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Guy (2000) defines culturally responsive curriculum as one which:

  1. Acknowledges the legitimacy of the cultural heritages of different ethnic groups, both as legacies that affect students’ dispositions, attitudes, and approaches to learning and as worthy content to be taught in the formal curriculum
  2. Builds bridges of meaningfulness between home and school experiences as well as between academic abstractions and lived sociocultural realities.
  3. Uses a wide variety of instructional strategies connected to different learning styles.
  4. Teaches students to know and praise their own and each other’s cultural heritages.
  5. Incorporates multicultural information, resources, and materials in all the subjects and skills routinely taught in schools. (p. 29).


Scholars (Au 200) have suggested this leads to better outcomes while others note schools are spaces of “dark suffering” where studies such as “The Problem with Black Boys,” “Addressing the Poverty Mindset,” And “The Crisis of Black Education” cast the pain onto the victim of racism and suggest “interventions” to help Black and Brown children catch up (Love, 2019).

Scholars argue the focus on the “science of reading” as a tool to deprofessionalize education. The reductive lens of only looking at reading through the lens of “fixing” children perpetuates a narrative of failure while not recognizing literacy practices out side of school.

In the Classroom

This liberatory call to action rooted in Friere (1994) and the collective works of the African Dispora and Indigenous Art Movements has lead to scholars wanting a more culturally proactive pedagogy that seeks praxis “that inextricable union between critical reflection on oppressive conditions and the social action necessary to transform the world into a more just and equitable place” (Garcia & O’Donnell-Allen, 2017, 17).

Within the context of standardized test and greater state control of curriculum Garcia and O'Donnell-Allen suggest a curriculum based on connected learning which:

  1. focuses on equity and access,
  2. includes both civic engagement and academic learning goals,
  3. occurs at the intersection of academic needs, student interests, and local culture.
culturally_proactive_curriculum.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/15 16:09 by