Somewhere along your path to becoming a teacher you have probably heard the terms culturally relevant teaching or culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP). The terms are interchangeable and refer to teachers' abilities to adapt their instruction so that it is responsive to their students' diverse cultures. For a quick refresher on CRP, I recommend watching this online video from Teaching Tolerance. It provides a quick introduction to culturally responsive pedagogy, tangible and intangible culture, the importance of CRP, and the difference between race and culture. I also recommend a second video because it talks about how culturally competent teachers approach their students. I particularly appreciated the explanation of what culturally competent teachers do and what they don't do to successfully teach their students.
Now that you have refreshed your memory on CRP, let me virtually introduce you to the woman who started it all.
Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings coined the term culturally relevant teaching in the 1990s. In her book, The Dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children, she stated that culturally relevant pedagogy "empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills and attitudes." Dr. Ladson-Billings is a prolific writer. She has written and/or edited six books, including Crossing over Canaan: The journey of new teachers in diverse classrooms. She has also published over 100 journal articles and chapters. Dr. Ladson-Billings has had a distinguished career, earning many awards including the H. I. Romnes faculty fellowship, the Spencer Post-doctoral Fellowship, and the Palmer O. Johnson Outstanding research award. She has served as the president of the American Educational Research Association. Currently, Dr. Ladson-Billings is the Kellner Family Professor of Urban Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction and faculty affiliate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
We are excited to have Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings open the conference next month. Her keynote address will begin at 12:45 pm on Thursday, October 17, 2013. I look forward to seeing you there!
Written by: Tammy King
School girl image: freedigitalphotos.net
Dr. Ladson-Billings photo: www.wisc.edu