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#TIES17 Ken Shelton: Designing A Culturally Relevant & Responsive Pedagogy

Ken Shelton followed up his Monday Keynote with a session on Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy.

Shelton noted that there are many instances where students are funneled to different classes based on gender and skin color/ethnicity.

In his experience, he was the only person of color in the AP and upper level classes when he was in high school. This is his story. What are the stories of the students coming in to our schools?

Game of Phones- (Nice tech infused Community Building activity)

  1. Introduce self
  2. Last picture taken-That's appropriate! Context
  3. Group Chooses top photo
The talk had 3 main parts:

  1. Culture
  2. Learning
  3. Technology
Much of this talk is based on the work of Pedro Nogieri.
The addition that Shelton makes to this work is technology, as he believes that today it is not culturally relevant not to include it!

In school, he wanted to be in the front, but was always told to go in back.
If instruction is only happening in front, that is a problem.
If raising your hand is the only way you'll get called on, 85% of the people called on will be in front. 
He used a back channel to encourage EVERYONE to contribute to the conversation.

If students don't have hope, they will not be successful.

5 Characteristics of a Culturally Relevant Teacher
  1. Socially Conscious-If you're not on social media or aware of how they communicate and make connections, you aren't relevant.
  2. Students backgrounds are ASSETS, not liabilities!
  3. Identify/Create a moral imperative that EVERY student can be successful.
  4. Know your students lives
  5. Technology-What do we have access to to make learning contemporary and relevant!

Are we designing lessons for the high acheivers, low achievers, or are we making it possible for every student to be a part of a shared learning experience in accordance with their needs?

Adaptable Learning Environments
Is there a prescribed formula for success? If a "rubric" is a prescribed formula...Shelton says that won't cut it. The high flyers will only do the minimum. It MUST be adaptable! The intended learning outcome must have multiple pathways for the student to demonstrate mastery.

Equity-Giving people what they need based on their individual needs
Equality-Giving everyone the same thing

6 Themes of Culturally Relevant Education
Engagement- where the student is
Relationships- what kind are we encouraging and modeling? With peers, too! 
Cultural Identity- What do I identify as my culture and how does it fit into the learning environment?
Vulnerability- Am I willing to make a mistake and own them?
Asset Focused Factors- Students backgrounds are assets not liabilities
Rigor- Higher order thinking  and deeper learning

He then asked us to fill out this form with a partner. All but the last one seemed fairly clear.

For question 1, Shelton notes, you can't have Rigor without Engagement!! In some cases there are multiple options.

Merging the use of educational technologies with culturally responsive learning experiences to help students develop essential skills!

Shelton noted that learning about stories (Fables and Myths) requires tying in to cultural relevant themes. 

  • Game of Phones was an example of Cultural Identity, Engagement and Collaboration.
  • The backchannel combines engagement and cultural relevance for many in the audience.

Tequity Assets- is a link to resources Shelton shared.

He encouraged us to take a look at a current lesson and use the Techquity lens to see how it might be improved and share out with the world!
Here is the transcript of the backchannel.


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