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Lesson 1, Topic 62
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Introduction

Dr. Harry Edwards

“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.”

Culturally responsive educators believe all students are capable of achieving high levels of success. These educators understand that Black, Indigenous, students of color, and other marginalized groups are vulnerable to negative stereotypes about their intelligence, academic ability, and behavior. They understand that these stereotypes can inadvertently influence their pedagogical choices and expectations of students, which in turn influence students’ perceptions about their own abilities. Culturally responsive educators are vigilant in maintaining their belief that all students can meet high expectations if given proper support and scaffolds, regardless of their identity or past performance. These teachers do not accept anything less than a high level of success from all of their students and they do not allow students to disengage from learning. Instead, they help students develop high expectations for themselves.

Other research-backed behaviors that teachers use to communicate high expectations include using eye contact and proximity with both high-achieving and struggling learners; deploying language, gestures, and expressions to communicate that students’ opinions are important; and ensuring all students have access to a rigorous core curriculum.

Reference – New America: Teacher Competencies that Promote Culturally Responsive Teaching

THOUGHT EXERCISE

As you dive into this experience, think about expectations that were set for you during childhood and how that made you feel. Think about who set those expectations and how you embraced them, or not. And finally, think about your introduction to expectations and how you translate that for your students.

How might we frame the importance of expectations to students and parents related to educational outcomes?