Culturally Responsive Teaching for Remote Learning

Concurrent Session 5 & 6 (combined)
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

The application of culturally responsive pedagogy has gained popularity as an effective way to offer equitable learning opportunities for diverse student groups. This workshop will introduce participants to culturally responsive teaching strategies for remote learning and will engage participants to discuss how to respond to students’ needs and interests across synchronous and asynchronous learning environments.

Extended Abstract

Instructors can feel challenged by practicing culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) in remote teaching environments as they draw upon information communication technology (ICT) to explain lesson content, build relationships, and encourage student participation. According to Bolstad (2004), “ICT can be defined as anything which allows us to get information, to communicate with each other, or to have an effect on the environment using electronic or digital equipment” (pg. vii). Culturally responsive pedagogy encourages student participation when instructors become aware of their backgrounds as well as their students and colleagues to make connections with lesson content. Culturally responsive teachers also use instructional methods that relate to students’ cognitive abilities and life experiences; and they shape the learning environment accordingly (Chen & Fraser 2009; Cummins, 1996; Cummins 2001a & 2001b; Gay, 2002; Jabbar 2012 & 2013; Martin 1997). 

Yet as much as ICT offers a wide range of opportunities to facilitate channels of teacher-to-student and student-to-student communication, many instructors still face obstacles in practicing culturally responsive pedagogy online. For example, many instructors’ teaching methodologies may not apply to certain online contexts. Moreover, instructors may not have enough knowledge and experience about how to use ICT for teaching purposes (Angeli and Valanides 2005; Ching, Hsu and Baldwin 2018; Depaepe, Verschaffel  Kelchtermans, 2013; Kali, Goodyear and Markauskaite 2011; Rapanta, 2020). In addition, more attention is being drawn to traditional and indigenous pedagogies and knowledge systems, which instructors may not be unfamiliar with (Augustus, 2015; Carter, 2009; Tabulawa, 2003; Qiao, 2008). Therefore, this workshop will model and highlight available resources, instructional practices, learning environments, and the backgrounds of the teachers and learners to support the development of equitable culturally responsive classrooms.

Workshop Description:

In an effort to support instructors, teachers, pre-service teachers and teacher trainers to understand culturally responsive pedagogy, identify opportunities for culturally responsive learning, and implement culturally responsive teaching strategies for remote learning, this workshop will first include a slide presentation that highlights theory related to culturally responsive pedagogy; and the facilitator will then invite participants to reflect on CRP practice through brainstorming, discussion, and role play activities. 

Lead-in (Zoom, slide presentation screenshare, chat, audio, 15 min):

Trust- Building: The facilitator will ask everyone to introduce themselves with an icebreaker activity in the chat and audio so that we can feel more comfortable about sharing ideas with each other. 

Presentation (Zoom, slide presentation screenshare, chat, audio, 25 min):  

Communication: The facilitator will give participants an overview of what culturally responsive teaching encompasses. 

*Differentiation Options:

Participants who have more experience with culturally responsive pedagogy may be invited to share their experiences and knowledge to complement the presentation. Participants new to culturally responsive teaching will have access to a comprehensive presentation to introduce them to the concepts and acronyms. Meanwhile, the facilitator will lead an on-going dialogue in Zoom while presenting information/theory that will include check-in questions in the slides, chat and polls to engage participants to follow the lecture-style part of the workshop. The facilitator will summarize the presentation before the break.


Practice and Application Activities (Zoom, slides, chat, audio, whiteboard 5 min):

The facilitator will re-introduce the main points of the slide presentation and begin the Practice and Application Activities (5 minutes).

Check-In: The facilitator will use the Zoom whiteboard to lead an anonymous brainstorming activity about possible situations that would require culturally responsive teaching.

*Differentiation Options:

The facilitator will give a brief explanation about how to use the annotation tools in Zoom to participants in the Zoom white board brainstorming. 

Application Activities: 

Reflection: During our individual reflections the facilitator will invite participants to share. The facilitator will also have a list of examples ready for participants to draw upon. 

Comments: The facilitator will also comment on and invite responses from the participants regarding our whiteboard brainstorming session and reflections. 

*Differentiation Options:

The facilitator will facilitate the discussion by making connections among participant responses.

Synthesis & Summary (Zoom, slides, break out rooms, chat, audio – 30 mins. 10 min for break out rooms, 10 min for presentations in the main room, then 10 min for Q&A concluding remarks): 

Break out Rooms: In breakout rooms participants will analyze a short case-study/scenario and respond to it by creating a brief role-play presentation, or creative expression which they will then share for the group when they return to the main room.

Then the facilitator will lead concluding remarks.

*Differentiation Options:

The facilitator will give participants the choice to create their own role play case study/scenario or the facilitator will have one ready for them so that they can present either through drama, cartoon, presentation slides, or another format they choose.


Participants such as teachers and instructors will be able to identify opportunities for culturally responsive teaching and apply specific strategies in their lessons to support students’ synchronous and asynchronous learning. The chat, poll, whiteboard, and break out room activities will all contribute to guiding the participants in becoming aware about how to identify, validate and affirm students culturally as well as engage students and honor underserved cultural behaviors, using several different strategies that can be found across various technological tools.



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Augustus, C. (2015). Knowledge liaisons: Negotiating multiple pedagogies in global Indigenous courses. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 45(4), 1-17.

Bolstad, R. (2004). The role and potential of ICT in early childhood education: A review of New Zealand and international literature. New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Retrieved from:

Carter, L. (2009). Globalisation and learner-centred pedagogies. Journal for Activist Science & Technology Education, 1(1), 58.

Chen, D., Nimmo, J., & Fraser H. (2009). Becoming a culturally responsive early childhood Educator: a tool to support reflection by teachers embarking on the anti-bias journey. Multicultural Perspectives, 11(2), 101- 106. Retrieved from:

Ching, Y.H., Hsu, Y. C., & Baldwin, S. (2018). Becoming an online teacher: an analysis of prospective online instructors’ reflections. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 29(2), 145-168. 

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Cummins, J. (2001b). Negotiating Identities: Education for Empowerment in a Diverse Society. Los Angeles: California Association for Bilingual Education.

Depaepe, F., Verschaffel, L.,  & Kelchtermans, G. (2013). Pedagogical content knowledge: A systematic review of the way in which the concept has pervaded mathematics educational research. Teaching and Teacher Education, 34,12-25.

Gay, G. (2002). Culturally responsive teaching in special education for ethnically diverse students: Setting the stage. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. 15(6), 613-629. 

Jabbar, A., & Hardaker, G. (2012). The role of culturally responsive teaching for supporting ethnic diversity in British university business schools. Teaching in Higher Education, 1-13.

Jabbar, A. (2013). Characterising features of culturally responsive teaching in UK higher education business schools. In: 10th ALD in HE Conference 2013: Celebrating Learning Development, 25th – 27th March 2013, Plymouth University, UK.

Kali, Y., Goodyear, P., & Markauskaite, L. (2011). Researching design practices and design cognition: contexts, experiences and pedagogical knowledge-in-pieces. Learning, Media and Technology, 36(2), 129 -149. 

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Yelland, N., & Masters, J. (2007). Rethinking scaffolding in the information age. Computers & Education, 48, 362– 382.

Qiao, X. (2008). An overview of culture-sensitive pedagogy. Intercultural Forum, 1(2).