10 Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies

Streamed Session Equity and Inclusion

Brief Abstract

Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) strategies for success in all students in higher education are the topic of this session. Successful CRT strategies designed by faculty engaging with working adults in university programs to welcome and connect with students and promote student success are the session's focus.


Dr. Nancyruth Leibold is an energetic and passionate nurse educator who launched her nursing career in 1981. Nancyruth has nursing experience in critical care, medical/surgical nursing, public health nursing, health leadership education, and nursing education. Dr. Leibold has served as a Staff Nurse, Travel Nurse, Nursing Coordinator, Director of Nursing, Nurse Researcher, and Nurse Educator. She has an EdD from College of Saint Mary, MS in Nursing from Creighton University, and BSN from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Nancyruth completed a certificate program from Minnesota State University-Mankato in Faculty Teaching and a certificate program at Minnesota State University-Mankato for Excellence in Online Teaching. Nancyruth is a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) through the National League for Nursing. Also, Dr. Leibold has a certificate in teaching online from the University of New South Wales in Australia. Nancyruth is a Reiki Master/Teacher and certified in mindfulness as a meditation guide and forgiveness coach. Dr. Leibold holds Advanced Holistic Nurse-Board Certification. Dr. Leibold’s research interests include holistic nursing and health, civility, nursing education, online nursing, instructional technology, feedback, and teaching strategies. Nancyruth is active in Sigma Theta Tau International, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, and the American Holistic Nursing Association. She is also an active member of the Watson Caring Science Institute, Society for the Advancement of Modeling and Role Modeling, Online Learning Consortium, and Association of Nursing Professional Development. Nancyruth is a reviewer for the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Journal of Effective Teaching, the Journal of Effective Teaching in Higher Education, and the Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practices. She is a Sigma Theta Tau International Virginia Henderson Fellow. Dr. Leibold is the Editor of Health Sciences at MERLOT. Nancyruth has received numerous nursing awards and teaching awards, such as the Caring in Nursing Award from the Sisters of the Incarnate Word at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, the Outstanding Faculty Award from the nursing student body at Creighton University, and the Excellence in Nursing Award from Sigma Theta Tau, Nu Rho Chapter. In 2013, Dr. Leibold received the Midwest/Heartland Nursing Excellence Educator and Mentor GEM award from nurse.com. She received the 2014 National Nurse Educator Award from Wilson Shepard Associates. In 2014, Nancyruth received the Phyllis Roseberry Service Award from Sigma Theta Tau International, Mu Lambda Chapter. Dr. Leibold received the 2018 Excellence in Nursing Leadership Award from the Nursing Honor Society! In May of 2018, Dr. Leibold was awarded 'Lesson of the Week' for a virtual lesson she authored: Comprehensive School Health Program by SoftChalk! In March of 2020, Dr. Leibold was honored to receive the 2020 Excellence in Nursing Leadership Award from the Omega Omicron Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. In 2021 and 2022, Nancyruth received The MERLOT House Cup, and the Peer Reviewer Extraordinaire Award From MERLOT. Dr. Leibold began developing web pages for her courses in 1994, and her passion for distance and online teaching/learning has only grown since then. Nancyruth, a Certified Nurse Educator, has completed several online teaching/learning certificates. During a 2014 Presidential Teaching Scholar Fellowship from Minnesota State University, Mankato, she authored and designed virtual instructional modules and a virtual simulation about civility and conflict management for nurses. Multimodal publications are a favorite of Nancyruth, and she has written many for her online courses. Nancyruth has many professional presentations, grant awards, book chapter publications, multimodal publications, textbooks, and peer-reviewed journal article publications. Nancyruth recently published the second edition of her textbook: The Praxis of Critical Thinking in Nursing. She published the first edition of The Art and Science of Evidence-based practice in Nursing in 2020. In early 2021, she published a textbook for Health Educators titled Community Health and Health Promotion. Also in 2021 Nancyruth authored, edited, and published two holistic nursing textbooks that are Open Textbooks and found at MERLOT, Health Sciences. In 2023, Dr. Leibold published the second edition of the The Art and Science of Evidence-based practice in Nursing textbook.
My name is Lindsay Rohlik and I am a Faculty/Director of the RN to BSN Program and teach in our MSN Nurse Educator Graduate Program at SMSU. I have a Doctoral Degree in Leadership and Practice Innovations as well as a Master's in Nursing Education. I am very passionate about teaching-learning and my teaching philosophy is based on the premise that all students are deserving of a holistic education. This includes an education that will allow students to discover themselves as well as their full potential through the course learnings and experiences. I am also aware that as a nurse educator, I strive to bring a variety of teaching strategies, and I also realize that as students, you all present with a variety of abilities, preferences, and experiences, as well as learning styles. I pride myself as an educator on inspiring learning by providing a learning environment that is safe, and supportive, and invites a sharing of ideas and active learning and participation. I have been practicing nursing in the community/public health nursing setting for 16 years and started teaching in higher education in the Fall of 2018.

Extended Abstract

Culturally responsive teaching is relevant to promote equity in higher education. All persons have a right to inclusive and equitable education. The overall goal of CRT is to promote equitable education for all. Therefore, knowledgeable, and skillful educators that practice culturally responsive teaching to promote success in a diverse student population are essential. 

The presenters share their "Top Ten" tips for culturally responsive teaching during this session. The tips are approaches and actions to promote success in diverse student groups. Presenters describe strategies and perspectives, use narrative pedagogy, and operationalization of rich examples to engage the audience. During the session, a case study with guided questions prompts attendees to engage by sharing their input.

Teaching is a personal and lifelong process. Culturally responsive teaching requires an educator's lifelong learning endeavor to develop their craft continuously. By listening to others and sharing, educators can develop their abilities to promote success in all students. Awareness is a critical aspect of building knowledge. Strategies include being aware of one's own culture and learning about other cultures. Being aware is a fundamental and endowing attribute of the CRT journey. 

A summary of the selected CRT strategies discussed is in the following. The presenters share techniques for creating a welcoming, equitable, and inclusive environment. Fostering a sense of belonging and developing professional relationships with students is an essential component of CRT. A helpful strategy is to empower students with a "help—I am in a bind plan" at the start of the course so that should they feel stressed or overloaded, they have a plan to get through the situation. Educators should incorporate inclusion, equity, and cultural content and use inclusive teaching/learning materials during courses. The use of diverse teaching strategies is best able to reach various learning styles. Open Education Resources (OERs) are a way to help students without the financial means to purchase expensive textbooks and software programs. Attendees will learn "how" three educators operationalize culturally responsive strategies to promote success in all learners.

After active participation in this session, attendees will:

  1. Describe strategies to use as a part of culturally responsive teaching practice.
  2. Explain ways to promote student success in higher education.