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Culturally Proficient Education

Culturally Proficient Education
An Asset-Based Response to Conditions of Poverty

August 2012 | 176 pages | Corwin
Focused on providing readers with the knowledge and skills to maximize the educational opportunities for children raised in low socio-economic conditions, Culturally Proficient Approaches to Conditions of Poverty provides a context for helping teachers and school leaders understand school equity issues that are related to social class.

The authors frame this timely subject within the lens of cultural proficiency—a perspective that emphasizes how one works with people different from one's self in a non-judgmental, pro-social manner to help ensure effective practices. This strengths-based approach contrasts with previous deficit models that have targeted what isn't working and what doesn't exist for the child, rather than building on children's strengths, regardless of their socio-economic status.

Foreword by Dennis Parker
About the Authors
Part I. Why Poverty and Cultural Proficiency?
1. Asset-Based Approaches to Students From Low Income or Impoverished Communities
2. The Middle Class School in Communities of Poverty
3. The Cultural Proficiency Tools Build on Assets
Part II. Pro-social School Applications
4. Culturally Proficient Pedagogy
5. Culturally Proficient Leadership Support for Instruction
6. Policy Development to Ensure and Support Teaching and Learning
Part III. A Call to Action
7. A Call to Action: The Time Is Now
Appendix A: Cultural Proficiency Conceptual Framework
Appendix B: State Teachers’ Association Retreat Script
Appendix C: Taniko’s Poem
Appendix D: How to Use Cultural Proficiency Books

"Students in poverty circumstances need us more than ever. This book provides tools, resources, and thought-provoking vignettes to illustrate what can transform our educational practice to meet the needs of all kids. After reading this book, I am astounded by how we have compartmentalized educational programming to reduce achievement gaps and yet, after decades of research, found this to be ineffective. This new application for cultural proficiency is a testament to the educator-student relationship based on respect, understanding, and a common purpose, no matter what the background or culture of the student happens to be. We can't afford for more students to disengage from education. Thankfully, the authors frame that for us in a way that builds on where we are in our learning and moves us forward toward a positive, asset-building environment rather than a destructive deficit mind-set."

Kathleen Gavin, Coordinator of Professional Development
Great Prairie Area Education Agency, Burlington, IA

"Before we can look at our students in a way that emphasizes what strengths and skills they bring to the classroom, we need to look at ourselves, our biases, and preconceptions. This book is an interactive model that uses the tools of cultural proficiency as a lens to look not only at our students, but also ourselves. This self-reflection enables us to be more effective for all our students."

Rick Mooradian, Teacher
Tahoe Elementary School, Sacramento, CA

I am developing an early childhood inclusive education program for Georgian Court University and I want my students to be sensitive to the unique status of children who are living in poverty. This book has been extremely beneficial in helping my students become more self-reflective about working with young children and families who live in poverty.

Dr Cathrine Beaunae
Education , Georgian Court University
October 13, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword by Dennis Parker


Randall B. Lindsey

Randall B. Lindsey is Emeritus Professor at California State University, Los Angeles. He has served as a teacher, an administrator, executive director of a non-profit corporation, as Interim Dean at California Lutheran University, as Distinguished Educator in Residence at Pepperdine University, and as Chair of the Education Department at the University of Redlands. Prior to that he served for seventeen years at California State University, Los Angeles in the Division of Administration and Counseling. All of Randy’s experiences have been in working with diverse populations and his area of study is the behavior of white people in... More About Author

Michelle S. Karns

Michelle S. Karns, MPA, is an educational consultant with over 30 years’ experience in school support and reform, including speaking before the United Nations at the World Conference on Children in 1995. Working with students, administrators, and teachers in districts through the United States and Canada, Michelle helps create the conditions for all students to learn and makes academic success complemented by social and emotional health a reality. She is especially successful working in under-resourced, minority districts that are experiencing internal and external challenges. Michelle combines current academic research and resiliency... More About Author

Keith T. Myatt

Keith T. Myatt, Ed.D., recently retired as a full time Instructor from the School Leadership Programs at California State University, Dominguez Hills.  Prior to that he worked at the Los Angeles County Office of Education in Educational leadership Services as a director in the California School Leadership Academy. He is coauthor of Cultural Proficient Education: An Asset-Based Response to Conditions of Poverty. He has been providing seminars in blending the Tools of Cultural Proficiency and the skills of Coaching for those who provide support for candidates seeking their professional Credentials.  He has also been involved in the... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412970860
$ 31.95