Cultural Competency

We all know that America’s public schools are in the midst of a new demographic era where the overall number of Latino, African-American, and Asian students in classrooms is expected to surpass the number of non-Hispanic whites in 2015. The numbers of Special Education and English Language Learner students are also increasing.This demographic shift has not been reflected in the teaching population which is why we face a gap between students’ and teachers’ understanding of the world, and it is getting wider. Looking closer still, we see that the achievement gap is widening as well. 

This new era should not be a surprise; after all, it has been approaching for more than two decades. 

A lack of time and resources to address this shift means that teachers in our schools regularly greet a classroom of students with whom they have little in common. 

Consequently and understandably, teachers may feel ill-equipped to work successfully when faced with such a diverse range of cultural issues within one classroom.

 

The challenge is evident, and NAEP would like to help you solution through it with proven frameworks and an applicable, “real life relevant” approach.  

With a growing school population of students struggling to identify with the cultural context in which their education is bound, some students are not afforded the same level of education as their peers.Students become disadvantaged because the adults servicing them have not been developed to have the skill set necessary to support them.  

As educators, we all know that children respond and connect better to education when their teacher responds to who they are and where they’re from.Culturally-responsive teaching recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning, enriching classroom experiences, and keeping students engaged.

The change is upon us. 

There is no time like the present to improve cultural competence for teachers across all of our schools and connect ALL stakeholders to ensure that instruction equals learning and that teaching isn’t simply speaking.