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Culturally Responsive Practice

Using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of student to make learning encounters more relevant and effective. It teaches to and through the strengths of students and their families.

— adapted from Geneva Gay, 2010

Culturally Responsive Practice PowerPoint


  • Funds of Knowledge worksheet
  • DOE Unit Template
    This instructional unit template provides an example of how teachers may organize a Common Core aligned unit. Teachers may use this template as it is given here, integrate parts of this template into an existing structure for unit planning or use this template as a model to design their own planning structures.


Learning Objectives

  • Explore the concept of culture from a personal, reflective perspective
  • Move away from “single stories” of children and families
  • Learn concrete strategies for building a culturally responsive learning environment advancing the NYS Pre-K Foundation for the Common Core

Agenda for 2014-15 sessions

Morning Session:

  • 8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. — Introductions Learning Objectives and Ground Rules
  • 8:45 a.m. – 9:05 a.m. — What is Culture?
  • 9:05 a.m. – 9:25 a.m. — Moving Away from a Single Story
  • 9:25 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. — A Culturally Responsive Strategy: Funds of Knowledge
  • 9:45 a.m. – 9:55 a.m. — Break
  • 9:55 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. — Using Funds of Knowledge in the classroom to build a culturally responsive learning environment advancing the NYS PKFCC
  • 11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. — Wrap up and Goodbye

Afternoon Session:

  • 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. — Introductions Learning Objectives and Ground Rules
  • 12:45 p.m. – 1:05 p.m. — What is Culture?
  • 1:05 p.m. – 1:25 p.m. — Moving Away from a Single Story
  • 1:25 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. — A Culturally Responsive Strategy: Funds of Knowledge
  • 1:45 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. — Break
  • 1:55 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. — Using Funds of Knowledge in the classroom to build a culturally responsive learning environment advancing the NYS PKFCC
  • 3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. — Wrap up and Goodbye

Further Reading...

Cabrera, N., and the SRCD Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee. (2013). Positive development of minority children. Social Policy Report, 27(2), 1-30.

Delpit, L. (1995). Other people’s children. New York: New Press.

Ford, Y.D., & Kea, C.D. (2009). Creating culturally responsive instruction: For students’ and teachers’ sake. Focus on Exceptional Children, 42(9), 1-16.

Froschl, J., & Sprung, B. (2008). A positive and proactive response to young boys in the classroom. Child Development Exchange.

Gay, G. (2010). Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research and Practice (Multicultural Education Series. 2nd Edition. New York: Teachers College Press.

Gilliam, W.S. 2005. Prekindergarteners left behind: Expulsion rates in state prekindergarten systems. Policy Brief, series no. 3. New York: Foundation for Child Development.

Gonzalez, N., Moll, L. & Amanti, C. (Eds). (2005). Funds of knowledge: Theorizing practices in households, communities, and classrooms. Mahway, NJ: Erlbaum.

Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children (2nd Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Education Research Journal, 35, 465-491.

Moll, L., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into Practice, 31(2), 132–141.

Steele, C.M. (1997). A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. American Psychologist, 52(6), 613-629.

Sue, D. W. (2010). Microaggressions in everyday life: Race, gender, and sexual orientation. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Sue, D.W., Capodilupo, C.M., Holder, A.M.B. (2008) Racial microaggressions in the life experience of Black Americans. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol. 39(3), 329-336.

Swindler Boutte, G., Lopez-Robertson, J., & Powers-Costello, E. (2011). Moving beyond colorblindness in early childhood classrooms. Early Childhood Educations Journal, 39, 335-343.

Williams, R. (1999) Cultural safety—what does it mean for our work practice? Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 23 (2), 213-214.

Yates, T.M. & Marcelo, A.K. (2014). Through race-colored glasses: Preschoolers’ pretend play and teachers’ ratings of preschooler adjustment. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 29, 1-11.

More references