Effective Teachers = Culturally Responsive Teachers

Effective Teachers = Culturally Responsive Teachers

September 17, 2019

“In education, when we hear the word ‘data, our minds often wander to a score that represents how a student performs in Math or English Language Arts,” writes Joshua Ddamulira for the Data Quality Campaign. What gets less attention, however, is “sensemaking,” the “practice of decoding students’ cultural background and understanding the role it plays in their learning.” This sensemaking is in itself a form of qualitative data collection “that can enhance and evolve teachers’ data use.” Ultimately, effective teachers care about more than tests and grades—they “recognize the importance of students’ cultural identities” and how such identities impact their learning. Focusing on culturally responsive teaching (CRT) is a critical part of education data use and classroom equity—and “states are starting to make these connections themselves to better serve students.” Ddamulira says that nearly three-quarters of states have demonstrated they understand the need for CRT by including “expectations of what that looks like for teachers” in their state ESSA plans.