George Lucas Educational Foundation
5-Minute Film Festival

5-Minute Film Festival: Culturally Responsive Teaching

As globalization continues, how can teachers address the needs of students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and upbringings? This collection of videos introduces culturally responsive teaching, and includes some techniques that you can use to help students from diverse backgrounds succeed together.

September 26, 2014
Your students might come from many different parts of the world.

The changing racial and cultural landscape of America is certainly a much-discussed topic -- some researchers studying U.S. Census data and demographics even say that America could be a "minority majority" country as early as 2050. While the barriers between countries continue to come down, and globalization continues, how can teachers address the needs of students from a variety of cultural backgrounds and upbringings? This collection of videos introduces culturally responsive teaching (CRT), and includes some techniques that you can use to help students from diverse backgrounds succeed together.

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Video Playlist: Culturally Responsive Teaching

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

  1. Valerie Purdie-Vaughns on Unintentional Bias (3:04)

    In this short video from Big Think, researcher Valerie Purdie-Vaughns explains how bias and assumptions can unconsciously affect the way you act. Although it's geared toward diversity awareness in the workplace, this is a good primer on cultural discrimination.

  2. Expanding Teacher Self-Knowledge (1:27)

    Since bias is often unconscious, one of the first things a culturally responsive teacher can do is be aware of assumptions about themselves and their students. This quick tip from the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance initiative explains the value of self-reflection.

  3. Office Chat: Culturally Responsive Teaching (9:24)

    In this interview, Dr. Kavatas Newell, a faculty member at the University of Mary Washington, introduces some initial ways that teachers can incorporate culturally responsive teaching methods into their classrooms. The audio quality here is a bit low, but the tips are worth it.

  4. The Danger of a Single Story (19:16)

    Author Chimamanda Adichie's amazing TED talk introduces "The Danger of a Single Story." Teaching students of other cultures may require that you look past familiar stories and narratives to find school materials that resonate with your students' experiences and lives.

  5. Building Trust With Families (14:12)

    Many students from other cultures are English-language Learners (ELL). Although this video is long at 14 minutes, the panel of teachers and principals organized by Colorin Colorado offers great tips for connecting with the families of ELLs.

  6. Recognizing Individual Characteristics (1:10)

    This quick video, also from the Teaching Tolerance initiative, reminds viewers to respect students' individuality, even as you learn more about cultural differences and introduce more responsive practices into the classroom.

  7. Education: Culture Matters (14:25)

    This video from the Kamehameha Schools showcases the importance of culturally responsive educational programs. Students from the native Hawaiian population thrive when they learn in programs that incorporate their cultural heritage and traditions.

More Resources on Culturally Responsive Teaching

Whether you've been teaching diverse learners for years, or you're just starting to think about how to incorporate CRT into your classroom, these organizations and articles can help.

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  • 5-Minute Film Festival
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Diversity
  • English-Language Learners
  • Family Engagement
  • All Grades