This practitioner brief explores professional learning that addresses culturally responsive teaching. The authors present six research-based principles to guide professional learning experiences that foster culturally responsive teaching and four key arenas that have been at the forefront of teacher learning research. Although teacher inquiry, professional learning communities, professional learning schools, and content knowledge research have increasingly become part of teacher practice, they are not consistently used as vehicles to drive culturally responsive practice. This brief, however, reviews some examples of professional learning opportunities that are grounded in research on culturally responsive teacher and student learning. In summary, the authors assert that professional learning should be ongoing, job-embedded, and informed by larger reform initiatives, as well as collaborative, constructivist, and inquiry based. In order to support culturally responsive pedagogy and instruction, professional learning must also explicitly provide guided opportunities for teachers to examine their own culture, experiences, beliefs, and biases as related to their teaching of culturally and linguistically diverse students while engaging in doing and talking about subject matter.
Teaching Methods and Strategies