Re: [xmca] Culturally relevant curriculum and overall school performance

From: Kevin Rocap (
Date: Mon Jan 29 2007 - 07:56:29 PST

Dear Paul,

Hi! Thanks for clarifying your current need. Here are some quick
points, but I'm sure this is not news to you, just one way to start
thinking about how to marshall support for the effort.

(1) First off multicultural education, including planning for
culturally-responsive teaching and learning is not only a
strategy/method or an instrumental approach to "better outcomes" (as
defined by whom, of course ;-)). It is a values orientation toward who
should help to get to determine what it is important to know, value and
be able to do in education, no? Alaskan Natives and other groups in the
U.S. tend to get whatever attention they get to their cultural education
issues based on their "tribal autonomy", "treaty rights" or their
"special relationship with the U.S. government". These rather than
proof of better outcomes tends to drive policy and practice in this
arena, imho. Are there any articulated rights for Quechua-Spanish
populations on which to base this aspect of a policy imperative?

(2) That said, you likely have to speak to some policy makers who might
only be moved by promise of "better outcomes". In that case I think it
is important to keep a clear story that there is an ethical imperative
for multi/cross-cultural education and that yes an important part of
that is the potential for better outcomes. Here the wider literature on
learning is useful as developing culturally-sensitive materials clearly
speaks to issues of student motivation, students seeing themselves in
the curriculum, the relevance of the learning activities and the
importance of accessing and activating students' prior knowledge. So
these are findings and arguments that don't only come from the arena of
multicultural education research but from wider theories and research on
teaching and learning, no?

These two points may be stating the obvious, my apologies, just wanted
to throw them out there as one frame or direction.

In Peace,

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