Cultural Relevance Project Mission
The mission of this project is to create cultural awareness and support culturally responsive instruction and pedagogical practices. We seek to build capacity for exemplary teaching that supports closing the opportunity gap and giving voice to ALL students while having them work to their highest potential.
Cycle 1 - Creating a Growth Mindset
We started the 2014-2015 school year by having conversation around what is our “WHY” and what it means to be an equitable educator. The work that we want to accomplish with this project is to affirm the many wonderful instructional practices that are already in place in our district and to have conversation around the unintentional things we may overlook. First and foremost, we encourage you to start every day with your “WHY”. Those who start with their “WHY” in mind are the most productive and truly understand their purpose. Why are you in Education? Why do you do what you do? Our Modules have given you the opportunity to reflect on relational capacity, what it LOOKS like, SOUNDS like and most importantly FEELS like to be in a culturally relevant classroom, and building relationships with families and communities. We must always strive for high expectations for ALL students. The Pygmalion effect– the more you communicate to your students you care, the more successful they will be. The academic achievement gap is not a learning gap; it is the lack of opportunities to engage our learners in relevant instruction.
Cycle 2 - Using Culture to Drive instruction
In the second semester we focused on understanding culture to drive our instruction. How do we take students from various experiences and backgrounds and bring them to a common place of success? How do we have intentional dialogue with colleagues, families and students that will bring growth for all involved? If we expect academic success from our students we must give them the tools to do so. Teaching students about language registers and the understanding that language is power. What language registers are used in an academic or formal setting? “The teaching of reading and composition to foreign students does differ from the teaching of reading and composition to American students, and cultural differences in the nature of rhetoric supply the key to the difference in teaching approach.” (Kaplan 1984) Knowing Cultural Discourse patterns can help educators scaffold the American paragraph to your students of various cultural backgrounds.
Teaching Down the Gap - How do our district initiatives align with our CRT project?
Florida State Standards
Our goal is to ensure Florida’s students graduate high school ready for success in college, career, and life. In order to prepare our students for success and make them competitive in the global workplace, we must provide them with a set of clear, consistent, and strong academic standards.
The Florida Standards will equip our students with the knowledge and skills they need to be ready for careers and college-level coursework. Having the best and highest academic standards for our students today will prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow
21st Century Skills
No longer is mastery of academic subjects alone sufficient. To succeed in schoolwork and life in the 21st century also requires that students master a set of skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation.
To help educators integrate these skills into the teaching of core academic subjects, P21 developed a comprehensive vision for learning known as the Framework for 21st Century Learning. As P21 states, “This Framework describes the skills, knowledge and expertise students must master to succeed in work and life; it is a blend of content knowledge, specific skills, expertise and literacies.”
The Florida State Standards enumerate the development of core academic subject knowledge among all students, while the P21 Framework focuses on the skills that students will need to understand and apply that knowledge in real-world settings. 12 of our schools have 21st Century Skills.
AVID Elementary Schools
Idyllwilde, Midway, and Wicklow Elementary have begun implementation in grades 2-5. AVID Elementary is neither a pull-out or add-on program. It is a methodology that promotes best practices for teaching to develop consistency in thinking and embraces the delivery of information by both students and teachers. The framework of this methodology is based on implementation of the WICOR strategies to engage ALL learners in daily instruction. WICOR is an acronym for Writing to learn, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading to learn. AVID Elementary is a foundational component of the AVID College Readiness System that supports AVID Center’s mission to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.
These are three of the initiatives that SCPS has used to “teach down the gap” and help students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be productive citizens in our great country and in the global economy.
For more information, contact:
Cultural Relevance Specialist