As I reflect on my learning around this indicator, I am keenly aware of how important this indicator is but also how difficult it can be sometimes. Therefore as a coach it is important that I am working with educators in order to evaluate our teaching and the resources that we use so that we can make sure we are addressing the whole child and meeting them where they are. It is important to consider how we are opening up the learning to allow for students voices, backgrounds and culture to be present.
Culturally Responsive Pedagogy requires that we all regularly consider in the most meaningful ways how our own values, biases, strengths, and limitations can potentially affect our effectiveness with students of diverse backgrounds.(Stembridge, 2020)
One example of how I have engaged with this indicator is through the conversations that I have had with other educators around how we are connecting with families during remote learning. I have also worked hard to make sure that the conversations I am having with educators are centered around student learning and the support we are providing. How do we allow students to engage with the learning, is there choice in how we present the information, do students have choice in how they present their understanding? In order to have these conversations though I have had to continue my own learning around culturally relevant pedagogy. One resource that I came across in my research is the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework from the New York State Education Department. What stands out to me from this framework is that the goal is to help educators develop learning environments that are student-centered. I appreciate the 4 principles that the framework lays out and am continuing to think about how to bring these into conversations that I am having with other facilitators and educators so that we can make sure we are building these into our school and district communities.
Another resource that has continued to push my thinking and learning is from the nonprofit organization, Digital Promise. On their website they have an online tool called the Learner Variability Navigator. This has been a helpful resource as it provides examples, resources, research, and strategies that can be used in the classroom that can be filtered by specific factors. For example I was able to use the resource with a teacher who was looking for strategies to support a student in their reasoning skills and algebraic thinking. We were then able to find some strategies that the teacher would implement in their classroom such as graphic organizers. You can read more about this tool and other ideas I’ve had for supporting student learning in my blog post, Supporting Equitable Learning Opportunities.
I have also been able to partner with teachers in order to look at and intentionally select digital resources that support student learning. One such example is when I partnered with a math teacher to re-evaluate one of their lessons and look for ways of improving it. We were able to incorporate different digital resources into the project and left room for students to be able to select the digital resource that they wanted to use to share their learning. We also built in opportunities for students to bring in their own backgrounds by opening up the project to allow students to pick proportional relationships in the real-world that had meaning to them. We gave examples of looking at things like organic versus not organic or women’s razors versus men’s razors. Students then had to create an advertisement that convinced others that they had the best deal. This was great at allowing for flexibility, student choice all while aligning with appropriate math standards. You can read more about this project in my blog post, Reflecting on Coaching Relationships and my Peer Coaching Project.
I plan on continuing to grow my own understanding of culturally relevant pedagogy by continuing to take part in book studies in my district as well as doing my own research. I also am planning on continuing to use the Learner Variability Navigator with teachers and am even looking at how I might incorporate it into professional learning I am developing for our math support teachers. I am also committed to continuing to partner with educators in order to intentionally plan for what digital resources we use and how they support students learning and allow students to incorporate their cultural identity into the learning.
Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework. (n.d.). 64. Retrieved May 7, 2021, from http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/crs/culturally-responsive-sustaining-education-framework.pdf
Homepage. (n.d.). Digital Promise. Retrieved May 7, 2021, from https://digitalpromise.org/
ISTE Standards for Coaches (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches
Learner Variability Navigator | Learner Variability Project. (n.d.). Retrieved May 7, 2021, from https://lvp.digitalpromiseglobal.org/
Stembridge, A. (2020). Culturally responsive education in the classroom: An equity framework for pedagogy. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.