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.
Dr. Kirkland and The Metro Center have also created guidelines and resources for teachers and school leaders to continue to center on culturally responsive pedagogy and sustain educational practices through the complexities of remote learning. Given the possibility of such instruction in the future and the systematic educational inequity highlighted and exacerbated by this global health crisis, we see this document as essential to driving instructional changes and crucial conversations about how we can best serve our diverse populations.
The document illustrates the principles of a culturally responsive-sustaining remote education that centers on the social, cultural, and emotional needs of students. It also acknowledges the lived realities of students and families living during the COVID-19 epidemic and outlines the different concerns teachers, families, and school leaders should prioritize.
The Ethical Schools podcast (@ethicalschools) features an insightful and invaluable conversation with Dr. Kirkland about New York’s State’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework. We would also recommend subscribing to the podcast for more learning related to equity and asset approaches to teaching, critical pedagogies, and their commitment to elevating BIPOC voices and perspectives on their platform.
Follow Dr. Kirkland on twitter (@davidekirkland) and read his frequently updated blog here.
Follow The NYU Metro Center on twitter (@metronyu) for resources and updates focused on creating culturally responsive and sustaining classrooms.
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