Michigan Education Association

Checklist can indicate if schools are responsive to student needs

Culture is central to learning. It plays a role in communicating and receiving information and also in shaping the thinking process of groups and individuals.

Is your school/community college/university responsive to the different cultural experiences and needs of its students?

This list is intended to heighten the awareness and sensitivity of school employees to the importance of cultural diversity and cultural competence in the education setting. It reflects characteristics of culturally responsive schools.

If you respond affirmatively to each item, you likely work in a school that fosters an environment that works hard to be inclusive. If you respond negatively to an item, it may mean that your school has work to do to better meet student needs.

  • The teachers, support staff and administrators have high expectations and positive attitudes toward all students.

  • The formalized curriculum reflects the experiences, cultures and perspectives of a range of cultural and ethnic groups.

  • The teaching styles used by the teachers match the learning styles of the students.

  • The school and its employees show respect for the student’s first language and dialect(s).

  • The materials used for developing school events should offer perspectives from diverse cultures.

  • The assessment and testing procedures used in the school are culturally sensitive.

  • The school culture and hidden curriculum (as evidenced by staff attitudes, texts, bulletin boards, etc.) reflect cultural and ethnic diversity.

  • The school counselors have high expectations for students and guide them accordingly.

  • The school has an effective plan for the effective involvement of parents in the schools.

  • The district has a policy/practice for embedding human rights in the curriculum—and this practice is effectively communicated to the teaching and support staff.

Source: MEA Professional Development and Human Rights Department.

 

Updated: February 19, 2009 6:14 PM