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Understanding and Assessing Expertise in Culturally Agile Pedagogies (CAPs)

  • Author(s): Dunford, Jr., Willie Charles
  • Advisor(s): Gifford, Bernard
  • et al.
Abstract

This study surveys the knowledge base of culturally responsive instruction (i.e., culturally relevant, responsive, sustaining, revitalizing, and reality pedagogies) and consolidates them under the term Culturally Agile Pedagogies (CAPs). CAPs are defined as theories, principles, and methods of teaching that require the mutual understanding, valuing, and use of teachers' and students' linguistic and cultural identities to inform instruction and optimize learning. This study engages teachers who have been identified by their principals as exceptionally culturally responsive and helps those teachers reconcile their practice with empirically supported instructional strategies. This study uses culturally responsive instruction literature, a teacher questionnaire, lesson observations, and teacher interviews to develop and present a tool that might be used to identify and assess expertise in CAPs. This tool is the CAPs Practices Expertise Scale. The tool development process measures the teachers' shift from an intuitive sense of justice in teaching toward a more formal knowledge of CAPs practices. This new teacher learning is then applied to refine the tool so it more accurately describes observable instructional practices in the classroom.

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