About 2-3 min read.
New language is fast cropping up among the Educational Establishment — and here in CT. Called “Culturally Responsive Practice”, the State Educational Resource Center writes:
“Educational equity demands access to high-quality educational opportunities that support the success of all students. SERC has developed a comprehensive series of programmatic offerings to ensure that education reflects culturally responsive practices and affirms all identities, advancing family and student engagement in the educational process. These efforts fulfill SERC’s statutory obligation to support educational equity and excellence.”
We are witnessing another Shape Shift by the Heads of Eds Departments nationally and for Connecticut – experts realize they have pushed too far, and are trying to walk back their previous language.
CRT = now Culturally Responsive Teaching ? or even
CRL = Culturally Responsive Learning
Edweek.org summarizes, “Being culturally responsive is an approach to living life in a way that practices the validation and affirmation of different cultures for the purposes of moving beyond race and moving below the superficial focus on culture. Ultimately….CLR is rooted in seeing and feeling the change for yourself. In other words, you can see the difference without any external endorsement or research, because you know that it feels right.”
They encourage — “To better understand the dynamics of culturally relevant teaching, browse the terms below.”
- asset-based pedagogies: teaching methods and practices that incorporate students’ cultural identities and lived experiences into the classroom as tools for effective instruction. These types of pedagogies seek to dismantle a deficit approach to educating students of color and instead focusing on their strengths, assets, and communities in the classroom. Examples include culturally relevant teaching, culturally responsive teaching, and culturally sustaining teaching, among others.
- critical consciousness: teaching students how to identify, analyze, and solve real-world problems, especially those that result in societal inequities against marginalized groups
- critical race theory: an academic concept with the core idea that race is a social construct, and racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies
The problem in articles like these lies in the utter obfuscatory language that is deliberately spewed. Let’s pause to think about at least one glaring contradiction.
asset-based pedagogies: these types of pedagogies seek to dismantle a deficit approach to educating students — compared to — critical consciousness: teaching students how to identify, analyze, and solve real-world problems, especially those that result in societal inequities against marginalized groups.
Teachers are not supposed to operate from “a deficit approach” buuut – critical consciousness demands that teachers think about results toward “societal inequities against marginalized groups.” Marginalized being deficitted. Hmmmm.
Excerpt: “Researchers note that some educators say they’re practicing culturally responsive teaching, but it’s an overly simplified version. For example, for some teachers, a multicultural school potluck meal or adding diverse books to their classroom library sufficiently counts as affirming students’ culture in education. But culturally responsive teaching is deeper, more critical work.”
Critique: So CRT is about adapting to the students, except it’s “deeper, more critical work”. Critical, how specifically? #dance #trippingbackward
Three more excerpts and critiques —
Excerpt: “There’s a tendency to truncate culturally responsive teaching to be about a whole myriad of things—it’s about relationships, it’s about anti-racist education, it’s about diverse books,” said Zaretta Hammond, the author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. “It’s like that old parable of the king who asks nine blind men to describe an elephant. Each one grabs a different part of the elephant. ‘Oh, it’s flat and wide’—he’s got the ear. ‘No, it’s like a rope’—he’s got the tail. No one has the whole picture.”
Critique: so, NO ONE has the whole picture. Why write “truncate” when people are simply seeking a definition? Definitions are not mere truncations, but necessary articulations. We dance onward….
Excerpt: ‘Too often’, she said, ‘white progressive educators view culturally responsive teaching as an add-on to their regular instruction instead of a fundamental shift in their pedagogy. For example, a teacher might think students of color just need to see themselves in order to feel motivated and do the work, so she’ll incorporate diverse books into her classroom or syllabus—but not change anything to the content or her way of instruction.’
Critique: Making a hypothetical example of ‘white progressive’ educators and their ‘failure’ to change the content or method of instruction. And if the content or method if those are working? If Cultural Responsiveness cannot be “truncated”, how do you determine that content and method, while incorporating SOME cultural sensitivity — is NOT working? #tripandfall
Excerpt: “Another common misconception is that culturally responsive teaching is a way of addressing student trauma, which is a deficit-based ideology that assumes the universal experience of people of color is one of trauma,” Hammond said.
Critique: experts crammed the belief into white progressives that the experience of people of color is ONLY trauma — or, “marginalized” and “oppressive”. Ivory-towered “experts” taught classrooms to operate from “All colors have been traumatized”.
Here with a lingual flourish of new terms, they reprimand teachers summarily like children: “NO, silly goose, not THAT way–no no you fool! Not THAT critical race theory. We meant, umm, cultural sustainability, culturally etc etc with deeper, more critical work. Don’t truncate your experiences because no one has the full picture; do more than you’re doing but don’t operate as though your colored students lack something….even though they need to see themselves as people of color who likely DO lack something….”
In short….expect this new deluge of words and word salads to begin a new era of Mental Oppression. Read the whole enchilada here: https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/culturally-responsive-teaching-culturally-responsive-pedagogy/2022/04