Learning & Teaching
What Leaders Must Do to Ensure Building Culturally Responsive Afterschool Programs
by Lissette Castillo
By definition, “culturally responsive” education must, among other things, “use the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to and effective for them.” In addition, “challenging racial and cultural stereotypes, prejudices, racism and other forms of … oppression” is a defining element of the term, coined by Dr. Geneva Gay.
Considering the current chaotic state of our nation, the miseducation of children of color and the widening opportunity gap—often erroneously called the achievement gap—it’s time to eradicate the consistent and oppressive structures of racism in educational programs.
Students of African and/or Indigenous descent (DAIP) deserve programs exhibiting a range of practices that honor their identities, linguistic assets and cultures—in addition to de-centering whiteness from our learning spaces and collective learning, and grounding that is centered within the context of culture and race.