Culturally Responsive Schools

To be culturally responsive is the ability to learn from and relate respectfully with people from all cultures. Teachers must be intentional about eliminating bias and avoid falling into stereotypes about cultural groups to create an environment in which all children have equitable opportunities to learn. To meet the needs of our diverse student population, educators must possess the mindset and skills needed to foster a positive learning environment for all students as it is critical to their academic success. Culturally responsive instructional practices honor and support this diversity, connecting learning to students' cultural and linguistic background while building on prior experiences. The goal of culturally responsive teaching is to instruct in a way that ensures involvement in cognitively demanding tasks that foster independent learning by increasing student engagement and a strengths-based mindset. As a result, educators create an inclusive environment that is accessible and relatable to all students.

Available Now

Online Seminars for CTLE

Content Exploration and Student Engagement (5 hours) - When student engagement is minds-on (involving intellectual activity), students develop their understanding through what they do. This seminar examines how to engage students in intellectual, active exploration with important and challenging content.

Creating a Caring Classroom Culture – (5 hours) This seminar emphasizes the foundation for creating a classroom of mutual respect, care, and trust. Participants will explore the qualities that characterize effective, caring teachers and identify the ways in which their beliefs and expectations about teaching and learning can inform and sustain their leadership abilities.

Culturally Responsive Classrooms (5 hours) - The goal of culturally responsive teaching is to instruct in a way that ensures engage in cognitively demanding tasks that foster independent learning by increasing student engagement and strengths-based mindset.

Designing Lessons, Units, and Learning Units (5 hours) - Participants will explore how to design lesson and unit structures that are clear, progress evenly, allow for different pathways according to diverse student needs, accommodate content that is connected to other disciplines, and allow for transfer of learning.

Educators as Systems Change Agents (5 hours) - Participants will explore strategies for facilitating student-centered and peer-to-peer learning. Utilizing approaches that integrate 21st Century skills, this seminar explores tools that effectively engage students in the collaborative learning process.

Explaining Content: Student to Student (5 hours) - Participants will explore how to effectively present, explain, and design activities related to content. This seminar also examines strategies and activities that teachers can apply to make connections to student interests, experiences, backgrounds, and prior knowledge.

Explaining Content: Teacher to Student (5 hours) - Participants will explore how to effectively present, explain, and design activities related to content. This seminar also examines strategies and activities that teachers can apply to make connections to student interests, experiences, backgrounds, and prior knowledge.

Facilitating Classroom Discussions (5 hours) - Participants will learn how to implement effective verbal and nonverbal communication techniques to help them encourage, redirect, engage, and challenge students in successful classroom discussions that enhance student learning.

Helping English Learners Succeed with a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) Framework (5 hours) – MTSS offers a prevention approach rather that a "wait to fail" method and provides appropriate and responsive instruction for multilingual learners with and without disabilities in schools. In this seminar, you will look at how MTSS offers a tiered system of culturally-sustaining instructional practices, data-informed problem solving and academic and linguistic progress monitoring to address the needs of all learners.

Inclusive Classrooms for Newcomer ELLs (5 hours) - Newcomer ELLs face myriad challenges to adapt and succeed in their new home and schools and they bring with them a world of culturally diverse experiences and knowledge. Guided by Eight Promising Practices, educators will learn ways to create a classroom environment that promotes diversity and inclusion, social-emotional well-being and development, models encouragement, support and resilience and engages newcomer ELLs with high-quality instruction.

Strategies for SIFE Success! (5 hours) - Students with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education (SIFE) are English language learners who enter U.S. schools at least two years below grade level in reading and/or math in their native language due to underschooling. In this seminar, participants will examine common characteristics and experiences of the SIFE population and learn how to design classroom environments and apply specific strategies that honor students’ backgrounds to foster SIFE success.

SRP Seminar: Creating a Welcoming School Environment for English Language Learners (3 hours) - This seminar will familiarize participants with who our English language learners are and the challenges they face as they learn a new language. By examining the critical nature of culture and its deep impact on an English learner's identity, participants identify strategies to ensure the school environment is a caring, accessible place for our English learners.

Available Every Semester

Online and Site-Based Courses for Graduate Credit

Culturally Responsive Teaching with Diverse Learners (CURI 6514) - This course focuses on improving student outcomes by increasing teacher understanding of the impact of race, culture and language in the learning environment. Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) is a research-based method designed to enhance student engagement by implementing strategies to develop stronger relationships, culturally-inclusive curriculum and instruction techniques and positive learning environments. Participants examine the elements of Culturally Responsive Teaching through personal reflection and development of culturally competent strategies to effectively differentiate instruction for students from linguistically, culturally and racially diverse backgrounds. Participants deepen knowledge of their own cultural background and the impact on instruction while implementing strategies to increase connections with students and improve learning outcomes through culturally-relevant curriculum and instruction and research-based concepts with classroom practice.

VESi-Teaching Diversity: Influences & Issues in the Classroom (EDV 518) - Teaching Diversity is designed to give you the knowledge, tools and dispositions to effectively facilitate a diverse classroom. The course will help you understand and identify differences in approaches to learning and performance, including different learning styles and ways in which students demonstrate learning. An emphasis in this course will be on understanding how students' learning is influenced by individual experiences, talents, disabilities, gender, language, culture, family and community values. You will be challenged to apply knowledge of the richness of contributions from our diverse society to your teaching field. Graduate level reading, writing, and research are required.

Available By Request

In-Person and Virtual Synchronous Seminars

SRP and K-12 Practitioner: Advancing Student Success through Relationships - Participants will discuss how to build meaningful relationships with students to advance their understanding and experience success. (1 hour)

SRP and K-12 Practitioner: Building Community, Collaboration, and Equity - Educators will discuss strategies for building community by using the distinctive traits and talents of individuals and establish a culture of collaboration to meet individual student needs. (1.5 hours)

Cognitive Engagement: Raising Our Student’s Thinking - The ultimate learning environment is rich in engagement. When the learner is engaged, they are fully immersed in the learning. This seminar delves into multiple strategies for educators to create that rich learning environment and motivate our 21st century students. With cognitive engagement the students do all the hard work of learning while the teacher is truly a facilitator. (3 hours)

Crafting a Learning Community for Classroom and Virtual Discussions - Effective and powerful classroom/virtual discussions do not just occur; they require a learning community that fosters their development. The use of different types of norms, selected scaffolds, and knowledge of the stages and continuum of classroom discussion are explored. (3 hours)

Creating a Culturally Responsive Classroom - Culturally responsive instructional practices honor and support this diversity, connecting learning to students' cultural and linguistic background while building on prior experiences. As a result, educators create an inclusive environment that is accessible and relatable to all students. (3 hours)

Infusing Diversity and Multiple Perspectives - Modeling critical thinking skills and using culturally diverse materials help in developing multiple perspectives and in examining events or problems from different angles. (1 hour)

SIFE Success: Know Your Students and Strategies! - Help! I have a newcomer in my classroom! What should I do? Teachers can start by taking this foundational seminar on Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) students and spend time exploring characteristics of SIFE students to better serve their needs in the classroom. (3 hours)

The Impact of Culture on Student Achievement - In addition to learning a new language, ELLs have to adjust to a new environment and culture while learning new academic skills and content knowledge. Explore the impact of culture on academic achievement and identify factors that contribute to a culturally responsive classroom in this engaging session.
(3 hours)

SRP Seminar: Increasing Comprehension of ELLs for SRPs - This seminar will familiarize participants with who our English language learners are and the challenges that they face as they acquire a new language. Participants will have the opportunity to examine how critical culture is and its impact on an English learner’s identity as well as explore strategies for making information more comprehensible and accessible to ELLs. (3 hours)

SRP: Our World, Our Students - This seminar helps educators become more familiar with students’ cultural abilities and needs in order to create a more conducive learning environment. Educators will engage in discussions of the importance of involving all students in the learning process while demonstrating how they can use cultural connections to assist students in appreciating each other’s strengths. (3 hours)

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