In a culturally responsive classroom, learners’ varied identities and experiences are identified, honored, and used to bridge rigorous new learning. This type of individualized instruction benefits all students.
However, culturally responsive teaching focuses on students who do not receive a type of culturally relevant instruction.
At the same time, Ladson-Billings’ framework can be expanded to learners with varying and interesting identities (including based on social class, English proficiency, disability status, LGBTQ status) whose identities and experiences are likewise excluded from mainstream settings.
It is clear that these students can also benefit from “mirrors” that allow them to see themselves, their experiences, and their communities in school. For these and other students culturally responsive teaching also provides critical “windows” into the cultural heritage and experiences of others.
In an increasingly diverse society, all students benefit from learning to honor their own, and one another’s cultural heritage and lived realities.