Cultural Competence

a teacher with two elementary aged students

Students learn through the lens of their culture and prior knowledge and experience. Scholars have long emphasized the importance of the community-home-school connection, delving into students’ funds of knowledge as a way to connect teaching and learning to the prior knowledge embedded in students’ every day lived experiences. Thus, it is critical for educators to get to know and understand students’ lives, cultures, communities, and families in order to learn how to develop curriculum and pedagogies that are culturally responsive. This requires that educator preparation programs help teachers and leaders learn how to develop deep understandings of students’ cultural contexts and maintain ongoing communication and connection with parents, caregivers, community organizations, and the world beyond school.

Photo courtesy of Bank Street College of Education