Cultural Contextuality

Cultural contextuality consists of the values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives that are shared by a particular group. Understanding the learner's cultural contextuality is a critical step in designing curricula and learning activities that are both effective and relevant to students' lived experiences. Attending to cultural contextuality in the creation of curricula, pedagogies, and programs prevents educators from returning to deficit models of education that blamed students and their families for the failure of schools to educate all children. This entry reviews the historical context for cultural contextuality in education and its value for teaching and learning.

Before the mid-1960s, the value of cultural contextuality for all learners was not considered by most leading educational theorists or practitioners. Most educators believed that middle-class White students possessed ...

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