Culturally Proficient Education
An Asset-Based Response to Conditions of Poverty
- Randall B. Lindsey - California State University Los Angeles, USA
- Michelle S. Karns - Consultant
- Keith Myatt - California State University, Dominguez Hills, USA
Foreword by Dennis Parker
Social Justice | Teaching in Inner Cities | Working with Minority Students
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.
"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."
"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."
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.