Cultural and indigenous relevant pedagogy

“Culturally responsive teaching is defined as using the cultural characteristics, experiences, and perspectives of ethnically diverse students as conduits for teaching them more effectively. It is based on the assumption that when academic knowledge and skills are situated within the lived experiences and frames of reference of students, they are more personally meaningful, have higher interest appeal, and are learned more easily and thoroughly.”

(Gay, 2000 in Gay, 2001)”

Five essential elements of culturally responsive teaching are (Gay, 2001):

  • developing a knowledge base about cultural diversity,
  • including ethnic and cultural diversity content in the curriculum,
  • demonstrating caring and building learning communities,
  • communicating with ethnically diverse students, and
  • responding to ethnic diversity in the delivery of instruction.

It facilitates effective teaching that is culturally supported and learner-centred context, whereby the strengths students bring to school are identified, nurtured, and utilized to promote student achievement (Richard, Brown & Forde, 2006).

Culturally responsive pedagogy comprises three dimensions: (a) institutional, (b) personal, and (c) instructional (Richard, Brown & Forde, 2006; Culturally responsive pedagogy, 2013):

a) Institutional dimension (administration, policies and values)

It is reflected through the planning and arranging of classrooms, learning space, policies on assignment the teachers to the specific classes and the community involvement and connection to the school.


Definition | Elements: Institutional dimension | Personal Dimension | Instructional Dimension

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