For all Dearborn Public school students to be taught well and achieve academically, educators need to understand and respond to the dynamics of culture in their school environment. That is what the 3D Community teachers experienced in “Cultural Proficiency—Are we there yet?”. Teachers worked together on the Cultural Proficiency Continuum, Guiding Principles, and the Essential Elements of Cultural Proficiency to construct a school plan for students, teachers, and administrators. “You cannot be truly proficient as a learner, educator, or institution until you are culturally proficient.”
In a second session, participants examined what it means to be a refugee and the journey refugees take before they enter our school system. A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. The participants explored how Culturally Responsive Teaching impacts students academically and socio-emotionally. Each participant defined their own values to understand that empathy is key to building positive and successful relationships.
A third session focused on understanding our culturally diverse students by taking a look at what happens when their home culture and school culture interact. Participants developed an understanding of their own cultural histories and the role that plays in the implementation of culturally responsive practices for social and academic success. Looking at events from different perspectives served as a starting point for examining the mismatch between culturally diverse home cultures and US school culture in order to support the advancement of educational equity in the classroom.