With Covid-19 spreading across the globe and the never-ending lockdown in India, the need for distance learning has become inevitable with schools not opening anytime soon. With online education and distance learning catching up, curriculum consultants in India are advocating culturally responsive teaching methodology.
Culturally responsive teaching is the ability to engage and appeal to all students even those with distinct backgrounds via a unique customized curriculum for the school. There is much more than simply knowing and understanding the background of the students. As we live in a multilinguistic diverse culture, incorporating these teaching strategies has become inevitable in order to create a successful learning environment benefitting students of all backgrounds. Having said that, however, without a focus on building students’ brainpower, culturally responsive education will be at loss.
Here are a few culturally responsive teaching strategies.
1. Know your students – The more you get to know your students, the better that you can communicate with them. You will be able to build trust and a bond with them by showing a genuine interest in them. The more the students are comfortable in your class, the more they will socialize with others. Therefore, creating a culturally responsive classroom regardless of their culture is creating a comfortable space for the students.
2. Use culturally responsive language – Students come from diverse backgrounds and use different languages. Therefore, try teaching in their language for a better understanding of the subject for all the students. This will create interest in all students to engage more and process the content effectively.
3. Adapt your teaching – Though there is a customized curriculum for the school, you can modify your teaching to include all students’ backgrounds to ensure that each child is getting what they need academically and emotionally from the classroom. Culturally diverse students get more engaged in their learning when they can connect with their own cultural experiences.
4. Learning while Playing – Make learning a game because students love scoring and earning a badge. Set goals and offer awards for completing tasks which is a great way for students of all cultures to learn by processing and understanding content better.
5. Utilize technology – With the growth of technology, apart from books and movies, computers, and tablets effectively help children of diverse cultures to learn and address their needs. Using different forms of technology and media to your advantage will help to boost student engagement levels. Students also would not have had the chance to learn about a variety of cultures if they were not exposed to them and thanks to the technological advantage these generation kids have.
6. Present real-world problems – A culturally responsive classroom presents relatable real-world problems to the students for them to solve. This gives the students the opportunity to look for a cultural link and use their own cultural awareness to solve the problem. Create a scenario using ethnic events for the students to solve it using their own diverse expertise.
Curriculum consultants in India suggest consistency. Consistency is the key for culturally responsive teaching in any setup – be it the classroom or distance learning. Try using various teaching strategies every day and ensure that you are meeting the needs of all culturally diverse students. Remember culturally responsive does not mean incorporating racial pride into your lessons. It is all about incorporating equality.