Culturally Relevant Curriculum

Curriculum, in its most simple, essential, commonly understood form, is the "what" of education. It is crucial to academic performance and essential to culturally responsive pedagogy. Even the most "standard" curriculum decides whose history is worthy of study, whose books are worthy of reading, which curriculum and text selections that include myriad voices and multiple ways of knowing, experiencing, and understanding life can help students to find and value their own voices, histories, and cultures.

Hear high school creative writing teacher, Foster Dickson, talk about text selection and the importance of a diverse selection of authors.

Look For:

  • What does Foster say about including authors of different backgrounds and the message it sends to his students?

  • How does he think reading authors from different backgrounds will impact his students?

Go Deeper:

Learning Lakota
For a high school on South Dakota's Rosebud Reservation, culturally responsive curriculum is proving a hefty antidote to the violence, poverty and growing cultural disconnect hindering student success.

Reflect On:

  • How do the teachers at Todd County High School use culturally relevant teaching methods to connect with their Lakota students? How do the students interviewed say this makes them feel about themselves and their studies?

  • Does the disconnect between student cultural background and teacher cultural background that exists in the story, exist in your school? How can you bridge this disconnect?

Ready Resources:
Foster's Reading List (PDF)
Find great books with the searchable database from the Center for Cultural Fluency
Find additional resources using Multicultural Resource Matrix from Cal State Monterey Bay