The Importance of Culturally Responsive Teaching

Culturally responsive teaching is an important element for every educator to consider, no matter where they are or who they are teaching. Every individual has implicit biases, perceptions of others that are so subtle that we are not even aware of them. These biases shape the way we frame lessons, environments, and interactions with students. Being culturally responsive means taking an active stance towards your own implicit biases, actively seeking out where you might be subtly marginalizing some students and working to undo that practice. Unfortunately, being culturally responsive can be very difficult in the teaching profession because it demands that we open ourselves up as fallible. Even more difficult for some, it means that we must look to our students to be our teachers. Culturally responsive teaching is more important now than it has ever been, students need to see your instructional space as welcoming to them. Becoming culturally responsive means opening yourself up, being vulnerable, and inquiring about your students’ cultures and how your work does or does not resonate with them.

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.

-­Sydney J. Harris is dedicated to improving organizational effectiveness through equity, focusing on education, health care, and government.