“Developing Critical Cultural Competence provides educators with the inspiration, knowledge, and tools to move from theory to action in seeking to eliminate the achievement gap.”

—Bess Scott, Director of Elementary Education Lincoln Public Schools, NE

“As I read this book, it became clear that my long-held belief about the meaning of cultural competence needed a makeover. I am now convinced that my personal definition of diversity should embrace a much deeper appreciation of differences and transformative action.”

—Denise Carlson, Curriculum Consultant Heartland Area Education Agency, Johnston, IA

Cultural competence is key to improved student achievement

The increasingly diverse nature of today's schools and the need to increase the achievement of all students, no matter their background, requires 21st-century teachers to develop critical cultural competence. Looking at data is not enough. We have to know who our students are! This book shows you how to provide professional development that deepens teachers' cultural understanding. Developing Critical Cultural Competence helps educators translate new knowledge into action with activities that focus on the three inseparable insights required for developing teachers' critical cultural competency:

Understanding themselves; Understanding their students; Understanding their students' families and communities.

In addition to the activities are reflection questions, group discussion questions, online extensions for facilitators, and a sample professional development plan. A companion website provides reproducible resource lists and handouts as well as examples that can serve as models for some of the activities.

Common Practices: How are We Currently Preparing Educators for Diverse Classrooms?

Common practices: How are we currently preparing educators for diverse classrooms?


In this chapter, we discuss several tried-and-true methods for preparing educators to be culturally competent to teach diverse learners in today's multicultural, multilinguistic classrooms by using a variety of readings, videos, discussion topics, and activities designed to help educators become more knowledgeable about the diversity of their students and to build their capacity as culturally responsive educators. To begin, we review several goals commonly used for multicultural education and then describe five key concepts proposed by Milner (2010) for all diversity courses or workshops. We talk about Milner's ideas early because they are key ideas related to our goal of helping educators become critically ...

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