Dr. Gholdy Muhammad’s book Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy is essential reading for those who want to understand how to teach in culturally and historically responsive ways. In this blog, we will review key insights from Dr. Muhammad’s book. We hope readers will be inspired to learn more about what it means to enact culturally and historically responsive instruction. We also hope this blog serves as a preview of the webinar that Dr. Gholdy Muhammad will offer on March 17th, 2021. This virtual workshop will engage teachers in practicing researched-based equity practices and offer pedagogical examples of lesson and unit plans that honor the cultural and linguistic diversity of our students.
By Jacob Steiss
Educators and researchers have increasingly given attention to the lack of diverse literature and the absence of multicultural, BIPOC, and women authors in school curricula. As teachers, our choices about texts matter; Book lists predominantly featuring texts about white, male, heteronormative characters suggest these perspectives are normative and worthy of study. Alternatively, the absence of certain perspectives suggest they are not worthy of inclusion and consideration.
To acknowledge the great mismatch between our nation’s diverse school children and the homogenous texts they read would be a meaningful step towards educational equity and justice. More though, can be done by educators and school leaders when they reflect on the books present in their curricula, make changes to include and foreground diverse perspectives and experiences, and promote diverse ways of reading texts that represent the children we serve.
Here are three actionable steps we as educators can take to critically examine who is [and is not] represented in our texts and curriculum.
By Jacob Steiss
Through research, advocacy, activism, and teaching, Dr. David E. Kirkland has made immeasurable contributions to improving the learning, literacy, and life outcomes of our nation’s youth. With a particular concern for research that advances educational equity and social justice, his works in the fields of education, youth literacy, cultural studies, ethnography, and sociolinguistics have led him to the distinguished role as the Executive Director of NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.
In this role. Dr. Kirkland continues to bring issues of educational equity to the foreground of policy debates in order to best enable children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds to flourish. One way Dr. Kirkland has continued moving U.S. educational systems forward on the arc of justice is manifested in the Metro Center’s contributions to new, culturally responsive educational standards in New York State, standards that have potential to affect close to 3 million students in New York.