Culturally Responsive Classrooms: Closing the Achievement Gap

By Tyrone Tanner, Douglas Hermond, Mathias R. Vairez Jr., Leslie Larchin and Carol McCree.

Published by The International Journal of Diverse Identities

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In many countries, there appears to be a persistent academic achievement gap between historically marginalized groups and those viewed as part of the dominant society. Many theorists rationalize this phenomenon with beliefs propagated through economic analysis (Culture of Poverty) and/or Cultural Capital. Theorist of this school assert that some groups simply do not possess the necessary cultural capital to attain high levels of academic achievement., Although many researchers in the United States hold similar views, the researchers of this study have examined and implemented effective educational approaches and theories that ameliorate academic gaps among diverse learners and historically marginalized groups. Using several such theories, as identified in Culturally Responsive Educational Theories, a survey was developed and administered in the United States to measure an educator’s initial level of Cultural Responsiveness, followed by their perception of Cultural Responsiveness after being exposed to Culturally Responsive trainings (Tanner and Frank, 2013). On average, educators in the United States experienced growth after the trainings, moving from low to high levels of Cultural Responsiveness (See Table 3); however, there was still significant opportunity for growth, particularly in the areas of trust building, expectations, locus of control, and learning styles. The research has significant implications for educators desiring to experience academic growth with all learners; particularly, diverse learners who may be viewed as being part of historically marginalized groups.

Keywords: Education, Cultural Responsive Pedagogy, Achievement Gap, Diverse Learners, Historically Marginalized Groups, Academic Achievement, Teacher Efficacy, Pygmalion Effect, Cultural Ecology, Learning Styles, Resilience

The International Journal of Diverse Identities, Volume 15, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 172.639KB).

Dr. Tyrone Tanner

Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling, College of Education, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, USA

Dr. Douglas Hermond

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling, College of Education, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, USA

Mathias R. Vairez Jr.

Prairie View A & M University

Dr. Leslie Larchin

Doctoral Student, Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling, College of Education, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas, USA

Carol McCree

Associate Professor