In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Culturally Responsive Teacher Education in the United States

  • Introduction
  • CRTE Books and Journals
  • Commission and Foundation Reports

Education Culturally Responsive Teacher Education in the United States
Daniel Soodjinda, Nat Hansuvadha, Marquita Grenot-Scheyer
  • LAST MODIFIED: 21 January 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0130


Those involved in educator preparation understand that a caring and competent teacher for each and every student is of paramount importance. Support for this premise comes from numerous scholars and educators as well as a number of commission and foundation reports. While there is general agreement regarding the qualities of an effective and caring educator, the same is not true regarding how to develop, prepare, support, and evaluate these educators. In this article, Culturally Responsive Teacher Education (CRTE) is defined as an educator preparation model that results in educators who can effectively teach all students. The simplicity of this definition does not reveal the underlying complexity of the actual endeavor, and this article will provide the reader with resources to unpack this multifaceted framework. As challenging as the complexity of teacher preparation may be, schools need teachers and other educators who are well prepared for the increasingly complex and diverse student population. Further, diversity extends beyond race, language, and socioeconomic status to be inclusive of ability, as more and more students with disabilities are educated alongside typical peers in general education classrooms. Students with disabilities are not defined by a single social construct or identity marker of diversity. Rather, disability exists within the larger framework of demographics, which includes race, culture, language, and social class. It is essential for those responsible for educator preparation to think about the whole enterprise of our work, including the beliefs and values of the candidates we prepare, the nature of their content and pedagogical preparation, the ways in which they collaborate to support student success, their understanding and use of various instructional strategies, and their understanding and use of assessment and evaluation practices. Therefore, CRTE comprises five facets: dispositions, content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, collaboration, effective instruction, and formative and summative assessment and progress monitoring. This bibliography begins with a list of seminal books, as well as foundation and policy reports and then followed by a discussion of CRTE with citations and annotations related to the five dimensions of CRTE.

CRTE Books and Journals

There are numerous books regarding how to develop and support teachers and other educators for contemporary diverse schools, and the list below represents some of the books (plus one special journal issue) that have been most influential in the development of this CRTE bibliography. The CRTE model builds upon the work of many noted researchers and scholars and brings together literature from a variety of disciplines and research bases, including teacher education, multicultural education, and special education. Throughout this literature, the importance of collaboration among educators and families is a consistent and important thread. Multicultural education is at the foundation of many educator preparation programs, and Banks and Banks 2013 has helped to shape our collective understanding of the importance of ensuring educational equity for all students. Tharp and Gallimore 1988 describes several theoretical perspectives that are key to approaching teaching and learning from a social context. Several scholars emphasize the importance of social justice in schools. Delpit 1995 explores the power imbalances in contemporary urban schools and the resulting impact on children of color in the United States. Gay 2010 provides a framework for culturally responsive teaching, connecting theory and practice to ensure that teachers understand that curriculum and pedagogy must be filtered through the experiences of the students themselves to ensure educational equity for all students, especially students of color. Ladson-Billings 1994 describes the stories and experiences of eight successful teachers who inspire, affirm, and strengthen the cultural identity of their students. Darling-Hammond and her colleagues have made substantial contributions that have helped to shape educational policy in the United States and beyond (see Darling-Hammond and Bransford 2005). Her work has resulted in a collective understanding of what educators need to know and should be able to do, and is at the foundation of many educator preparation programs. Villegas and Lucas 2002 proposes a coherent framework for the development of culturally responsive teachers that builds upon principles of social justice. The tenets, recommendations, and framework presented by these authors continue to be relevant to our increasingly diverse schools. The importance of collaboration with families is a consistently strong recommendation in the field of educator preparation and the work of Harry 1992 (cited under Collaboration with Families); Harry and Day 1999; and Delgado-Gaitan 2004 provide both research-based and practice strategies for strengthening partnerships with families to ensure the success of their children. Finally, there is an emerging research base that underlies educator preparation programs. Cochran-Smith, et al. 2008 provides a comprehensive resource regarding foundational issues that should be addressed in educator preparation programs. National Research Council 2010 is a study of several areas of teacher preparation that found many gaps in the knowledge base and provides important recommendations regarding subject matter preparation.

  • Banks, James A., and Cherry A. McGee Banks. 2013. Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives. 8th ed. New York: John Wiley.

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    These American leaders in the field of multicultural education have been instrumental in assisting educators to create equal educational opportunities for all students from diverse ethnic social classes and cultural groups. They define multicultural education as a field of study designed to increase educational equity for all students that incorporates, content, concepts, principles, theories, and paradigms from history, the social and behavioral sciences, and ethnic and women’s studies.

  • Cochran-Smith, M., S. Feiman-Nemser, D. J. McIntyre, and K. E. Demers. 2008. Handbook of research on teacher education. 3d ed. New York: Association of Teacher Educators and the Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

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    This is the third edition of the handbook published by the Association of Teacher Educators in the United States. This comprehensive and thoughtful resource identifies and then explores in detail nine foundational issues in teacher education and is an important contribution to our understanding of what teachers need to know and what they should be able to do.

  • Darling-Hammond, L., and J. Bransford, eds. 2005. Preparing teachers for a changing world: What teachers should learn and be able to do. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    This edited volume is the result of the work of the Committee on Teacher Education of the National Academy of Education in the United States. The book provides key foundational knowledge regarding teacher preparation curriculum and pedagogy that can be used by both pre-service (in preparation) and in-service (practicing) educator preparation programs.

  • Delgado-Gaitan, C. 2004. Involving Latino families in schools: Raising student achievement through home-school partnerships. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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    Dr. Delgado-Gaitan is an award-winning ethnographer researcher and professor of sociocultural studies in education at the University of California Davis. She has been an influential voice in the national conversation in the United States regarding strategies for working with disenfranchised families and communities toward their own empowerment. This noted author provides practical strategies for facilitating communication with Latino families to support academic achievement of their children.

  • Delpit, Lisa. 1995. Other people’s children. New York: New Press.

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    Collection of essays exploring the power imbalances in contemporary urban schools and the resulting impact on children of color in the United States. The author makes a cogent case that if we are to succeed in improving education for students of color, the power differentials that exist between schools, families, and communities must be recognized and addressed.

  • Gay, Geneva. 2010. Culturally responsive teaching, theory and practice. 2d ed. New York: Teachers College Press.

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    Geneva Gay is a highly regarded American educator and scholar whose work focuses on the intersection of race, ethnicity, and teaching and learning. This book provides compelling rationale and practical examples regarding the importance of addressing the needs of students of color and emphasizes the importance of ensuring that curriculum and pedagogy is filtered through the experiences of the students themselves.

  • Harry, Maya Kalyanpur, and Monimalika Day. 1999. Building cultural reciprocity with families: Case studies in special education. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

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    In this book, the “posture of cultural reciprocity,” is described. This model suggests that educational professionals should understand and learn about both their own cultural backgrounds as well as their students and their families, and “lean towards” these families in their collaborative efforts. Professionals must first develop their own cultural self-awareness in order to better understand the needs, priorities, and dreams of their students and families.

  • Ladson-Billings, Gloria. 1994. The Dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American Children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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    Through the stories and experiences of eight successful teachers, Dr. Ladson-Billings describes how teachers can become dream makers rather than “dream-takers.” That is, how teachers can inspire, affirm, and strengthen the cultural identify of their students. Written in three “voices,” this book is a fine combination of scholarship and storytelling that will impact future teachers in powerful ways.

  • National Research Council. 2010. Preparing teachers: Building evidence for sound policy. Committee on the Study of Teacher Preparation Programs in the United States, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

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    The Council charged the committee with responding to several areas of teacher preparation: type of instruction and experiences nature of required coursework and experiences in mathematics and science; and models that might result in valid and reliable information regarding the content knowledge, pedagogical competence, and effectiveness of teacher education graduates. The study found many gaps in the knowledge base and provides important recommendations regarding subject matter preparation.

  • Pugach, Marleen C., Linda P. Blanton, and Lani Florian, eds. 2012. Special issue: Diversity frameworks in teacher education: Building new bridges across communities. Journal of Teacher Education 63.4.

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    This is useful in understanding the CRTE enterprise described in this article. The scholars who contributed to this issue bring together ideas from bilingual education, special education, multicultural education, urban education, and social justice education, and help to make the connections across these historically disparate fields.

  • Tharp, Roland G., and Ronald Gallimore. 1988. Rousing minds to life. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    The authors describe several theoretical perspectives, including an integrationist theory of development, a theory of teaching, a general theory of schooling in which all members of an organization are viewed as learners and teachers, and a theory of literacy that is developed and understood through social context. They also provide examples of theory into practice from the demonstration school, the Kamehameha Elementary Education Program (KEEP).

  • Villegas, Ana Marie, and Tamara Lucas. 2002. Educating culturally responsive teachers. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.

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    The authors propose a coherent framework for the development of culturally responsive teachers that builds upon principles of social justice. Components of this framework include a focus on issues of diversity a constructivist perspective, alignment of instructional practices to reflect these conceptions, and institutional infrastructures to support and sustain the curriculum and instructional practices.

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