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"For too long we have asked our students to play the game of life without providing them all the rules."

Culturally Relevant Teaching Vavrus (2008) stated that culturally relevant teaching “is a democratic, student-centered pedagogy that incorporates and honors the cultural background of historically marginalized students and attempts to make meaningful links to academic knowledge for student success” (p. 56). Morrison et al. (2008) reiterated the need for teachers who were aware of cultural behaviors and competent when incorporating it into their curriculum. Gay (2010) explains that culturally relevant teaching is the practice or pedagogy of culturally responsive teaching. “Culturally responsive teaching is more of an attitude than a method” (Robinson, 2006, p. 38). Ladson-Billings (2014) described culturally relevant pedagogy as a framework that focused on academic success, cultural competence, and socio-political consciousness. Culturally relevant pedagogies are implemented to help “students to recognize, understand, and critique current and social inequalities” (Ladson-Billings, 1995, p. 476). In Culturally Relevant Pedagogy 2.0, Ladson-Billings stated that “any scholar who believes that she has arrived, and the work is finished does not understand the nature and meaning of scholarship” (Ladson-Billings, 2014, p. 82). Therefore, this is not a concept that can be mastered. It must be continuously revisited to assure that it is inclusive of the current climate and students found in the K-12 setting. Dr. JoAnne Ferrara (year), educational scholar, stated the following: “culturally competent educators must do the continuous and critical work of developing cultural awareness— grappling with their own ‘ethnocentric, biased, and prejudiced beliefs’ and those that are endemic in the structural and social milieus in which they have themselves developed as reflections of the politic, the ongoing insidious nature of White supremacy, and the other color-blind ideology/melting pot metaphor which was so long touted as ‘American’ and ‘wholesome” (Ferrara, 2020, p. 22). An example of this can be seen in the following scenario of a social studies teacher. This was my eighth year teaching third grade, yet the first time that a family openly expressed concerns about the family tree assignment. It had never before occurred to me that this assignment might marginalize or exclude some students from integral curriculum work. In [a] letter Natasha’s mother explained that Natasha was adopted from an orphanage in russia by a single mother. This explanation jolted me into the realization that if Natasha was indeed going to participate in our social studies curriculum, we needed to generate a text that enabled her to be represented. Further, if Natasha’s family felt marginalized, what other forms of alienation and discrimination might exist in the texts I assigned that I had not recognized or examined” (Kesler, 2011, p. 419). There were two additional scholars that I came across in my review of the literature: Henry Giroux and Peter McLaren. Henry Giroux (2006) argued that “schools have become factories of rote learning and test taking, [and that students are] increasingly subjected to disciplinary practices associated with prisons” (p. x). “For many black and brown youth, schools simply warehouse them before society offers them either a jobless future or a stint in the criminal justice system, or, if they are lucky, they can end up patrolling the streets of Iraq” (Giroux, 2006, p. x). McLaren (2015) felt that the North American educational system has failed to provide teachers with the necessary resources to promote and produce success in all students. McLaren (2015) also argued that there was a need for educators “to seek connections that would link their personal brand of pedagogy to wider social processes, structures and issues” (p. xxvi). McLaren (2015) “stated that his goal was to convince school board members to decrease the pupil-teacher ratio, to develop new programs more sensitive to the needs and experiences of disaffected students, to implement a culturally responsive curriculum and pedagogy, and to funnel more curriculum resources and equipment into inner-city schools” (p. xxv). This brief historical background was included to provide pertinent information on the development of culturally responsive teaching and to show the many ways that researchers worked to provide information on how the achievement gap could be eliminated. The achievement gap is known as the difference in scores attained by students from racial and ethnic minority groups compared with White students on standardized tests or course exams (Coleman et al., 1966). However, even with this information the eradication of the achievement gap has not occurred. Instead, there have been several legal matters that have been birthed through the implementation of culturally responsive teaching methods and the aforementioned aspects surrounding it.

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