Principal Katie May this spring announced that “Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain” is the book all staff are encouraged to read for discussion and action in 2017-18.
The book’s website says that the author, Zaretta Hammond, uses neuroscience research to “offer an innovative approach for designing and implementing brain-compatible culturally responsive instruction.” Some examples of tips for this approach to teaching:
- Build authentic relationships. They are the on-ramp to engagement and learning.
- Use the brain’s memory systems for deeper learning. Connecting new content through music, movement, and visuals strengthens the neural pathways for comprehension.
- Acknowledge diverse students’ stress response from everyday micro-aggressions and help calm the brain.
- Use ritual, recitation, repetition, and rhythm as content processing power tools.
- Create a community of learners by building on students’ values of collaboration and connection. It creates intellectual safety, reducing stereotype threat.
Ms. Hammond’s Twitter account offers additional interesting material, Ms. May notes.