The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast, Episode 78 Transcript
Jennifer Gonzalez, host
GONZALEZ: The term “culturally responsive teaching” has been around for decades, but it seems to have gotten more attention in recent years. That’s good news: With our classrooms growing more diverse every year, teachers should be more interested in how they can best teach students who come from different backgrounds.
The not-so-good news is that in some cases, teachers think they’re practicing culturally responsive teaching, when in fact, they’re kind of not. Or at least they’re not quite there. And that means students who might really thrive under different conditions are surviving at best. We all want to do better for these students, but how to do it still hasn’t become common knowledge.
To move the needle forward a bit more, I invited Zaretta Hammond onto the podcast. I have admired Zaretta’s work for a few years now; she’s the author of the 2015 book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. In the book, she provides a neuroscience-based teaching framework that goes beyond surface changes to really build cognitive capacity in our students from diverse backgrounds. When I read it, I realized that true culturally responsive teaching definitely isn’t as simple as I thought it was. It’s much more holistic. In fact, in most cases, it wouldn’t even “look” culturally responsive to an outside observer.
And that tendency to oversimplify is part of the problem.
In this episode, Zaretta and I look carefully at four common misconceptions some educators have about culturally responsive teaching. Regardless of where you are in your own understanding of this subject, this conversation should help you refine it a bit more. When you’re done, I would encourage you to come over to the site, share your thoughts in the comments, and explore some of Zaretta’s other resources, because although this episode will help you understand what culturally responsive teaching is not, there’s plenty more to learn about what it is. So come over to Cult of Pedagogy, click on podcast, then go to episode 78 and you’ll find a summary of our conversation, a full transcript, and links to other resources.
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Okay, here is my interview with Zaretta Hammond.
GONZALEZ: I would like to welcome Zaretta Hammond to the podcast, welcome.
HAMMOND: Thank you. It’s good to be here.
GONZALEZ: It’s strange that you’re on here for the first time, because we’ve sort of worked together several times in the past. I reviewed your book a couple years ago, and you wrote a guest post for me, but I have not actually had you on the podcast. So I’m really excited. This is a good time for it, I think.
HAMMOND: Yeah, I think so too, and I’m glad that we were able to do this.
GONZALEZ: Yeah. So just tell the listeners a little bit about who you are, what your background is, what is the work that you’ve been doing lately.
HAMMOND: Yeah, I am a teacher by my initial training. I was a composition teacher when I was in the classroom, so I taught expository writing at the middle school, high school, and community college levels. That was back in the day. I then transitioned out of the classroom to become a teacher educator, to literally work shoulder-to-shoulder with teachers as they were thinking about their practice around literacy and equity. So literacy training is my background, helping teachers make sure that kids are reading on grade level, that kind of thing. That’s kind of what transitioned me into writing more about culturally responsive practices, because that’s what I was doing in the classroom to get results. I was sharing with teachers how they can integrate that into their subject areas. Currently what I do, I work with schools that want to go deep and really change their practice, so we use an inquiry method and really look at how they can implement, successfully, culturally responsive practices.
GONZALEZ: Got it. And you also wrote a book a couple of years ago now about culturally responsive teaching. I think it’s such a great book, because you actually intersect the idea of culturally responsive teaching with neuroscience.
HAMMOND: Yeah. And the intersection, I think, was necessary, because there was a lot of misconception about what culturally responsive teaching is, back then when I started this work some 20 years ago, and even now there are still misconceptions of what it is. So I’m excited that we’ll get to talk about that, but I think the neuroscience helps people understand why it works.
HAMMOND: That it’s not just magic.
GONZALEZ: It seems like in this past year I’ve seen more and more uses of the term “culturally responsive teaching,” and a lot of the places where I’m seeing it, it seems to be a little off from what it really should be and if it’s going to actually work. So maybe we should start with just sort of your definition of what is culturally responsive teaching, and what is the issue that you’re seeing out there in terms of misconceptions?
HAMMOND: Yeah. And equally, I’d love for you to share kind of what you’ve been seeing that leads you to believe it’s off so that we can kind of unpack some of that. But here’s culturally responsive teaching: It is how do we build the capacity of diverse students to have intellectual confidence and grow their brainpower. What that means is the focus of culturally responsive teaching is raising academic success, that’s what Gloria Ladson-Billings had at the center of her work when she actually coined the term and started bringing various strands of educational theory and practice together. Culturally responsive teaching is not just about building relationships or some of the other things we’re going to get into, but it really is about improving the academic achievement of students.
HAMMOND: I think the misconceptions come in how it actually does that. People keeping achievement at the center is, I think, really the key thing.
GONZALEZ: Okay. Let’s take a quick look at the term “diverse” too. I remember you and I kind of wrestled for a while with even what to title certain blog posts, because there’s a strong reaction to the term “at-risk” because it’s built on a deficit. I know that when I’ve put out some links to your earlier posts about diverse students, I get pushback about that also, because people say, “What do you mean ‘diverse’? What does that mean exactly?” It’s hard, especially in something like a tweet, to come up with quick language to really communicate what you mean by “diverse students.” Could you unpack that a little bit?
HAMMOND: Yeah. I think that’s a really good point. I use the word “diverse” simply because a lot of school districts are using it, not because I’m wedded to the word.
HAMMOND: So again, trying to make sure that people understand who we’re talking about, because this is how their district is labeling it. Here’s a reality: We are in a majority minority school district, public education around the United States. So whether you’re using the word “minority,” you’re using “diverse,” we’re talking about non-white students being the majority in most public schools.
HAMMOND: “Diverse” is really an attempt to talk about English-language learners, immigrant students, students of color, be they African-American, Latino, Pacific Islander, Asian. Usually we are talking about lower performing students, for better or worse. It’s a loaded term, but it’s one folks are using to really talk about the students that they’re most worried about when they look at their data, because they’re disproportionately at the bottom of the achievement curve.
GONZALEZ: Right. Would it be fair to say that students of color and other students who fit the description that you’re giving, who have been successful in traditional schools, have been successful despite the fact maybe that those teachers are not teaching in culturally responsive ways, or that their families have been already assimilated into sort of mainstream culture in such a way that they’ve just adapted to that? Does that make sense?
HAMMOND: It does. Here’s the thing that I think is really important: There’s nothing magical about culturally responsive teaching. It’s how do you optimize learning? When I’m learning in a way that’s congruent with how I learn at home, I then just continue the same system. All instruction is culturally responsive. The question is, to whose culture is it responding?
GONZALEZ: Okay, yeah.
HAMMOND: Right? So the idea is that students learn various systems, just like they learn another language. And for some students, despite the atmosphere in the classroom … Because culturally responsive teaching also has an element around relationships that’s really an integral part of the instructional piece. And being able to help people really understand how that works becomes really important. So yeah, being able to understand that successful students of color have been able to do that by being bicultural in many ways, by being able to navigate back and forth.
GONZALEZ: Right, right.
HAMMOND: So in many ways, it is despite that, and sometimes despite having a hostile environment, having lowered expectations, having folks who don’t recognize their genius or even their ways of processing information.
GONZALEZ: I brought all of that up, because I know the types of pushback that I tend to get whenever I put something out into the world that says, “Maybe you should adjust your approach for diverse students,” the main pushback sometimes I’ll get is, “What about all the kids?” or “Why should I have to change? Why don’t they adapt to the way I teach?” Or they’ll hold up the one example of a student of color. It’s like, “Well this student was able to succeed with the way I teach. Why can’t all of the rest of the students do the same thing?” So I wanted to make sure that I kept that objection in this conversation so that we would recognize—and it may come up again later—I’m hoping that the people who have those objections are listening right now and are going to open up to what you have to share, because I think ultimately what we want is for all of our students to succeed, not that we’re going to dig our heels in and say, “Well, they’re just going to have to figure it out.”
HAMMOND: Absolutely. I think that’s why I brought in the neuroscience, because when we understand what’s going on in the brain in terms of creating the right conditions, then you want to be able to minimize the cortisol stress hormones, maximize oxytocin, the bonding hormone, that allows students to be in the right frame of mind. So the idea of a school looking at the data and seeing a disproportionate number of students of color at the bottom means that something has to change. It’s not the students, usually, who have to change. The idea of students being at the lower end, particularly students of color, then English learners, poor students, you’re going to have to be able to think about how you get students to move out of that fight or flight state, so that they are in this relaxed openness for learning. So that data really is a symptom that teachers should be reading.
GONZALEZ: Yes. And really, if we’re professionals, then we need to meet our students wherever they are and do whatever we can do to set them up for success.
HAMMOND: Absolutely. Here’s a thing I want to say about that, Jenn: That’s a deficit orientation around assimilation if you think your students have to adjust to you. Right? When we understand how the brain works, we understand that idea of what it means to meet the student where they are and take them to this next level. That’s what a good teacher is able to do. The degree to which you are able to kind of anchor in what the student already knows and twist and take them up to a new level is what good teaching is all about. The degree to which we’re not just going to teach them one particular cultural way and then expect students to kind of assimilate. Here’s the reason why I think that’s so important. We have inequity by design in schools. So schools were not set up to actually maximize the capacity of students of color. That’s just our historical foundation as America. What we’re trying to do, in many ways, is kind of reverse that trend. That’s a systems piece. This is why culturally responsive teaching is not just kind of some set of magical strategies. It really is a holistic system-based process where we have to look at how are we creating a less hostile environment? How are we leveraging the ways that the students know and the bodies of knowledge that they come in with?
GONZALEZ: What you were just saying about how schools used to be, it reminds me of my first intro to education class, and they taught us that, that schools used to use the phrase “sort and separate,” that it used to be to identify the kids who were going to be successful, get them on the track, and then just sort of let everybody else go.
HAMMOND: Yeah. I would love if it was “used to be,” but the reality is inequity is still doing its job. For schools to be equity-minded, they have to be diligent, and they really have to focus on this. So the idea of helping students, particularly this idea of dependent learners, and this is what I write about in my book. This is not just about helping students of color because they’re students of color. We’re helping them because we have bred dependent learners in our classrooms, and that’s been part of the inequity by design. It wasn’t just sort. It was actually not teach them to read well. It was actually being able to underdevelop the cognitive resources of students of color. Now what we’re being asked to do, a lot of teachers are asked to do the opposite. So if students come to them already behind in grade level, they don’t know how to accelerate that. Culturally responsive teaching is about accelerating students’ learning. Here’s the thing I want to point out: Only the learner learns. So if you don’t have the learner feeling confident in their intellectual ability and being able to leverage what he or she already knows in terms of taking in the content and making it usable knowledge, then you’re not going to be able to accelerate that learning. This is not just about being magnanimous with students of color or somehow we need to support them because there were inequities in the past. This is about every learner being able to accelerate their capacity.
GONZALEZ: Right, right. So we have talked ahead of time, and we decided we’re going to look at four misconceptions that people have about culturally responsive teaching. So if you’re ready, let’s get into the first misconception.
Misconception 1: Culturally responsive teaching is the same as multicultural or social justice education.
HAMMOND: The first misconception is a confusion between multicultural education, social justice education, and culturally responsive teaching. I think we have a tendency to use them interchangeably, and they are not interchangeable. So multicultural education is what we usually see in schools. This is the celebration of diversity, wanting to make sure that there’s harmony across difference. What’s important to understand there is while those are really noble things and critical to a high-functioning classroom and school climate, it doesn’t have anything to do with learning capacity. Whereas culturally responsive teaching is about building the learning capacity of the individual student. That means that there is a focus on leveraging the affective and the cognitive scaffolding that students bring and being able to kind of leverage that. Social justice is about building a lens for the student, really being able to look at the world and seeing where things aren’t fair or where injustice exists. What’s important to understand about culturally responsive teaching and how it’s different from multicultural and social justice education is those first two don’t have anything to do with learning.
HAMMOND: So you can have a student have a critical lens, but if he’s reading three grade levels behind, it’s not going to do much to accelerate that. So culturally responsive teaching really is about instruction at the core.
GONZALEZ: This is one of the things that I actually contacted you about, because there seems to be a push right now in decorating your classroom in such a way that would cause a teacher to believe that they are teaching in a culturally responsive way. Decorating with African patterns around the room and that sort of thing, that this is supposed to be creating a more welcoming environment for diverse students. There was pushback and a lot of kerfuffle about it, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain why that doesn’t really equate to culturally responsive teaching.
HAMMOND: Let me try to kind of unpack this a bit, because you’re absolutely right, and I think it’s an important piece where the neuroscience comes in, because if we actually look at the logic of this, we can better understand why it’s not helpful in terms of accelerating learning. If that’s at the core of culturally responsive teaching, there is something then that says that if I decorate my classroom with African patterns, somehow the student will feel more excited, connected, and then what? The two grade levels behind me are in reading will disappear? So that still does not help the student accelerate learning. It still doesn’t leverage culture as a cognitive scaffold. There’s not a lot of relationship between what we call surface culture, the observable things about culture, what you eat, what you read, how you dress, those are what we call surface culture, and the relationship between learning.
HAMMOND: This is where the confusion is. That would be in the multicultural realm. So decorating your classroom, that’s more multiculturalism, especially if you’re decorating it to have a little bit of everybody’s culture. I call that the “It’s a Small World” approach.
HAMMOND: Again, if you think about it, that’s more of the social harmony, getting along across difference, everybody feeling included. That does not have anything to do with instruction, and there is an attempt to make culturally responsive teaching kind of easy to do and sometimes that’s the thing that we see happen.
GONZALEZ: And the thing is you can sort of see where this has come from, because the push toward multicultural education has been around since the ‘70s, I remember it being in school. If a teacher is sort of heading down that path and is being told that’s not the right thing to do, what should that teacher be doing instead, which I know is a huge question. There’s a bunch of things. But maybe just give one example of the type of thing that would make a much bigger difference.
HAMMOND: Yeah. It does require more time for us to unpack, because this is the biggest challenge. Culturally responsive teaching is not plug and play. This is not a list of student behaviors or magical strategies I could give you. That’s another misconception. “If we just have the right strategies, then we could do culturally responsive teaching.” Culturally responsive teaching is, how do you show up so that you’re building a relationship with this student? How are you having a high trust, low stress environment? And the cultural aspect to bring in has to do with shallow culture, right? Not surface culture. In my book I talk about the three levels of culture, and the shallow culture is intermediate. It’s right below the surface. If I stay in a place three weeks, I see the unspoken rules of how close do you stand to a person? What kind of eye contact do you make? What kind of communication patterns tell you we’re in sync? Right? There are things we can do to build trust. What I suggest teachers do is learn more about collectivism and bring more elements of collectivism as the cultural orientation into the classroom. So right now, most schools are centered around an individualistic orientation, right? Keep your eyes in your own work. Pull yourself up by the bootstrap. Whereas collectivism is, “I am because we are.” It’s interdependency. And it doesn’t mean that students of color and other diverse students like to be in a group all the time. What it means is the orientation is toward being part of the group and succeeding for the group so that even my individual effort is going to reflect that. It’s not so much what’s on the walls, it’s how you interact. You can have stuff on the walls, but know that that’s not actually going to be the determining factor whether a student actually feels connected or has a sense of belonging in the classroom. But I think bringing in more collectivist practices, understanding what that is, is going to be kind of the path.
Misconception 2: Culturally responsive teaching must start with addressing implicit bias.
HAMMOND: Another misconception is we have to talk about implicit bias all the time. Right? So the degree to which culturally responsive teaching either swings between this kind of “It’s a Small World” multiculturalism, or we always have to be having hard conversations about implicit bias. Neither of those gets you to instruction. That’s the biggest problem. So teachers just keep doing instruction the way they’ve done it, and that’s the place where you actually want to leverage students’ collectivism, their ability to process information in a different way. And if you don’t understand those areas, then all of this other stuff may seem like it’s not working. So then teachers say, “culturally responsive teaching doesn’t work.” They’ve oversimplified it.
GONZALEZ: Yeah. Can you give me an example? Because I know that one of the things I’m going to make sure I do in the blog post that I put together for this is that I link people to my review of your book, because you really lay it out in much more detail there what teachers should be doing. But could you give an example of maybe a typical way that a teacher might teach something and then how would that be changed so that it’s a more collective way of teaching it that appeals to that sense of collectivism?
HAMMOND: Yeah. That’s hard in five minutes, because what I share with teachers is that it’s not so much that you’re teaching in a collectivist way, but when we get to instruction, there are four cultural learning tools that I share with teachers and show them how to utilize. One is puzzles and patterns. Another is talk and word play. So how do you incorporate puzzles and patterns into processing information when students are taking on a new lesson or a new unit? So sometimes this is through gamification. Now what’s really important about that is you’re not mentioning anything to do with race or ethnicity or anything. You’re talking brain to brain, so that the brain recognizes, “Oh, in a collectivist culture, I actually am learning by doing, and I might be talking to my partner.” Vygotsky talks about sociocultural learning theory, which means people learn better when they talk to each other about what they’re doing. Being able to set that up, it doesn’t always have to be in a group setting, it could be partners playing a game together, that’s an educational game, and I show teachers how to make these games so that they’re leveraging the puzzle and patterns as a way that the brain talks to and processes information and that’s utilized in a collectivist culture, because most collectivist cultures have a strong oral tradition.
HAMMOND: That oral tradition is leveraged, because students are coming with that already. That’s quick and dirty, but it’s, again, a way that I think teachers can start to bring in more gamification, recognizing that’s actually going to be more consistent with collectivist information processing.
GONZALEZ: Right. I want to underscore what I hear you saying too, because I know that you resist giving something that’s just one simple strategy, because it’s really important that teachers have a more comprehensive understanding of what culturally responsive teaching is, and not just say, “Oh, just do this from now on.” So that was just one example of the kind of thing that might be a shift.
HAMMOND: Yeah. I think being able to think about, holistically, how you build a different relationship with students so that you can build trust, how do you actually leverage the fact that the student is the only one who learns, only the learner learns, restoring that natural confidence by leveraging collectivism? There are various parts to that in terms of understanding what goes into it, and that’s one of the things that I try to share with teachers when I do professional development with them so that they then look at their own practice. So it is, it’s really a challenge to try to say, “This is it in a nutshell,” but I do see that’s what’s happening, and teachers need to interrogate their practice a little more robustly, because it’s not an off-the-shelf program, it’s not two or three strategies. Because you’ll go back to doing what you’ve been doing, and that sends the signal to students that, “my ways of knowing and learning are not honored.” And so it’s less about the African print on the wall, and more about how can you learn about how students are processing information in a more collectivist way.
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Okay. Let’s continue our conversation with Zaretta.
GONZALEZ: The first two misconceptions we covered right now is that there’s a confusion between culturally responsive teaching and multicultural and social justice education. That was one. Number 2 has to do with putting maybe too much focus on tackling implicit bias, not that that’s not an impossible piece of it, but there seems to be too much emphasis to swing in that direction. What’s the third misconception?
HAMMOND: Here’s the last thing I’ll say about misconception No. 2: You do need to at some point get to implicit bias, it’s just not the starting point. If you start there, you can’t pivot to instruction. Whereas when you understand inequity by design, you can actually talk about instruction but also come back to talk about microaggressions. The sequencing of that is really important.
Misconception 3: Culturally responsive teaching is about raising the self-esteem of our students.
HAMMOND: The third one is this thing that we kind of touched on which is CRT is about raising the self esteem of students of color or just having a good relationship with them. So if I work on being friendly with them and having this good relationship, that’s going to change their learning ability. There’s a big effort afoot in terms of social emotional learning programs, people are developing these, they’re trying to help students gain self regulation, but also build positive relationships with students, restorative circles are happening as a way of getting these positive relationships. Here’s what the schools are finding that do surveys. They find that after a few years of this kind of work, that their positive climate has gone up; satisfaction surveys among adults as well as kids are really high, but the achievement doesn’t move.
GONZALEZ: Got it, yep.
HAMMOND: Relationship setting is just the first stage. You’re doing that because part of culturally responsive teaching is helping the learner get into his zone of proximal development, stay there and be able to process the information. And for students who have been marginalized and don’t feel welcome, the brain tells us they may be in more of kind of the stress area, and you’re wanting to help them. So that relationship becomes important, because you want them to actually do the heavy lifting of the cognitive work. But that’s not going to happen if you can’t get the student to be in a trusting relationship. So trusting relationship is just one part, and not the part, it is the on-ramp to the kind of cognitive high-level problem-solving and higher-order thinking we want students to do. So CRT with the cultural learning tools allow students to do that, build their capacity, but those relationships are simply the on-ramp. I see a lot of people just doing the relationship piece.
GONZALEZ: Right. So the kids feel it’s a safe space, and they feel that their teacher sort of sees them for who they are, and all the groundwork has been laid, but then cognitively, they’re still not necessarily achieving, because of the way that the instruction is being delivered.
HAMMOND: That’s right. And the teacher doesn’t know how to make the instruction more culturally responsive. And so again, what I try to teach people is there are principles of how to make instruction more responsive, and that when you’re able to do that, it doesn’t matter who the students are who walk across your path, across your classroom door, you will always be able to make your lesson and your instruction more responsive. If I were just simply to give people strategies, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.
And here’s the thing that I think is most important, and it goes to the folks that give you pushback in terms of, “Isn’t this good for all students?” or “What about all students?” What we know is this kind of teaching is good for all brains. So what you’re doing to actually reach your lowest performing students is going to be good for your highest performing students. It’s actually going to allow you to differentiate more. A lot of teachers haven’t kind of perfected the ability to differentiate, so they’re teaching to the middle, which leaves the lower-performing students kind of down at the bottom and the higher performing students bored at the top. When you’re teaching a more culturally responsive way, you’ll be able to actually have more differentiation in the classroom, and therefore it meets everybody’s needs. But it is a process. When I work with schools, I do an inquiry process. We take a year. We do lesson study. We do inquiry. We’re actually trying things, collecting data, coming back and talking about it, because it’s not just kind of a PD, “Here’s some strategies. Go try them.” It is much more complicated than that, and I feel like one of our biggest challenges is we’ve oversimplified and reduced it to these misconceptions.
GONZALEZ: That leads us into the fourth misconception, which at this point, we’ve kind of covered it. But do you have anything…Let’s just review it.
Misconception 4: Culturally responsive teaching is about choosing the right strategies.
HAMMOND: I think that’s, again, the fourth misconception is having the right strategies. I do see that we need to be able to create the spaces for teachers to take more of an inquiry stance, to say, “Who are my students?” Right? Grade level, background, all of these things. “Who am I? What are my teaching strengths? What are the instructional strategies I know how to use?” And be able to craft those in a way that works for the students, and the teacher can actually see progress.
One of the things that I ask teachers to do, if you want to talk about a strategy, is to bring formative assessment in. Kids don’t get enough feedback where they can become the leaders of their own learning, so teaching them how to do that is critical. Being able to create the structures in your classroom, over strategy that allows students to actually say, “Oh. I have an opportunity for conferencing. I have an opportunity to get feedback. I actually have an opportunity to meet with a few of my peers where we’re actually doing some type of review of our lesson.” Right? “How did that go? We’re tracking our data.” So that’s a structure versus a strategy, and if those structures aren’t in place, the student doesn’t know where he is. The student actually can’t take control of his or her own learning.
GONZALEZ: So when a teacher is listening to all of this, what we’ve told them for the most part is what not to do, and so I’m going to make sure that they see your book. If they wanted to learn more from you, how would they be able to find you online?
HAMMOND: Yeah, they can go to my website, Ready4Rigor.com. It’s usually where I have my blog. It’s undergoing a little change right now, so I haven’t updated my blog for a while, but changes are coming, but there’s still a place where they can actually sign up for my newsletter, and that comes out, the fall edition will be coming out in September, and they’ll know kind of what’s going on, and upcoming trainings, I do webinars. There are a variety of ways to get connected with me so that they can learn more. Yeah. I think that’s the easiest thing. If they want to get a copy of the chart that I referenced before in terms of the differences between multicultural, social justice, and culturally responsive, there’s a quick and easy way for them to do that, and it will also put them on my mailing list, and that is if they just text to the number 44222 and type in the message “ready4rigor” and then they’ll get a prompt and they can go from there.
GONZALEZ: And that’ll send them to a place where they can basically get the download and get right on your mailing list too.
HAMMOND: Absolutely. And I’ll have a new book study guide coming out. I’m doing a series of videos that go with that, because I think some of the concepts are still new to folks, so I’m really excited about supporting teachers to build their capacity around culturally responsive practices.
GONZALEZ: I really appreciate the work you’re doing so much. Thank you so much too for coming on here and exploring some of these issues with us.
HAMMOND: Well thank you for all you do in terms of creating the platform. I appreciate it. And like you said, we’ll continue to talk, because I think you’re right. I think this is a really important issue, and it’s so multi-layered that I’m really wanting teachers to build their understanding and then to commit to building their practice. So let’s definitely continue to think about ways that we can collaborate on getting that done.
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