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Publication #AEC688

Applying Culturally Relevant Teaching to Workshops—The Checklist1

Cecilia E. Suarez, John M. Diaz, and Laura E. Valencia2

In Culturally Responsive Teaching: A Framework for Educating Diverse Audiences, Diaz et al. (2019) highlight the need for Extension educators to be more equipped and understanding of ways to support the growing diversity among Extension clientele. Outlining Gay’s (2018) framework for culturally responsive teaching, Diaz et al. (2019) identify five ways to assist diverse audiences in attaining learning outcomes of Extension education programs: 1) acquiring a knowledge base of diverse cultures, 2) designing or utilizing culturally relevant curricula, 3) utilizing cultural caring and developing a learning community, 4) practicing intercultural communications, and 5) establishing cultural congruity in classroom instruction.

The purpose of this checklist is to serve as a guiding tool when planning workshops and to ensure that participants feel connected to, engaged with, and understood while working toward achieving workshop educational goals. While “diversity” is often a code word used for race, diversity simply means difference (Suarez et al., in review). When utilizing a culturally responsive teaching framework, it is important to understand that diversity and culture, while focused on race and ethnicity, also include identities and factors such as nationality, language, learning methods, and curriculum content.

  • Engage in and practice self-awareness development. Before one can understand others, they must understand themselves. Socialization creates specific ways of understanding as well as biases. While bias is natural, if not unpacked and worked through, it often leads to judgment, microaggressions, and minimization of others’ experiences (Suarez et al., in review). As such, taking the time to understand the various identities one has and how they impact one’s work is the first step in applying culturally relevant teaching to workshops. We have included some resources to assist in this process below.

  • Learn about your participants. To help you build your content, gather any pertinent information, such as level of experience, level of comfort with the topic, or preferred learning style (hands-on, group work, etc.), prior to the workshop. For example, a concise survey may assist in learning important demographics of your participants.

  • Create a safe environment for participants by setting “ground rules.” A list of ground rules should be presented, explained, and made available around the room throughout the workshop. While a set of standard ground rules may be prepared in advance, allowing participants to add to this list is also an important process in CRT. Below are a few examples:

    • One individual speaks at a time

    • Challenge the idea, not the individual

    • Step up, step back—If you speak often, step back and allow others to speak. If you do not speak often, challenge yourself to incorporate your voice.

    • Consider being wrong

    • Be present—Listen and engage attentively.

  • Use material (readings, examples, film, etc.) that includes multiple perspectives in the workshop. Including material that embraces varying perspectives allows for individuals to hear multiple perspectives, including their own. This also assists in ensuring that there is not just one narrative present. For example, including literature from authors of different cultures, genders, and levels (supervisor/entry level) can assist in increasing a sense of belonging and understanding.

  • Provide resources and instructions in English and native languages as needed. Utilizing demographics gathered from an introductory survey of participants can assist in preparing for participants who may prefer materials in a specific language. Providing materials in various languages ensures that participants have an equitable opportunity for understanding and learning new content.

  • Receive feedback and questions in multiple forms, such as in group, one-on-one, and individual note cards. This allows for individuals to participate at varying levels of comfort. Allowing participants to submit feedback via comment cards or other individual forms can assist in ensuring that participants’ needs are being met. Additionally, it shows that you are invested in meeting their needs.

  • Invite personal experiences. Take time to invite participants to share personal experiences related to the topic of the workshop. This helps all involved to gain context and understanding while getting to learn a little about others.

  • Bring in guest speakers. Seek out colleagues who may be able to assist in creating an inclusive environment, and invite them to be a part of the lesson and workshop when needed. You do not need to be the expert in everything. Utilizing resources can assist in creating culturally relevant workshops.

  • Use various formats of engagement in the workshop. Large groups, small groups, partners, and individual work allow for participants to engage at all comfort levels.

  • Present content in multiple forms. Welcome multiple ways of learning and engaging by incorporating visual, audio, hands-on, and written approaches to embrace multiple modes of learning.

Resources for Facilitator Development

Online Tools

Danger of a Single Story https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en

Implicit Bias Test https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

Social Identity Wheel https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/inclusive-teaching/wp-content/uploads/sites/355/2018/12/Social-Identity-Wheel-3-2.pdf

Workshops

Café Latino – Navigating Difference https://extadmin.ifas.ufl.edu/teams-and-programs/cafe-latino/

Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) (Will be offered by Café Latino) https://idiinventory.com/generalinformation/the-intercultural-development-continuum-idc/

References

Diaz, J. M, Suarez, C. E., & Valencia, L. E. (2019). Culturally responsive teaching: A framework for educating diverse audiences. AEC678. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc341

Gay, G. (2018). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice (3rd ed.). New York, New York: Teachers College Press.

Suarez, C. E., Shellhouse, J. A., & Muscato, A. F. (in review). “The biggest eye opener”: Exploring white students’ experiences with formal diversity education. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal.

Footnotes

1.

This document is AEC686, one of a series of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date January 2020. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

2.

Cecilia E. Suarez, assistant professor; John M. Diaz, assistant professor and Extension specialist, program development and evaluation, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611; and Laura E. Valencia, Extension agent II, 4-H Youth Development Program, UF/IFAS Extension Osceola County, Kissimmee, FL 34744.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.