Leveraging Student Experience to Cultivate Cultural Awareness
Understanding the Need
This study examines the impact of a transnational teaching exchange program on undergraduate fellows’ understandings of culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP). CRP centers students’ cultural knowledge, experiences, and frames of reference, in order to maximize the inclusiveness and thereby effectiveness of teaching (Gay, 2018).
Since October 2022, fifteen preservice teachers from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds have participated in virtual visits to classrooms at Colegio Concepción San Pedro, in Concepción, Chile. In May and June, the fellows will travel to Concepción for a three-week in-person exchange.
- What experiences have fellows had with CRP in their own K-12 schooling?
- What observations of CRP do they make in their Colegio Concepción class placements?
We modified a survey on teachers’ implementation of CRP in K-12 settings to be focused on participants’ experiences as students rather than teachers. Fellows take the survey before and after the in-person exchange. The pre-survey allowed them to describe their experiences with CRP in their own schooling. The post-survey will ask them to reflect on their observations of CRP in Colegio Concepción.
Results & Conclusion
The results reveal that fellows have largely been under-exposed to CRP in their K-12 schooling.
Over 47% of students in Clark County School District (CCSD) are of Hispanic or Latino ancestry (of different races). 15.5% identify as Black, 6% as Asian, and 2% as Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or Native American. Over 20% speak a language other than English at home. CRP is a necessary tool to construct healthier and humanizing classrooms, schools, and societies for all students, and to repay education debts owed to historically marginalized students (Ladson-Billings, 2006).
We work to understand the impact that the virtual exchange has on fellows’ understandings of culturally responsive pedagogy.
The post-survey will allow us to learn about the effectiveness of the exchange in preparing fellows to deploy CRP in their future classrooms.
In another study, students have journaled on their experiences with the virtual class visits. Going forward, we seek to integrate the study findings to devise ways to further enhance fellows’ understandings of CRP.
NITEP EEP Lead & Assistant Professor
NITEP EEP Lead & NV|Forward Post Doctoral Scholar
This EEP was made possible thanks to generous funding from the Nevada Institute on Educator Preparation (NITEP) and the Nevada Institute on Educator Preparation, Retention, & Research (NIEPRR).