The Office of K-12 Outreach provides support to schools and districts in their ability to strengthen cultural competence among administrators, teachers, and staff. Our work begins with an introduction to cultural competence as a framework for culturally responsive schools. Teachers and school leaders are then led through an exploration of social identities and some commonly held beliefs that influence educators’ ability to be responsive to racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse students.
Further, culturally responsive teaching is defined and teachers are exposed to strategies that have been shown to strengthen relationships between students and teachers. These strategies are then practiced with opportunities to incorporate educators’ own cultural knowledge. These practice opportunities are honed with a focus on using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and performance styles of diverse students to make learning more appropriate and effective for them.
The ability to successfully teach students who come from cultures other than your own.
“I’m at that part in my professional and personal journey now, where I have to say, ‘what are you like, what’s most important to you, what’s most important to your family, how do you learn, who do you interact as a group with, how do you handle stressors in your life?’ Who would have thought after twenty-six years of teaching, I would have to do that?”Teacher, Flint Community Schools
Characteristics of a Culturally Responsive Teacher
- Sociocultural consciousness
- An affirming attitude toward students from culturally diverse backgrounds
- Commitment and skills to act as agents of change
- Constructivist views of learning
- Learning about students
- Culturally responsive teaching strategies
Reference: Villegas, A. M., & Lucas, T. (2002). Preparing culturally responsive teachers: Rethinking the curriculum. Journal of teacher education, 53(1), 20-32.
Educator Evaluation Systems Support
MSU K-12 Outreach:
Under the 2018 Title II, Part A, Teacher and Leader Instruction Support Competitive Grants Program, is offering a specifically designed educator education professional development series. Districts interested in MSU support, need only include MSU in each district’s consolidated grant application.
- Support for Teacher and Leader Evaluation Systems; refine and revise these systems to support continuous improvement of instructional practice
- Providing training for principals, other school leaders, coaches, mentors, and evaluators on how to accurately differentiate performance, provide useful and timely feedback, and use evaluation results to inform decision-making
School Leaders Will:
- Increase capacity to create a timely, focused system for instructional improvement with “just in time” feedback
- Provide differentiated coaching to enhance instructional practice
- Build knowledge in planning and delivering strategic growth-based conversations focused on teacher will and skill levels
- Develop proficiency in using the observational tool directly aligned to the Teacher evaluation model used in their district, as required for Administrator Evaluations by Michigan law
- Become familiar with National Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) 2015, formerly the Interstate Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards 2008 focused on continuous improvement of teacher instructional quality
On-site School and District Support
MSU specialists partner with districts and schools to build their capacity to use data to diagnose barriers to student success, then use research to select the strategies most likely to result in rapid improvement. MSU specialists provide real-time coaching and mentoring throughout your schools and central office as you pursue a systemic approach to raising over-all achievement and eliminating achievement gaps.
For more information about on-site school and district support, please contact us.