Authors: Teresa M. Reynolds, Beverlyn Cain and Priscilla Manarino-Leggett
Abstract: American public schools are becoming increasingly diverse. There are ongoing demographic changes across the nation and globalization efforts necessitate the development of a more profound cognizance of culture as a concept and as a means for creating equitable opportunities and environments for learning in our schools. School administrators and in-service teachers become more adept at recognizing and addressing the variances in culture within our classrooms, but pre-service teachers must also have opportunities to explore and observe the concept of Culturally Responsive Teaching. The aim of this article is to explain how a Department of Elementary Education approached the issue of Culturally Responsive Teaching through professional development opportunities for faculty, pre-service teachers and in-service teachers. The article describes a model used for professional development that can be adapted to help teacher educators increase their level of understanding regarding culturally responsive teaching. The CASKS assessment taken by participants prior to the presentation showed negligible levels of understanding or skills regarding Culturally Responsive Teaching by pre-service teachers, in-service educators (including administrators) and university faculty members alike. The professional development activities provided educators with research, modeling and instructional design practice regarding Culturally Responsive Teaching. Participants completed the CASKS assessment again after completing all professional development activities. The results showed an increase in understanding and skills, while the comments showed a positive attitudinal response regarding the need for more training on Culturally Responsive Teaching.
Keywords: Culturally responsive teaching, Professional development, Teacher education