hand diversity

When most people hear the phrase “culturally responsive teaching,” they might imagine a middle school teacher rapping a song about exponents, or an interaction between the students and teacher involving chants about the lesson.  Zaretta Hammond, the author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, explains that culturally responsive teaching is actually incorporating strategies that members of a student’s community or family would normally use to teach nonacademic lessons.  This technique is what can make lessons more relatable for minority students by triggering the brain’s memory system to turn what they hear into practical knowledge.  For example, many different racial groups rely heavily on oral tradition, so by allowing students to present a narrative about the topic, it is more likely that the information will stick with them.  The purpose of culturally responsive teaching is not to make teachers “entertain” their students with somewhat random motivation techniques in order to keep them focused.  I believe it is important for students to recognize how they learn best so that they can learn efficiently in the classroom and practice diligently outside of the classroom. Hammond’s research strongly support practices that resemble a student’s cultural learning styles.