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Culturally Proficient Instruction

Culturally Proficient Instruction
A Guide for People Who Teach

Second Edition
Edited by:

February 2006 | 216 pages | Corwin
'The second edition of Culturally Proficient Instruction helps educators understand that profound and productive engagement with all learners is fundamental to successful teaching and learning. Authentic stories guide teachers through a professional journey into reflective practice while practical ideas suggest possible learning futures. Thoughtfully, readers are invited to replace well intentioned but culturally naïve practice with strategies that demonstrate skill and increase proficiency' - from the foreword by Rob Larson

'Culturally Proficient Instruction enables educators to act on the proposition that all children can learn and suggests knowable ways by which to achieve that goal. This book gives a context and voice to the notion that culturally proficient instructors add value and dignity to children's lives and a dimension of professionalism to their artistry as teachers and leaders' - from the foreword to the first edition by Rudolph F. Crew

Social justice, equity, closing the achievement gap, reaching all learners - these are the goals of today's educators, but how does one go about making these values a reality in classrooms? Thousands of educators have found the answer in the framework of cultural proficiency. Cultural proficiency provides educators with the tools to work effectively with those who differ from them. It doesn't mean that you know everything there is to know about others-rather, it is the self-awareness to know how you-because of your ethnicity, culture, and life experiences-may offend or otherwise affect others.

In this thoroughly updated edition of the best-selling book, the authors provide opportunities for teachers to reflect on who they are as teachers, who their learners are, and what they each bring to the classroom. Each chapter of this interactive resource contains reflective questions, reflective activities, and group work to take readers deeper into the process of cultural proficiency. The book can be used individually, in pairs, or in groups. A case study based on the the authors' extensive work in a variety of settings provides an opportunity for readers to see, hear, and feel what cultural proficiency looks like in practice.

About the Authors
1. What Is Cultural Proficiency
Getting Centered

Four Tools

Why Cultural Proficiency?

Our Vision of Multicultural Transformation

The Guiding Principles

Going Deeper

2. Culturally Competent Praxis
Getting Centered


Going Deeper

3. Culturally Proficient Standards
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

4. The Case for Cultural Proficiency
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

5. Barriers to Cultural Proficiency
Getting Centered

Entitlement and Resistance to Change

A Short Sociology Lesson

Barrier for Instructors

Going Deeper

6. The Cultural Proficiency Continuum
Getting Centered

Going Deeper

7. Assessing Your Culture: Naming the Differences
Getting Centered

The Essential Elements

Learning Styles and Culturally Proficient Instruction

Assessing Your Culture

Assessing Organizational Culture

Going Deeper

8. Valuing Diversity: Claiming the Differences
Getting Centered

An Intentional Act

A Sign of Respect


A Test in Stressful Times

Valuing Difference

Going Deeper

9. Managing the Dynamics of Difference: Reframing the Differences
Getting Centered

Mismanaging Conflict

Sources of Conflict

Strategies for Managing Conflict

Going Deeper

10. Adapting to Diversity: Training About Differences
Getting Centered

Commitment to Change

From a Christmas Party to a Winter Celebration

Learning Organizations

Communities of Practice

Going Deeper

11. Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge: Changing for Differences
Getting Centered

Learning About Cultures

A Process, Not an Event

What Difference Do You Make?

Going Deeper


"Culturally Proficient Instruction, Second Edition, provides a nonthreatening framework for educators to investigate their personal and collective beliefs and practices. It serves as an excellent tool to guide and promote an open discussion and examination of the diversity challenges facing our schools and communities."

From the Foreword by Philip C. McCullum, Director
Institute for Leadership and Diversity in Education, University of Oregon

"This is one of the best books I have read about instruction--period. The authors invite those who teach to look deeply inside themselves to engage in reflection, to enhance relationships, and to improve their practices in ways that enable all students to learn at high levels."

Gale Hulme, Director, Programs & Strategic Initiatives
Georgia's Leadership Institute for School Improvement

"Culturally Proficient Instruction, Second Edition, enables educators to act on the proposition that all children can learn, and suggests knowable ways by which to achieve that goal. This book gives a context and voice to the notion that culturally proficient instructors add value and dignity to children's lives, and a dimension of professionalism to their artistry as teachers and leaders."

From the Afterword by Rudolph F. Crew, Superintendent
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, FL

"Our entire management team has used Cultural Proficiency as a mind set for school improvement. In attempting to support schools who serve a large number of students of color focus on serving all students equitably, Cultural Proficiency has been a critical asset for our teams. Responding to the issues of race, culture, poverty, language, and disabilities is complex, overwhelming, and often an emotional task in many schools. The Cultural Proficiency Tools provide those of us involved in serving these schools a guide that helps lower anxiety, do what is right and just, and respond respectfully to the  schools and their communities."

Linda MacDonell, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services Division
Orange County Department of Education, CA

"Culturally Proficient Instruction doesn't happen by putting a diversity poster on the wall or saying, 'all kids can learn.' To change the culture and instruction at low-performing, diverse schools, educators must first look at themselves. This book, with a format that encourages and guides us through self reflection on the most important aspects of culture and diversity, is a lifeboat for those who really want to change the way we fail to educate all students."

Katie Curry, Principal
Tahoe Elementary School, Sacramento, CA

"Faculties interested in addressing cultural diversity and differences can use this volume as a study text."

Curriculum Connections, Fall 2006
School Library Journal

This edition updates and adds to the case so that it reflects changes in technology and in legal mandates effecting educational practices. There is an additional chapter on standards based education and its relationship to cultural proficiency. Each chapter begins with a quotation from one of the works in our references. References have been updated and expanded. The charts have been simplified for easier use and understanding. New material is added to the discussion of the four tools of cultural proficiency to reflect the authors' deeper understanding and greater use of the tools.

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

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ISBN: 9781412924313
ISBN: 9781412924306