Teaching Through Culture: The Case for Culturally Responsive Teaching in American Higher Education Institutions

Teaching Through Culture: The Case for Culturally Responsive Teaching in American Higher Education Institutions

Leah McAlister-Shields (University of Houston, USA), Laveria Hutchison (University of Houston, USA) and Brandolyn E. Jones (Lone Star College – Kingwood, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5724-1.ch006

Abstract

The concept of culturally responsive teaching is utilized here to expand the knowledge base of scholars, leaders, and practitioners in higher education settings who are committed to cultivating a learning environment where relevant and inclusive curriculum equals real-world opportunities for all students. Emerging from a pedagogical lens, this chapter will expound upon the implications for the application of culturally responsive teaching in ethnically diverse higher education classrooms.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction: Context And Present Evidence

Access to equal education has been a long-standing challenge for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Since the era of slavery, educational access for racial and ethnic minorities in the United States has experienced periods of expansion and decline. As noted by Lloyd, Tienda, and Zajacova (2001), although there have been robust gains in educational access for racial and ethnic minority students since the 1960s, the gains in educational access and attainment have been slight, and rates of attrition continue to be incongruent amid Whites and non-Whites (NCES, 2012; Current Population Surveys, 2013). Furthermore, while racially minoritized youth are no longer legally “separated” from their White peers, these students still remain separated from their Asian and White schoolmates in their academic achievement. Recent results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) revealed that gaps in the academic achievement of racial and ethnic minority students are surfacing as early as the fourth grade (National Center for Education Statistics, 2013 [NCES]). One primary example is in the area of reading achievement, whereby Asian and White students are shown to be outperforming racial and ethnically minority students (National Center for Education Statistics, 2013 [NCES]).

The ethnic composition of students enrolled in colleges and universities across the United States of America has become increasingly more diverse (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2013). The current advancement of student diversity in postsecondary classrooms is a direct result of the famous 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling (Malone, 2008). The Brown decision forced the hands of traditionally White colleges and universities to open their doors to Black and Brown students —particularly those in the South (Malone, 2008), As shown in Figure 1, African American and non-White Hispanic students, combined, constituted nearly 32% of the more than 20 million U.S. students enrolled in postsecondary institutions in the Fall of 2016 (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2015). This percentage doubles in comparison to the combined enrollment of African American and non-White Hispanic students at just 13.2% in the Fall of 1976 (NCES, 2015). Unfortunately, the pace of enrollment for non-White students does not mirror the degree attainment for these particular student groups.

Figure 1.

Percentages of students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities in Fall 1976 and Fall 2016 as a function of race/ethnicity. Adapted from the National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Projection of Education Statistics to 2024: Forty-third Edition

978-1-5225-5724-1.ch006.f01
Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2016/2016013.pdf

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset