“But That’s Just Good Teaching! The Case For Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” Current Connection

The assigned reading, “But That’s Just Good Teaching! The Case For Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” by Gloria Ladson-Billings incorporates a myriad of important themes involving incorporating the idea of culturally relevant pedagogy into the classroom and curriculum. It references linking schooling and culture because the article suggests that if home life is linked with a student’s education then they will achieve more academic success because they will likely be more engaged in the material. In addition the concept of culturally relevant pedagogy is intertwined throughout the article through themes of academic success, cultural competence, and critical consciousness. This article challenges teachers to educate themselves on culturally relevant topics so they can educate their students. Understanding where a student came from and their interests will help create a bond and a sense of trust between the teacher and the student. By incorporating these ideas, students will be more understanding of the concepts because they can see implications of the content they are learning in their own lives. I think ultimately the main theme of “But That’s Just Good Teaching! The Case For Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” is that incorporating culturally relevant pedagogy into the classroom will best help students academically succeed and understand both the content and their culture better. 

The assigned reading employs a plethora of evidence, references, and numerical data to back up the author’s points. This helps the author gain reliability and credibility and overall proves that the points being made are true and further emphasizes them. For starters, the author includes a very extensive list of about 31 references. In my opinion this is a very good sign when looking at an article to have this many sources backing up an opinion. There are a wide variety of examples employed and I think the author effectively scatters them throughout the article. In particular, one example that stood out to me was the section titled “Linking School and Culture.” Each paragraph within this section discusses a few credible sources fighting for linking school and culture. Although they are different, they each build off of one another. I think this is more beneficial than just incorporating one source because it makes it appear more reliable when you have more people fighting for this idea. For example, within this section the author writes about Irvine’s analysis on “cultural synchronization” and then builds off of this by referencing Perry’s more recent analysis on this within a historical context. There are a myriad of examples just like this within the work but overall I think the author does an excellent job of incorporating examples to back up his major points. 

This article includes a few political, cultural, and ideological perspectives that stood out to me. I would first argue that this relates back to progressive education. This is because progressive education has a huge emphasis on learning things that will help you in life, rather than just a test. I think this is salient and similar because culturally relevant pedagogy additionally has an emphasis on learning things that relate back to your own life or culture, which is beneficial in the long run because it helps you better understand the material and your own culture. In addition, culturally relevant pedagogy is very hands-on in most of the examples we have discussed so I believe this also contributes to it being a form of progressive education. 

The article I chose to study for my current connection is called “Moving Culturally Relevant Pedagogy From Theory to Practice: Exploring Teachers’ Application of Culturally Relevant Education in Science and Mathematics” by Bryan A. Brown, Phillip Boda, Catherine Lemmi, and Xavier Monroe. I chose this article because it focuses particularly on incorporating culturally relevant pedagogy in math and science which I found particularly engaging. The article discusses how They want teachers to “rethink science and mathematics to build relationships between students, faculty, and the community.” The authors believe that because social justice oriented goals are not introduced at a young age, it is harder for students to understand them and feel normal talking about them when they are older. By intertwining these concepts into education early on they will be more inclined to be more educated on culturally relevant ideology later on. The authors continue to say that, “the focus is on STEM as a culture of indoctrination rather than the culture of the students’ lives as valuable areas of inquiry.” The study includes many examples of ways in which teachers incorporated culturally relevant pedagogy successfully. One example talks about the inclusion of “weak cultural ties” into word problems. For one student, they made the variables of a math problem Gucci shoes and gift cards and this engaged the student’s interests. In another example, a science teacher connects science to culture by teaching students about melanin. This knowledge encouraged the students to value the darkness of their skin while also learning something scientific. These are direct examples of how to include culturally relevant pedagogy in education like Gloria Ladson-Billings suggested in our assigned reading. 


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