Title

Culturally Responsive Instruction to Engage all Students

Focused Area

Improving School Climate for Youth-At-Risk

Relevance to Focused Area

Participants will learn how to build a Behavior Leaders Consortium using data to identify the needs of their school or district and positive behavior approaches to embed into the school culture: behavior agreements, culturally responsive instruction and restorative practices to prevent minor infractions as well as eliminate chronic suspensions.

Primary Strand

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance to Primary Strand

Culturally responsive instruction relates to the cultural skillset educators must display to engage students in learning. Students from all backgrounds face challenges that school leaders who are appropriately trained can help them overcome. Educators will learn strategies to create a caring curriculum and motivate students to learn. Cooperative learning strategies are modeled throughout the session. The participants will experience the type of community and support they have to provide in their classroom and school to increase student achievement. When students’ identities are acknowledged and verified, they develop a positive sense of self that can empower them to achieve academically and prepare for college and career readiness.

Brief Program Description

This session considers communication, classroom management and instructional strategies that are intellectually rigorous and engaging for easy classroom implementation to help all students learn. Participants will learn easy to apply approaches that engage students and help make learning connections to their real life experiences.

Summary

In an effort to close the achievement gap among minority students and their peers, Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida created The Minority Achievement Office (MAO). The MAO formed the Behavior Leadership Consortia with behavior teams consisting of a behavior administrator and one guidance counselor from each of the participating schools from our five learning communities whose objective is to reduce the number of out of school suspensions in their schools. A key component to engaging students and building a school climate conducive to learning is developing relationships with the students. To that end, the MAO provides Culturally Responsive Instruction training for all educators. Culturally responsive instruction is about respecting the comprehensive experiences and knowledge students bring to the classroom to jumpstart topic comprehension and facilitate learning. When we take into consideration that students do not enter school as empty vessels and acknowledge the background information they bring to the teaching and learning process, we open the door for rich conversations and deeper understanding of the content. Embedding students’ prior learning and cultural experiences in the content will increase efficacy, motivation, and academic achievement. Participants will gain understanding of culturally responsive instruction by participating in activities that they can easily implement in the classroom. For our first activity, participants will review cultural identity memberships and reflect on their myriad of memberships. We will also explore cultural biases that can interfere with building relationships and trust in the classroom, which are necessary to advance student learning. Because speech and the written word are the prominent conduits educators use to communicate ideas, we will learn strategies that improve classroom management and instructional engagement as well as examine barriers in communication between teachers and students that can hinder students from participating in the curriculum.

Evidence

The presentation is based on the work of Dr. Gholnecsar E. Muhammad and the book, Dream-keepers, written by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings. Prior to providing the Culturally Responsive Instruction training district-wide, it was offered to the schools within the Behavior Leaders Consortia which focused on reducing out-of-school suspensions in order to increase academic seat time. Data from the 2013-2014 school year illustrates a 31% reduction of out-of-school suspensions for our Black and Hispanic students.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Nancy Charles is a district resource teacher in the Minority Achievement Office in Orange County Public Schools, Florida —the 10th largest school district in the nation. Nancy has worked as an educator for over 20 years as a classroom teacher and instructional leader: History, Language Arts, and French teacher, parent liaison, literacy coach and instructional coach. In addition, Nancy has conducted district professional development on culturally responsive instruction, teaching methods, and restorative practices to improve student behavior. She currently leads the district’s implementation of Restorative Justice approaches. Nancy has a B.S. in Marketing and an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Start Date

10-23-2016 10:00 AM

End Date

10-23-2016 11:00 AM

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Oct 23rd, 10:00 AM Oct 23rd, 11:00 AM

Culturally Responsive Instruction to Engage all Students

This session considers communication, classroom management and instructional strategies that are intellectually rigorous and engaging for easy classroom implementation to help all students learn. Participants will learn easy to apply approaches that engage students and help make learning connections to their real life experiences.