Culturally Responsive Instruction

Published: 12/12/2017 11:36 AM

Articles and Lesson Plans for Culturally Responsive Instruction

​According to Dr. Matthew Lynch (2011) culturally responsive instruction is, “a student-centered approach to teaching in which the students' unique cultural strengths are identified and nurtured to promote student achievement and a sense of well-being about the student's cultural place in the world.” There are several components to a well-structured culturally inviting classroom. Patricia Schmidt (2005), author of Culturally Responsive Instruction: Promoting Literacy in Secondary Content Areas, states that these are:

  • High expectations
  • Positive relationships with families and community
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Active teaching methods
  • Teacher as facilitator
  • Student control of portions of the lesson
  • Instruction around group and pairs
As referenced by the Standards and Indicators for School Improvement, specifically in Standard 3.1a, varied instructional strategies should be used in all classrooms. Standard 3.1c also indicates that instructional strategies and activities should be consistently monitored and aligned with diverse student populations, and should be responsive to the varying cultural needs of students. Differentiation is an essential component to Tier 1 Response to Intervention and should be embedded in core classroom instruction for all students. It is a key component of improving instruction in response to the needs of all learners, thus addressing achievement gaps for targeted populations of students. For more information on closing achievement gaps, please see Guidelines for Closing the Gaps for All Students.
How can I be a culturally inclusive educator?    (Schmidt, 2005)
  1. Create a classroom culture that is welcoming for all learners
  2. Provide student choice on assignments
  3. Create lessons that connect the content to your students’ culture and daily lives
  4. Present content in multiple forms (videos, manipulatives, etc.)
  5. Intentionally address visual, tactile, and auditory learners in lessons
  6. Allow students to collaborate and work in groups
  7. Communicate and work with parents/guardians on a regular basis (email distribution lists, newsletters, phone calls, notes, meetings, etc.)
  8. Use instructional materials that relate to a variety of cultures
  9. Students support each other for the success of the entire class
  10. Include multiple question formats on assessments
Lesson Planning Resources: 
Lesson Plans/Activities:
Videos from Edivation:
Lynch, M. (December, 2011). What is culturally responsive pedagogy? Retrieved from
Schmidt, P.R. (December, 2005).  Culturally responsive instruction: Promoting literacy in secondary content areas. Retrieved from
Jennifer Pusateri
Office of Teaching and Learning
Differentiated Learning Branch
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4970
Fax (502) 564-6470