STEMteachersNYC is committed to ensuring our programs and efforts reflect the diverse needs and communities of NYC, and address issues of equity and inclusion. In 2018, our teacher-members came together and formed a Culturally Responsive STEM taskforce to identify strategies for supporting STEM educators around the region, and to ensure our workshops address the principles of cultural responsiveness. The taskforce has identified three key projects to take on: (1) Culturally Responsive PD workshops, (2) a CRT Resource Guide and (3) a Leadership Training Framework for our workshop leaders and others interested in school culture change. Please check our workshops page to view and register for upcoming opportunities!
What is Culturally Responsive Teaching?
Culturally Responsive Teaching can be defined as using 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. It teaches to and through the strengths of these students. Culturally responsive teaching is the behavioral expressions of knowledge, beliefs, and values that recognize the importance of racial and cultural diversity in learning. (Geneva Gay, 2010)
Our Guiding Principles
To help ensure STEMteachersNYC programs are culturally responsive and relevant, a teacher-led committee has developed some guiding principles for our workshop leaders to consider:
Establish Inclusion – Consider the diverse needs and assets of STEM teachers who may attend the workshop. Make every effort to group participants with different backgrounds, experiences and subject areas. Consider the context of both students and teachers who are culturally and linguistically diverse, have varied abilities, gender and sexual identities.
Foster Confidence – Empower teachers to share ideas and experiences that build upon existing assets and strengths to build confidence.
Enhance Meaning — Workshop leaders integrate example lessons and activities that draw connections with real-world issues, and build relevancy and motivation for students in a variety of urban, rural and suburban settings.
Responsive and Active Teaching – Workshop leaders use hands-on active learning strategies in both student and teacher mode that consider participants learning needs and styles. The outcomes, content, and activities of the workshop are grounded in a multicultural and everyday context that builds relevancy and motivation for students.
Critical Lens – Workshops leaders use a critical lens to examine and present content and experiences that acknowledge inequities in the education system, and how knowledge is created, for whom and why.
Build Community – Workshops offer a platform to co-create sustainable learning communities focused on improving outcomes for all students and their families, particularly those students who are members of cultural and linguistic minorities.
Culturally Responsive STEM Resources
There are so many great resources out there, and we’re starting to gather great ideas from all of you! We recommend checking out the Culturally Responsive Teaching Presentation from our Fall workshop led by Alisha Ragan and Paul Chin, and some of these recommendations:
An Inquiry into Science Education, Where the Rubber Meets the Roadby Richard Steinberg
The Truth About Testing: An Educator’s Call to Action by James Popham
Designing Groupwork: Strategies for the Heterogeneous Classroom by E. Cohen and R. Lotan
Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond
Inequalityopoly: The Board Game of Structural Racism and Sexism in America. (made using STEAM and Design Thinking)
Critically Conscious Educators Rising (Implicit Bias Training)
Translator tool: tinyurl.com/panic55555
Decolonizing Science Reading List by Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein