Dr. Gerard Jellig Provides Benefits of Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Diversity among students in classrooms has been increasing by the year, and more significantly awareness of the range of diversity has been on the rise,  and with those evolutions comes the responsibility of school systems to evaluate the steps that are being taken to ensure students feel represented and a sense of belonging. Many experts are bringing to light the idea of culturally responsive teaching and the benefits that it can have in molding young minds in a way that is conducive to their specific success. Dr. Gerard Jellig and other experts within the field of education acknowledge how the personal identities of students can have a profound influence on what learning strategies may be best to foster success in the classroom. In order to assist in educating on the matter, Jerry Jellig includes a succinct list of benefits that employing culturally responsive curriculum can have for students.

Helps Prepare Students for Outside World (Business, Higher Education, etc.): One of the biggest reasons that experts such as Jerry Jellig advocate for the inclusion of a culturally responsive curriculum is because a well-rounded cultural view in the classroom helps prepare students for the diversity of the outside world they will engage. When students are taught in ways that are culturally relevant to them and others, they will be better prepared for meeting people in the workplace, in higher education, or in a myriad of other places that have different cultural experiences, ideas, and thoughts from themselves. This fosters a sense of community and kinship that can not be fully established when curricula only caters to majority groups- often white men- as opposed to the demographics of their community. For students that identify with the majority group, culturally responsive curriculum can help inform them of other viewpoints and ways of thinking that may not be inherent to them.

Helps Keep Students Motivated: Dr. Gerard Jellig acknowledges that there is an issue amongst educators where they essentially diminish their expectations for students that do not show intrinsic motivation in the classroom. Experts in the field of education and advocates for culturally responsive curriculum argue that when students are not motivated, we should instead look inwards to our educational system and our own teaching practices to establish the root cause of the issue. In many cases of students lacking motivation, there is a disconnect in which the student does not feel represented. Students, especially in disenfranchised communities, often feel as though what is being taught to them is not relevant to their everyday lives, and teachers may perpetuate this feeling with the defeatist mentality that a culturally responsive curriculum cannot be implemented in core subjects. Jerry Jellig argues that a culturally responsive curriculum can be the norm for a plethora of subjects, and educators should not discount the way that students react when there is even a baseline amount of effort towards framing lessons in ways that are pertinent to their own lives.

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