How do we better serve our racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students who have persistent learning and behavior problems?

Question: How do we better serve our racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students who have persistent learning and behavior problems? 

AnswerSo I think today, one of our most pressing questions is, “How do we better serve our racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students who are struggling, who have persistent learning and behavior problems?” And when I respond to that question, I think about the need to examine the strategies that we are utilizing through a cultural lens. What does that mean? It means we need to understand the background of our students, their family lives, the communities in which they dwell and incorporate in the teaching and learning process their culture. For example, for those students’ who are struggling with literacy, it is critical that we utilize culturally responsive children’s books, books not just for children, but for children ages K-12, that have stories that capture their lives experiences. We have found through the use of culturally responsive literacy materials that it increases their attention, their comprehension, and they are more motivated to want to read. In addition to that, working with our families, I don’t know any family who doesn’t want their children to succeed. Asking those parents or guardians what their hopes and dreams and expectations are for their child really helps to get them onboard. That in itself is being culturally responsive. Taking time to walk around the community in which the children live, to ask the students what their likes and dislikes are and taking that information and incorporating it in their lesson plan development is also very helpful. 

Developed By: 
National Center on Intensive Intervention