Sunday, 9 April 2017

An Attempt to Breakdown Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (or Practice) is something I have wanted to explore for a while. I felt that I didn't really understand what it actually was, and whether or not I demonstrated a culturally responsive practice. 

I thought this would be insightful, for my 100th blogpost!

After our Teacher Only Day on the 27th of March, a couple of readings and additional support and discussions I now feel a little more comfortable with CRP.

Steven Rowe facilitated our discussion about Culturally Responsive Pedagogy for our Teacher Only Day, and shaped most of the session around The Guiding Principles of Ka Hikitia. These five principles (Treaty of Waitangi, Māori potential approach, Ako, Identity, language and cultures count, and Productive partnerships) encompass key aspects of teaching and learning with Māori students. Essentially, these are foundations of CRP, so can be applied to teaching and learning with all cultures. 

Some of the key things from the principles which helped me to understand CRP are;
  • The importance of caring for the learners, their backgrounds and stories
  • The need for high expectations of our students, irrespective of their culture (additionally breaking down any possible stereotypes)
  • Learning is a two-way street, therefore there is no position of power in the classroom because the teachers are learning from the students too
  • Exploring words/terms in other languages can help make sense of the English terms
  • Teaching and learning needs to extend into whānau/the wider community
We also discussed a research article/personal account written by Annie Siope (2013). Siope explores her thoughts and experiences as a Pacific person in education, positioned around her understanding of CRP. I found this article incredibly interesting, complementing the guiding principles, and you can see my take-aways from the article here.

Steven also showed us this clip, as food for thought...

An additional article, Te Tiriti o Waitangi - living the values, discusses how we are all including The Treaty of Waitangi into our practice due to the 'three P's', which also align with the guiding principles and Siope's findings; 

Partnership: Working together with Māori whānau/communities at all levels of education, such as feedback from students to improve teaching and learning, or students co-constructing units/lessons with their teachers.

Protection: Actively demonstrating a commitment to the protection of Māori culture and cultural values, such as the normalisation of Te Reo within the school.

Participation: An emphasis on positive involvement of Māori within the school, such as strengthening the home-school partnership.

I have also been privileged to have had presentations from a Māori teacher, and a Tongan teacher about their experiences, as part of my Provisionally Certified Teachers support meeting. As part of the Twitter chat I co-moderate, we attempted to discuss what CRP too (see our discussion here). Therefore, there are considerable resources to help shape our understanding of culturally responsive pedagogy and how we can demonstrate within our practice. 


  1. Great to see you addressing this challenge. I have heard of a great example where a classics class did javelin and discuss to reflect on olympics. away in can be kinaesthetic learning.

    1. Thanks for the comment Dave, sounds fun! I think learning styles are still great to consider when teaching and learning, even thought it has ben suggested that learning styles are a myth! I guess this also relates to the need to be culturally responsive related to the students in front of us!


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