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Saturday / September 23

Equity and Cultural Proficiency Reading List

Books on Equity and Cultural Proficiency have been one of the hallmarks of Corwin’s publishing program, and we take pride in publishing some of the brightest thought leaders in educational equity. This month you’ll hear from many of them, and we invite you to explore our other blog posts on Equity. To get you started, we’ve put together this list of essential reading in Equity and Cultural Proficiency.

Equity and Cultural Proficiency Reading List:

Opening Doors: An Implementation Template for Cultural Proficiency by Trudy Arriaga and Randall B. Lindsey

In spite of Brown vs. Board of Education, true integration and corresponding equality of educational opportunity is still far from reality in American schools.

Opening Doors tells the story of Ventura Unified School District’s successful implementation of cultural proficiency, which opened long-closed doors for marginalized students and returned gains on every key success metric. Most importantly, it will empower you to do the same for your school or district.

“The book is full of compassion, conviction and hope—pure heart, pure corazón—in the quest to tackle inequality and the opportunity gap head on.” – Gilberto Q. Conchas, Professor of Educational Policy and Social Context, School of Education, University of California, Irvin

Fish Out of Water by Kikanza Nuri-Robins and Lewis Bundy

“Fish out of water” are those who don’t fit in the mainstream culture, often due to sexual orientation, gender identity, ableness, income level, or ethnicity. This book focuses on survival and adaptation strategies for fish out of water as well as those who teach, supervise, and collaborate with them. It also helps people who are not Fish Out of Water to create environments that support those who might be Fish out of Water.

“Fish Out of Water made me think. It is a courageous attempt at the difficult subject of who ‘doesn’t fit’ into the spaces and places we inhabit—and why. But the most valuable part of this book is that it describes what we can do about making our schools, workplaces, and communities more inclusive, and ultimately more effective.” – Nicki King, Reducing Mental Health Disparities Project, University of California, Davis

An RTI Guide to Improving the Performance of African American Students by Dwayne D. Williams

Research shows that students of color learn best in classrooms that reflect their cultural values. This breakthrough book shows educators how to create culturally relevant RTI models that help diverse students thrive!

Step-by-step, you’ll learn to skillfully apply 4 core characteristics critical to culturally responsive instruction: communalism, movement expressiveness, orality, and verve.

“This book presents salient and provocative ideas with regards to teaching the way students learn.  These ideas are not readily spoken about in teacher preparation programs or in schools. This book provides an avenue to discuss the ways African American students learn best.”– Lydia Adegbola, Assistant Principal, NYC Department of Education

Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond

The achievement gap remains a stubborn problem for educators of culturally and linguistically diverse students. With the introduction of the rigorous Common Core State Standards, diverse classrooms need a proven framework for optimizing student engagement and facilitating deeper learning

Culturally responsive pedagogy has shown great promise in meeting this need, but many educators still struggle with its implementation. In this book, Zaretta Hammond draws on cutting-edge neuroscience research to offer an innovative approach for designing and implementing brain-compatible culturally responsive instruction.

“Drawing on the research from neuroscience Zaretta Hammond explains what we should have known all along – all children are capable of higher order thinking and capable of producing intellectually advanced work if provided the opportunity to learn by caring and capable adults. Hammond does more than explain the research. Drawing on years of experience in schools as an educator and trainer, she shows how this can be done even in schools that have grown accustomed to failure. At a time when the nation is searching to find ways to close the racial achievement gap, this book will be an invaluable resource.” – Pedro Noguera, Professor, NYU, Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools

Excited to Learn: Motivation and Culturally Responsive Teaching by Margery Ginsberg

Most experts agree that student motivation and engagement are critical components of teaching and learning. Yet both are vulnerable to distraction. Effective instructional planning is also motivational planning!

Excited to Learn begins with background on intrinsic motivation. Next, it introduces the motivational framework for culturally responsive teaching, the foundation of award-winning schools throughout the United States and abroad.  Then it provides specific strategies that can be adapted to different subject areas and developmental levels. The epilogue provides guidelines for adult learning and includes an activity to introduce the book to teachers.

“How can you work with classroom dynamics to increase your culturally diverse students’ investment in learning? In this theoretically sound and immensely practical guide, Margery Ginsberg offers teachers a clear framework loaded with wonderful hands-on activities that have the power to change how teachers and students relate to each other and to academic learning. This book is designed to enable teachers to unlock their students’ inner motivation and reach the students teachers find most challenging.”- Christine Sleeter, Professor Emerita, California State University Monterey Bay

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Written by

Ariel is the Acquisitions Editor for Technology and General Methods at Corwin, and editor of Corwin Connect. When not working, you can usually find Ariel doing yoga at the beach, reading with a glass of wine, or writing a book review on her blog, One Little Library.

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