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Cultural Responsiveness: What is it? “Cultural responsiveness is the ability to learn from, and relate respectfully with people of your own culture as well as those from other cultures. ” - (National Council for Cultural Responsiveness in Education, 2013)
Why does cultural responsiveness matter? “Culture is central to learning. It plays a role not only in communicating and receiving information, but also in shaping the thinking process of groups and individuals. Cultural responsiveness acknowledges, responds to, and celebrates full, equitable access to society for people from all cultures. ” —Education Alliance, Brown University, 2006
What are the key “myths” of cultural responsiveness? • Myth #1: Cultural responsiveness is relevant only to low income, urban people of color. • Myth #2: Only people of color are capable of demonstrating the essential elements of a culturally responsive approach. • Myth #3: Cultural responsiveness is a “bag of tricks”. • Myth #4: Cultural responsiveness requires people to master the details of all the cultures of people represented in the community. • Myth #5: Cultural responsiveness reinforces stereotypes because this approach categorizes and labels people based on their race and ethnicity. Irvine, J. J. & Armento, B. J. (2001) Question: What difference does knowing the 5 myths make to your relationships in the community? Workplace? Newcomers?
How do you become culturally responsive? • Develop cultural self-awareness • Appreciate the value of diverse views • Avoid imposing your own values on others • Examine your own interactions for cultural bias • Build peoples’ cultural strengths • Discover peoples’ primary cultural roles • Learn what you can about various cultures • Accept your own naiveté