Cultural Competence Case Study

This study was found in the journal article “(Re)Framing Diverse Pre-service Classrooms as Spaces for Culturally Relevant Teaching” written by Detra Price-Dennis & Mariana Souto-Manning

We feel that this study strongly displays the importance of cultural competence. This study followed one pre-service teacher’s student teaching journey as she aimed to use culturally relevant pedagogy. “While addressing the sanctioned curriculum, her goal was to go beyond mandates, to tailor the curriculum to her student’s lives, and to motivate and engage them in meaningful learning experiences” (Price-Dennis & Souto-Manning). One key way Jill did so was by building relationships, bringing in her students’ experiences/interests, and “re-centering silenced student voices and exploring issues that mattered to students” (Price-Dennis & Souto-Manning). “This study suggests that a curriculum for young people of color that enables them to examine their concerns about their world is an important factor in motivating students to achieve academic success’ (Price-Dennis & Souto-Manning).

Jill’s literacy practices could serve as a way teachers and education students viewing this tutoring system could aim to have culturally relevant pedagogy. “The lessons Jill created for her students centered on references to popular culture – emanating from their interests rather than from her expertise or preferences” (Price-Dennis & Souto-Manning). She used a variety of methods,  such as guided notes, arts-based projects, partner reading, and group projects (Price-Dennis & Souto-Manning). “Jill’s practices – even as a pre-service student teacher, a role traditionally bound by many constraints – moved away from calcified notions of the expert and embraced more democratic practices that challenged ethnocentric literacy practices” (Price-Dennis & Souto-Manning). Some examples of activities included, “Students created collages, made CD covers to represent their hopes and dreams, and participated in lessons designed to have them embody responses to texts and ideas from lessons” (Price-Dennis & Souto-Manning).” In conclusion, “the overall impact for the students was more space to carve out their interpretation of what they were learning – and to have their perspectives and voices heard” (Price-Dennis & Souto-Manning). Jill’s literacy practices provide good ideas that could be implemented into the classroom to positively impact students and develop culturally relevant pedagogy.