Indiana University Bloomington
The Equity Project
Center on Education and Lifelong Learning (CELL)
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Culturally Responsive Practice

Culturally responsive practice is intended to ensure that all groups are benefitting equally from instruction and classroom management practices. It is often applied for race and ethnicity, but should be considered whenever there is a group with poorer educational outcomes. It involves a set of congruent educator/stakeholder behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system which works for all children. At the classroom level, a culturally responsive approach to educational intervention means being aware of cultural differences, examining teaching materials and practice, and adapting programs and interventions, as appropriate, to respond to different student needs. On an institutional level, culturally responsive practice involves monitoring the effects of programs and interventions for all students, especially those from groups that have been historically marginalized. At its heart, cultural responsiveness involves self reflection, continuous examination of data, raising difficult and sometimes awkward questions about why some students succeed and others do not, and making adjustments that can improve the instructional/disciplinary match for all groups of students.

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