Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

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The United States has an increasing ethnically and racially diverse population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2012), the U.S. population is projected to be considerably older and more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060. By then, groups that are commonly referred to as racial minorities, will make up the majority of the U.S. population. With the constant increase in this country’s diverse population, public schools are also becoming more diverse. Given the wealth of diversity in our nation 's public schools, it is no wonder that instructional theory is promoting a shift toward a teaching style that emphasizes a feasible and academically enriching environment for students of all ethnicities and races. James Banks (1997, as cited by Hanley) writes that by the year 2020, 46% of the students in public schools will be children of color and 20.1% of all children will live in poverty. Since the majority of teachers are from a middle class White-American background, it is imperative that these teachers are prepared to address the various learning needs of such a diverse student…show more content…
This way of teaching uses students’ cultural norms, background knowledge, and experiences to inform instruction. The commitment to culturally responsive instruction, provide students of color with opportunities to connect their learning to their everyday lives. This is an advantage regularly afforded to middle-class white students, as a result of the cultural affinity in the curriculum being attuned in their favor. Culturally relevant teaching grants students of color a real opportunity to engage with the curriculum because it “empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes” (Ladson-Billings,
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