When recently asked to provide his view on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching, Sharroky Hollie, Ph.D., author of Shell Education’s, Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning, was happy to share his passion and expertise on the topic.

Hollie_Sharroky 2“Ironically, the importance of culturally and linguistically responsive teaching or CLR being in all schools is not related to the so-called racial achievement gap at all. This false premise is a misnomer that has contributed to years of stagnation and not significantly closing the achievement gap. I can prove it by asking you one simple question. 

If there were no achievement gap, would we still need CLR? 

You know the answer? Absolutely, yes! My realization and therefore perspective about CLR is that we need it because there are always going to be students who are not being responded to, based on their cultural and linguistic needs. For this reason alone, cultural and linguistic responsiveness is for every classroom, every school, once we acknowledge who are the students in most need of responsiveness.

To the surprise of many, I work with numerous school districts across the country that are high performing and not high poverty. On the surface, it would seem that these well-to-do districts would get a pass on being culturally responsive. From the outside looking in, they do not need it. Their students are performing well for the most part, their issues of disproportionality are not extreme, and they have the resources to intervene with underperforming students. Yet and still, they realize the need for cultural responsiveness even more so than other districts who need CLR more. They understand that responsiveness is not an option, it is a requirement for serving all students equitably, regardless of the student population. 

One more question, who are your under-served students? With your answer, you have all the reasons to be culturally and linguistically responsive.”—Sharroky Hollie, Ph.D.

 Sharroky Hollie is the Executive Director of the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing stellar professional development for educators desiring to become culturally responsive. He is a cofounder of the nationally acclaimed laboratory school, Culture and Language Academy of Success (CLAS) in Los Angeles. Dr. Hollie is also the author of numerous publications and professional resources including two of Teacher Created Materials’ best sellers Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning: Classroom Practices for Student Success and Strategies for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning.

Bring Culturally Responsive Teaching to Your Classroom

At Booksource, we recognize the value of incorporating culturally responsive practices into literacy instruction. If you’re interested in learning more about culturally responsive teaching, we’ve rounded up some links you may find helpful:

We’ve partnered with Shell Education to give away two sets of Dr. Sharroky Hollie’s books, Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning: Classroom Practices for Student Success and Strategies for Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning. Enter below for your chance to win!clr3

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winners!