Culturally Responsive Education in the Classroom
Course Outline

Course Fee: $270
Course Numbers: EED x701, SED x701
Standard Course Time: 45 hours
Semester Credits: Three (3) academic credits at the post-baccalaureate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Cal Poly Humboldt (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Special Topics

This course has been developed and optimized for online delivery using the licensed title Culturally Responsive Education in the Classroom - An Equity Framework for Pedagogy, published by Routledge and authored by Adeyemi Stembridge.

Introduction/Course Description:

This is a course about Equity – and specifically what Equity looks like (and feels like) in the context of pedagogy. Though the term “Equity” is currently a buzzword in many lecture halls and think pieces, I find that often teachers yearn for practical guidelines for its implementation; and it is, in my view, teachers who most need to understand the concept and its potential for application. While I have seen many elegant research studies that help to define how poorly Equity is realized in American education, a substantive understanding and interpretation of the concept is required at the classroom level. It is in classrooms where the most essential pedagogical transaction occurs – that being the social and intellectual exchanges between teacher and student.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

Module One: Equity Work Defined

Students will explore:

  • Equity as a Performative Construct and What it is Not
  • Zero-sum Game Thinking and Mindsets
  • Race and Productive Discourse on Race
  • Opportunities and Pedagogy
  • What are we teaching?
  • Brilliance
  • The Challenges of Equity and Pedagogy

Project 1: Expanding and Stretching My Understanding of Equity
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: Theory of Change - Culturally Responsive Education

Students will examine:

  • What is Responsiveness?
  • The CRE Mental Model
  • The Purpose of American Schools
  • The Purpose of Culturally Responsive Education

Project 2: Question Generation - Activate Powers!
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three: The Six Themes of Culturally Responsive Education

Students will become familiar with:

  • The Story of the Six Themes of Culturally Responsive Education
  • The Six CRE Themes - Engagement, Cultural Identity, Relationships, Vulnerability, Assets, Rigor

Project 3: Taking a Look, Am I Culturally Responsive?
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four: Planning with Equity in Mind

Students will be introduced to:

  • The Five Planning Questions
  • Question One: What do I want students to understand?
  • Question Two: What do I want students to feel?
  • Question Three: What are the targets for rigor?
  • Question Four: What are the indicators of engagement?
  • Question Five: What are the opportunities to be responsive?
  • How the Planning Questions Work Together

Project 4: Does My Planning Reflect My Cultural Responsive Practice?
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Five: Promising Practices

Students will:

  • Understand that The How is More Important than the What
  • Explore a variety of strategies including: Method Acting, Inside/Outside Circle, Design Challenges, Question Formulation Technique, Interview Yourself, Human Barometer, Socratic Seminar, Success Reflections, The Bat Phone

Project 5: Growing My Culturally Responsive Practice
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Six: Implications and Next Steps - Where Do We Go from Here?

Students will learn to:

  • Think Like an Artist
  • Aim for Brilliance, Not Mastery
  • Evaluate The Issue of Assessments

Project 6: Reflecting on My Culturally Responsive Practice
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?

--- Sample Course Project ---

Project #4 Overview: Question Generation - Activate Powers!

In module 4, we defined Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) as a mental model useful for identifying themes and tools of practice for closing opportunity gaps. We also considered Mindset – a function of our beliefs, values, and attitudes – can be thought of as an individual’s capacity to ask themselves challenging questions so that their thinking and practice (and their thinking about practice) remain productive and forward-moving.

Consider this passage from the text:

“CRE, as I define it, is also a mental model. The CRE themes are the tools we use in our design and discovery. To see better is the goal – and also the true challenge of culturally responsive teaching. Many educators enter conversations about CRE with the intention to find answers (generally in the form of strategies) for solving the problems of practice that contribute to Equity gaps; but the process of problem-solving is most effective when it is consistently capable of generating the right questions in support of our design of strategies to address novel circumstances in ways that align with our values and beliefs about fairness and opportunity.”

For this project:

  • Think of a specific circumstance or situation in your school setting where you are aware of equity gaps.
  • Generate 3-4 questions that support and align with your values and beliefs about fairness and opportunity.

For Your Written Project Reflection Submission

After taking some time to answer the questions outlined above for this project, reflect upon and apply your findings using the following bullet points as a guide:

  • How are you currently addressing equity gaps in your school or classroom?
  • How is your administration addressing equity gaps in your school or classroom?
  • After completing this project, what is your biggest learning? Be specific and descriptive.
  • How will you apply this learning to your practice?

Visit the Module Projects section located within the Course Dashboard, and take a moment to share your findings by submitting your written project reflection.

Cal Poly Humboldt Credit Specifics

  • Academic Credit through Cal Poly Humboldt (CPH) is offered after successful completion of each course.
  • The 700 series semester credit is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for credentialed teachers which do not require admission to a graduate program.
  • Courses are letter graded on official transcripts from CPH.
  • CPH is the northernmost and westernmost institution in the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.
  • CPH is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions.

Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.