Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: A Needed Change in Stance, Terminology, and Practice

Apr. 02, 2012

Source: Educational Researcher, 41(3), April 2012, 93-97.

The author has been inspired by Gloria Ladson-Billings' article “Toward a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy published in 1995.
Ladson-Billings described in her article what it means to make teaching and learning relevant and responsive to the languages, literacies, and cultural practices of students across categories of difference and (in)equality.

However, this article offers the term and stance of culturally sustaining pedagogy as an alternative.
The author believes that this alternative embodies some of the best research and practice in the resource pedagogy tradition and as a term that supports the value of our multiethnic and multilingual present and future.

Culturally sustaining pedagogy seeks to perpetuate and foster—to sustain—linguistic, literate, and cultural pluralism as part of the democratic project of schooling.

In the face of current policies and practices that have the explicit goal of creating a monocultural and monolingual society, research and practice need equally explicit resistances that embrace cultural pluralism and cultural equality.

Updated: Sep. 15, 2013