Subscribe today to the most trusted name in education.  Learn more.
Current Issue Current Issue Subscriptions About TCRecord Advanced Search   

 

They Schools: Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Under Siege


by Camika Royal & Simone Gibson

Background/Context: Culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP ) represents educators who work toward academic excellence, cultural competence, and sociopolitical awareness (Ladson-Billings, 2014). Although some profess to embrace CRP , many educators neglect sociopolitical consciousness (T. Howard, 2003; Simmons et al., 2013; Young, 2010). Socio-politically unconscious and/or racially dysconscious educators cannot engage their students in sociopolitical consciousness (King, 1991; Ladson-Billings, 2014; Watts, Griffith, & Abdul-Adil, 1999). For a multitude of reasons, including neoliberal school reform, educators may reduce CRP to cultural celebration, trivialization, essentializing, substituting cultural for political analysis, or other compromised pedagogies (Apple, 2001; Belfiore, Auld, & Lee, 2005; Sleeter, 2012).

Purpose: In this article, we argue that neoliberal school reform models employing hyperaccountability and hyperstandardization, replete with their demands on educators of conformity and silence, obfuscate teachers as thinkers, disempowering the efforts of culturally relevant educators and making high test scores the sole focus of schooling. We also argue that CRP is even more needed now, especially its focuses on cultural competence and sociopolitical consciousness, given the recent highly publicized murders of Black youth (e.g., Freddie Gray, Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, and Renisha McBride).

Setting and Population: This article explores CRP in Philadelphia’s public schools before and after the state takeover in 2001 and the proliferation of hyperstandardization, hyperaccountability, and neoliberal school reform. Research Design: This article is conceptual. It uses the historical narratives of Black educators to support the conceptual argument.

Conclusion: Though it is a professional gamble, it is possible to be a culturally relevant educator within the hyperstandardized, hyperaccountable neoliberal school environment. Such educators must be highly skilled masters of their craft, strategic, and subversive, adhering to all tenets of CRP and mandated curricula. This tension could affect educators’ professional standing, income, and job security. However, neglecting emancipatory pedagogies under the joint siege of hyperaccountability, hyperstandardization, and neoliberal school reform reifies the American racial, cultural, and socioeconomic caste system, and it does so through our schools. Unless educators risk subversively employing CRP , students from historically marginalized communities will continue to appear as standardized failures.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 1, 2017, p. 1-25
http://www.tcrecord.org/library ID Number: 21719, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 11:23:43 AM


Catch the latest video from AfterEd, the new video channel from the EdLab at Teachers College.
Global education news of the week in brief.; NCLB; international education; software; This episode explores ten interesting and little known facts about Social Studies.; social studies; humor; media; research; schools; Three seniors at Heritage High School talk about education and what the next President should do about it.; Debates; Heritage High School; NCLB; NYC schools; education; election; girls; interview; politics; presidential election; schools; speak out; students; testing; EdWorthy Theater starring MIT Physics Professor Professor Walter Lewin.; MIT; physics; We feature new content about the future of education. Put us on your website ­ whether you're a student, teacher, or educational institution, we aim to create great content that will entertain and enlighten your audience. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1078591423http://www.brightcove.com/channel.jsp?channel=1079000717

Site License Agreement    
 Get statistics in Counter format