As part of being a Literacy Collaborative coach, I have to attend ongoing training for three days, twice a year. Today, and the rest of the week, I am at that training.
One of the sessions I attended today, was about culturally responsive children's literature. The presenter was basing her teaching on the work of Dr. Sharroky Hollie.
She began by asking us what does it mean to be culturally and linguistically responsive. It was interesting to hear responses from around the room. One of the things we learned is there are different types of cultures. Most often we think of ethnicity of culture. But we also need to consider: orientation, national, class, religious, gender, and age. I think most of us only think about ethnicity. and we need to expand that.
When looking at books, we need to think if they are culturally authentic, culturally generic, or culturally neutral. This isn't something I had really thought in depth about so it was nice to be able to look through different books and to see where they fell in the catagories. Here are the descriptions of each:
My take-away is that culture is more than just ethnicity. While I know that, I don't think I always practice that, and I need to be more intentional.