As the country is becoming increasingly diverse, so are today’s classrooms. Teachers need to have the knowledge and skills to connect with students of all backgrounds. A teacher who is responsive to the unique differences among students and can provide an environment of respect and reciprocity can have a profound effect on student success. Recognizing the need to strengthen competencies to reach and teach all students requires an understanding of diversity and a willingness to view instruction through varied cultural lenses.
This short booklet provides an overview of what it means to be culturally competent, discusses the power dynamic within school systems that can help and hinder cultural competency, and presents strategies for creating culturally competent classrooms.