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Culturally Responsive Teaching: What Teachers Need to Know? 6.5.21

Culturally Responsive Teaching: What Teachers Need to Know? 6.5.21

This program was delivered to local educators as part of China Institute’s School of Chinese Studies ongoing series of professional development workshops.


Culturally Responsive Teaching: What Teachers Need to Know? was the fourth in a series of virtual workshops put on by China Institute in FY2021. This workshop, led by Ms. Nancy King Wang on June 5, 2021, introduced the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework (the CR-S framework), designed to support various school stakeholders to address structural inequities deeply rooted in American history, culture and institutions. Introduced by New York State Education Department in 2018, the CR-S framework is to help educators create student-centered learning environments.

While the CR-S framework was designed for various stakeholders including students, teachers, school and district leaders, families and community members as well as members from higher education and policymakers, the June 5 workshop was focused on helping K-12 teachers to gain knowledge of the CR-S framework, especially its four principles, namely:

  • welcoming and affirming environment
  • high expectations and rigorous instruction
  • inclusive curriculum and assessment
  • ongoing professional development
  • Speaker:

    Nancy King Wang, Resource Specialist, NYS Language RBERN at NYU, Metro Center for Urban Education

    Ms. Nancy King Wang has been working for New York State Education Department Language RBERN at New York University since 2015. She worked for NYCDOE for more than 30 years as an ESL teacher, a Chinese language teacher, a bilingual guidance counselor and an Assistant Principal of Administration for 16 years. She served as President of Association of Chinese-English Bilingual Educator East Coast of USA. Ms. Wang holds a master’s degree in Bilingual Education and ESL Teaching from City College, a master’s degree in Applied Psychology and School Counseling from NYU, and a post master’s degree in School Administration and Supervision from St. John’s University, including Principal and District Administrator’s licenses.

    Participant Discussion Highlights:

    This interactive workshop presented an opportunity for teacher participants to share their thoughts, ideas and practices. Below are some of the major points from our participants.

    What are the Benefits of Implementing Culturally Responsive Education?

  • helping people to respect each other
  • honoring the learner
  • helping to develop empathy
  • valuing others’ ideas
  • giving a sense of community and respect to all
  • providing confidence
  • strengthening students own identity
  • allowing students to learn from and of each other’s cultures
  • creating a respectful classroom
  • forging closer relationships between student and teacher
  • contributing to self esteem
  • helping making content accessible for learners
  • making room for all learners
  • promoting a sense of belonging, self-worthiness, and self-respect
  • creating a caring classroom
  • ensuring representations for the actual student bodies
  • making everyone feel welcome and included
  • creating a safe learning environment
  • What do you see as features of a welcoming and affirming school environment for culturally diverse students?

  • Students of all abilities working together in the classroom
  • All teachers working together to build a welcoming environment for all students
  • Total Inclusion. Everyone working and playing together
  • Positive role models
  • Unity in the school system
  • People of all cultures interacting in a school setting
  • All students are taught in the same classroom in an inclusive environment, both Gen-Ed teachers and the special-ed teachers
  • Students, teachers and parents were working together, learning together and involved in various activities together
  • One that integrate all students to create a strong and positive school culture
  • What are you doing now to create a welcoming and affirming environment to support students’ cultures and languages in your classes?

  • Teaching students to value their culture and other people’s cultures through the arts
  • If a cultural difference question comes up, we discuss it and expand upon it through further research
  • Teach about students’ cultures and use their home language
  • Newsletters sent in home language
  • What are you doing to set high expectations and implementing rigorous instruction for culturally diverse students in your classes?

  • Reading materials on different levels of learning
  • Using different modes of teaching like visual, hands on, etc.
  • Using the general education curriculum and differentiating the work for my ENL students
  • Set attainable goals and differentiate activities
  • Lots of group work with diverse learning styles
  • Expect our students to read grade level or above challenging literature with differentiated instruction
  • What are you doing to create inclusive curricula and assessments for the culturally diverse students in your classes?

  • passport activity, each students picks a country to learn and do a project about
  • May was AAPI Heritage Month and when I introduced this topic I included not only Asian heritages but also students’ own heritages in the lesson and discussion. I invited students to share one thing from their own cultural heritages.
  • Exposing students to various texts and genres. Texts about what’s happening in the world today and texts about various cultures.
  • Following non racist AP strategies such as teaching about lunching, the Dawes Act (when is reform not reform?) and the Tulsa Race Riot
  • Through dance students are able to learn about the various cultures and their history
  • We have a Magnet Festival each year that teaches students about different countries, cultures and beliefs
  • Ask adults in the students’ families to share their experiences in their home country- could be done now by video chat.
  • Making sure our classroom library has diverse literature
  • Classroom libraries created with students input
  • Study history with a critical lens
  • Giving students multiple means of expressing their ideas and creativity through different art mediums as well as well as written or oral and digital mediums
  • Highlight the contributions of different cultures to the mathematical canon
  • On Ongoing Professional Development Opportunities on Culturally Responsive Teaching:

  • The National Council for History Education conference
  • Bias training for all DOE employees

  • Tools and resources mentioned:

  • Class Dojo
  • Jamboard
  • The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right, by Gorick Ng

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