student
population (Sobel, Taylor, & Anderson, 2003a & 2003b). Grounded in classroom-based
research, this presentation provides a set of exemplars of teaching responsiveness
regarding classroom environment, adapting instruction for learners, grouping strategies,
making instructional content relevant, student-teacher interactions, implementing positive
standards for classroom behavior, and personal growth towards principles of equity and
diversity.
D. Relevance:
Teacher quality is inextricably tied to the work of school - student learning (Schalock &
Imig, 1999). Moreover, as teachers are charged with meeting the current policy
demands of standards-based curriculum, their goal is to make the environment, the
instructional content, and the delivery more meaningful and more effective all students.
With 80% of teachers recently polled reporting that they feel ill-equipped to teach diverse
populations (Futrell, Gomez, and Bedden, 2003), teacher educators are clearly challenged
to prepare highly qualified educators who are accountable for educating all learners and
meeting standards. Given the daunting range of multidimensional skills that are required
to teach in today’s diverse classrooms, school professionals need training, support, and
mentoring in order to effectively implement culturally-responsive practices. This
presentation provides research-based exemplars of successful classroom practices useful
for improving teachers’ cultural responsiveness.
E. Implication for Action:
Recent policy changes and redesign efforts by professional organizations and university
schools of education across the U.S.A. have led to the creation of performance-based
assessments that align with national, state, and district teaching standards. To meet these
standards, teachers are expected to provide instructional strategies and curriculum
consistent with students’ life experiences, linguistic and cultural perspectives, and
developmental needs.
2


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