Last Fall Kim Scuito, Reading Specialist at NSES, facilitated a professional learning community about Culturally Responsive Teaching. The PLC/Book Study was based on Zaretta Hammond’s book: Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. The group discussed what CRT is and isn't, the brain science to support this theory and ways that we can develop culturally responsive classrooms. Topics such as the Ready 4 Rigor Frame, a protocol for checking unconscious bias and discussions surrounding our own personal cultural frames from each level (Surface/Shallow/Deep) were shared. This PLC was insightful and powerful for all involved.
I am excited to share with you that with the help of the professional development advisory committee we have been able to bring this PLC to the entire district. All district teachers will receive a copy of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain written by Zaretta Hammond. The books have been ordered, delivered and are in teacher mailboxes in each school.
The goal of this initiative is to introduce the concept of equity-minded teaching and learning: promoting a culture of validating students' identities and culture, engaging students in their academic work, and recognizing student capacity. The facilitated discussions will focus on the meaningful implementation of multiple teaching approaches. Faculty will be able to analyze their classroom data, disaggregated by race/ethnicity, and then make changes to their curriculum and teaching practices using a culturally responsive teaching and learning (CRTL) framework.
This whole district professional development initiative will allow teachers to earn 4 PLUs for reading the book this summer, as well as, attain additional PLUs during our follow up facilitated discussions that will take place during district PD days.