An inquirED Blog

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Social Studies

inquirED: States Go All in For Inquiry

Scroll to the bottom of the post to view the webinar recording.

Culturally and linguistically responsive instruction develops students' personal agency and grounds learning in the rich context of their language and lived experiences. We were joined on our webinar by Ashley McCall (8th-grade Bilingual Educator, Chicago Public Schools) and LaKethia White (Implementation Coach, inquirED) to dig into this important practice. Read below for the highlights.


Key Components

culturally responsive instruction in social studies

To begin the webinar, LaKethia White, an Implementation Coach at inquirED, shared the key components that inquirED has identified as integral to culturally responsive instruction. For more background on Culturally Responsive Social Studies explore our previous post on the subject.

Learning through authentic content

This kind of content builds on children's existing funds of knowledge, challenges dominant narratives, and elevates counter-narratives from diverse sources and unheard voices.

Focusing on instructional strategies and cognitive routines

Dr. Zaretta Hammond talks about “gamifying” instruction, making learning social, adding storytelling, and practicing thinking routines that students can use independently from the teacher.

Building relationships

Relationships connect instruction to families, students, and the community to foster a sense of belonging and connectedness.

Engaging in personal reflection

When teachers consciously and constantly reflect on where their practice stands and where they want to grow, meaningful shifts in instruction occur.

Asset-Based Perspectives

According to Ashely McCall, an 8th-grade bilingual educator at Chicago Public Schools, those same components apply to instruction that is linguistically responsive. McCall shared that shifting to this type of instruction requires “viewing students, their language, access, and opportunity from an asset-based place.” When students enter McCall’s classroom, she starts with an asset-based framework. “It’s about asking what are the abilities that these students have,” she shared, “as opposed to seeing English-specific gaps as a deficit.”