7 culturally responsive classroom management strategies - Classcraft Blog (2023)

Classroom management is often a challenge for teachers. Both newcomers and veterans are always looking for ways to make their classrooms more effective and welcoming for all students. As classrooms become more diverse, teachers have to develop strategies for classroom management that honor and respect students from various cultures and backgrounds.

Culturally responsive classroom management (CRCM) refers to strategies that focus on developing a classroom for all students — teachers use cultural awareness to guide management decisions about their classroom. They also take into consideration students’ backgrounds, cultures, home lives, learning styles, and past experiences to create opportunities for everyone’s success.

While many teachers are already working to have a more culturally responsive classroom, there are a few specific strategies that can help them fully embrace a classroom where all students from all backgrounds can feel respected and welcome.

7 culturally responsive classroom management strategies

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1. Build a caring classroom community

All classroom management strategies are stronger when students understand that the teacher cares about their students. Students don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Using culturally responsive classroom management means building good teacher-student relationships that respect all students’ backgrounds. As a teacher, you can allow students time and freedom to share their stories with each other and you. As everyone learns more about each other, they can understand where students are coming from and what past experiences might be influencing each student’s feelings and behaviors.

Teachers can encourage a positive and caring classroom environment by asking students for feedback about the management of a class. The teacher should also consider that some cultures interpret behaviors differently, after all, what’s appropriate or inappropriate can vary from one culture to another. Likewise, what’s acceptable in some homes is not in others. Students may need help adjusting to your classroom and understanding your expectations of them.

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2. Embrace cultural diversity

All students should be celebrated in the classroom. Include posters and pictures that represent multiple cultures, genders, religions, and nationalities. Texts and reading materials should be culturally diverse and represent authors from many different backgrounds. Present signs and banners in multiple languages.

The classroom could have a map where students mark their origin country. Give students the opportunity to do projects to learn more about their own culture and the cultures of others. Students can also share different celebrations and holidays with their classmates so everyone understands that many people celebrate their cultures and religions in diverse ways.

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3. Set a positive tone

This method is important in all classrooms but especially when using CRCM to ensure that all students feel welcome. Teachers can begin each class by greeting students at the door. A quick hello and maybe a question about their weekend or evening might make a big difference in starting class on a positive note. Students can also greet each other and take a moment to catch up at the start of the class.

While systems of rewards and consequences are a typical part of classroom management, there’s a way to make this a more positive part of an academic environment. By practicing asset-based classroom management, teachers focus more on students’ strengths and less on their weaknesses. In other words, instead of repeatedly calling out a student’s misbehavior, teachers should compliment students’ good behavior in the hopes that they will continue to repeat those desirable behaviors. For more information on asset-based classroom management, check out our article on asset-based teaching.

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4. Get to know students personally

If the goal is to create a classroom that embraces all students’ backgrounds and experiences, then teachers must get to know their students personally. Teachers need to know what students have been through and where they come from to fully be able to understand the needs of each student in the classroom.

There are many ways to get to know your students. Simple icebreakers at the start of the year can get the ball rolling. From there, students can play some social games in class to get to know each other and the teacher better. Asking students about their lives outside of the classroom is always helpful. Some teachers find time to talk to students before and after class or during lunch or recess. Students often enjoy sharing about themselves. Teachers can go the extra mile by attending extracurricular events such as plays, sporting events, and concerts. When teachers are able to coach teams or lead school activities, they often have the chance to get to know students on a more personal level as well.

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5. Involve families and communities in supportive and positive ways

Whenever possible, teachers should involve families and communities in helping students succeed. Classroom volunteers and guest speakers can represent a variety of cultures and backgrounds. If the community has a project in which students can participate, teachers can allow class time so students can help out. If a cultural celebration is happening in the community, the class can create something to contribute. And if the class is hosting a concert, invite the community to watch the students sing or play instruments.

Family visits are an option in many school districts. Teachers can establish strong relationships with a student’s family by visiting them in their own home if permitted to do so. Teachers must be aware that parents may have different expectations and behavior systems in place than what the school requires. By visiting a student’s home, teachers can get a firsthand look at how the student spends his or her life outside of the classroom. Teachers can also open a line of communication with the parents by showing that they care enough to go the extra mile for their child.

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6. Set clear classroom expectations

Every classroom management plan should have clear expectations. This is especially important when trying to create a culturally responsive management plan. By making sure that all students understand the expectations you can develop a classroom environment that encourages respect and acceptance.

In a respectful classroom, students will know that everyone will receive equitable treatment and will feel a sense of comfort when they arrive at your class and know what to do every day. Some teachers even have their students participate in the creation of those classroom expectations to encourage ownership. Students can then sign a contract as a class and as individuals to commit to the expectations they’ve created.

All classroom expectations should be clearly posted and discussed in class. Students need to have the chance to practice the behaviors throughout the school year. Teachers should model the behaviors and provide positive feedback as students demonstrate proper classroom behaviors.

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7. Provide continuous support

Once expectations are set and students are beginning to feel comfortable in the classroom, teachers need to provide continuous support to students to help them achieve success. Teachers need to find ways to meet the needs of all of the students in the classroom. By learning how to support students with different learning styles, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, teachers add another layer to a solid culturally responsive classroom management plan. The more teachers get to know their students and their families, the more they can provide specific support based on a student’s individual needs.

The best way to make everyone feel respected in the classroom

All teachers and students crave a classroom that is welcoming and full of respect and acceptance. By implementing a few specific strategies geared toward building a culturally responsive classroom management plan, teachers can create a learning space where all students feel respected and at ease. With classrooms becoming increasingly diverse, it’s more important than ever that teachers take the time to ensure that all students have opportunities and support to thrive.

Photo credit: mnm.all / unsplash.com


What are the 7 principles of culturally responsive teaching? ›

7 Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies
  • Activate students' prior knowledge. ...
  • Make learning contextual. ...
  • Consider your classroom setup. ...
  • Form relationships. ...
  • Discuss social and political issues. ...
  • Tap into students' cultural capital. ...
  • Incorporate popular culture.
Nov 19, 2020

What are culturally responsive classroom management strategies? ›

Culturally responsive classroom managers filter their decision making about the environment through the lens of cultural diversity. They think about ways the environment can be used to communicate respect for diversity, to reaffirm connectedness and community, and to avoid marginalizing and disparaging students.

What are the three strategies for building a culturally responsive classroom? ›

Here are three ways to create a culturally responsive classroom:
  • Learn about students' cultures. Understanding students' cultural backgrounds and experiences is the key to culturally responsive teaching. ...
  • Embrace an asset-based mindset. Reflect on students' individual strengths. ...
  • Create a student-centered classroom.
Jan 25, 2021

What are the big 5 classroom management strategies? ›

5 Effective Classroom Management Strategies
  • Write Down the Rules.
  • Let Students Help.
  • Encourage Questioning.
  • Let Students Lead.
  • Encourage Group Projects.
Sep 21, 2021

What are the 6 themes of culturally responsive education? ›

The six themes of CRE from Stembridge include engagement, cultural identity, relationships, vulnerability, assets, and rigor. These six themes overlap but are listed separately to elucidate the connections with classroom assessment.

What does a culturally responsive classroom look like? ›

Culturally responsive schools offer a learning environment where every student's cultures, languages, and life experiences are acknowledged, validated, and celebrated. They are also positively reflected in the curriculum and instructional methods.

What are culturally responsive practices to promote positive classroom climate? ›

Culturally responsive practices include intentionally teaching social skills, raising expectations of all children, and recognizing children's positive behaviors in the context of their own culture. Teachers need to reflect on their own culture, lives, and biases.

What are the 3 R's of Responsive Classroom? ›

One way for teachers to harness the power of their language is to pay attention to the “3 Rs”—reinforcing language, reminding language, and redirecting language—that are part of the Responsive Classroom approach to teacher language.

How can teachers be more culturally responsive in the classroom? ›

using students' cultural experiences in daily instruction. embracing native language and students' families as assets. creating a classroom environment that represents and respects all students. communicating clear high expectations for everyone.

What are the 3 main components of cultural responsiveness? ›

Culturally responsive pedagogy is often divided into three functional dimensions: the institutional, focusing on the cultural factors that impact the organizational structures of schools; the personal, focusing on awareness of personal biases of the instructor; and the instructional, which refers to the instructional ...

What are the 4 C's of classroom management? ›

Teaching through the lens of the "Four Cs"—critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity—will help us and our students stay essential in an evolving world of work.

What are the Big 8 classroom management strategies? ›

8 Classroom Management Strategies for the New School Year
  • Relationships, relationships, relationships. ...
  • Set clear and reasonable community expectations. ...
  • Make engagement your priority. ...
  • Make parents partners, not enforcers. ...
  • Fill the space and get interactive. ...
  • Recognize the positive in class. ...
  • Incorporate break times.

What are the seven key elements for effective classroom management? ›

Seven Keys Elements of Classroom Management
  • Classroom Design. Although often overlooked, the first element of classroom management is intentional design. ...
  • Rules. Develop rules that foster respect, caring and community in your classroom. ...
  • Discipline. ...
  • Scheduling. ...
  • Organization. ...
  • Instructional Technique. ...
  • Communication.
Mar 13, 2019

What are the 5 key elements of culturally sustaining pedagogy? ›

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy strategies to boost student engagement
  • Student-centric course. ...
  • Make room for differences. ...
  • Encourage group interaction in class. ...
  • Validate multiple perspectives in class. ...
  • Culturally responsive curriculum. ...
  • Connect school learning with students' real life experiences.

Which 6 are ways of fostering cultural awareness in a classroom? ›

How can you Promote Diversity and Multiculturalism in the Classroom?
  • Get to Know Your Students. ...
  • Maintain Consistent Communication. ...
  • Acknowledge and Respect Every Student. ...
  • Practice Cultural Sensitivity. ...
  • Incorporate Diversity in the Lesson Plan. ...
  • Give Students Freedom and Flexibility.

What are the eight competencies for culturally responsive teaching? ›

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching
  • Reflect on one's cultural lens. ...
  • Recognize and redress bias in the system. ...
  • Draw on students' culture to shape curriculum and instruction. ...
  • Bring real-world issues into the classroom. ...
  • Model high expectations for all students. ...
  • Promote respect for student differences.
Mar 9, 2023

How do you create a culturally inclusive classroom? ›

Treat diversity positively

Don't expect any individual student to speak as a representative of his / her culture. Utilise diverse experiences and perspectives as a resource. Plan opportunities for all students to contribute input related to their own culture (but avoid making any student a cultural representative).

What is culturally responsive teaching in the ELA classroom? ›

She defines culturally responsive teaching as “an approach that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes."

What does a positive classroom culture look like? ›

Positive classroom culture, defined

A positive classroom culture is characterized by a non-threatening atmosphere where students feel that they are able to speak, offer ideas and take risks without fear of reprisal or mockery.

What are culturally responsive lessons? ›

Culturally responsive teaching is a research-based approach to teaching. It connects students' cultures, languages, and life experiences with what they learn in school. These connections help students access rigorous curriculum and develop higher-level academic skills. Our brains are wired to make connections.

What it means to be culturally responsive? ›

Being culturally responsive requires having the ability to understand cultural differences, recognize potential biases, and look beyond differences to work productively with children, families, and communities whose cultural contexts are different from one's own.

What are the 4 C's of cultural diversity? ›

Creativity – Culture – Contemplation yield Community.

What are the 6 steps to becoming culturally competent? ›

How do I become culturally competent?
  • Learn about yourself. Get started by exploring your own historical roots, beliefs and values, says Robert C. ...
  • Learn about different cultures. ...
  • Interact with diverse groups. ...
  • Attend diversity-focused conferences. ...
  • Lobby your department.

What are the five 5 key building blocks of cultural competence? ›

Contained within this guide is a walkthrough of the five building blocks of cultural competence: open attitude, self-awareness, awareness of others, cultural knowledge, and cultural skills.

What is a way to promote cultural responsiveness and inclusion in the classroom? ›

Get to Know Your Students and Their Families

Expressing interest in your students' ethnic and cultural backgrounds is fundamental to creating a culturally responsive classroom. Make sure to learn the correct pronunciation of your students' names and encourage them to share their family traditions with their classmates.

How do you create a culture of respect in the classroom? ›

Download the PDF resource here.
  1. Let all your students know that you respect and care about them. ...
  2. Set up a classroom culture of inclusion and respect. ...
  3. Acknowledge students who demonstrate kindness, respect and thoughtfulness. ...
  4. Use positive approaches when educating students about acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.

How do you create a respectful classroom environment? ›

Leading Discussions
  1. Begin by setting discussion guidelines or having students create their own rules for civility, respect, etc. ...
  2. Convey your respect for all opinions and encourage participation.
  3. Allow space for everyone to participate.
  4. Model active listening behaviors (McKeachie, 2014)

What are the four 4 domains of the Responsive Classroom? ›

This approach to teaching and discipline creates the conditions for social, emotional, and academic learning using practical strategies in four domains: positive community, effective management, engaging academics, and developmentally responsive teaching.

What are the three C's in classroom? ›

Teaching is an art, the practice of which is best measured, in my view, according to what I call “The Three C's”: competence, creativity and care.

What are the 7cs in education? ›

The seven skills are: • Collaboration • Communication • Creativity • Critical Thinking • Character • Citizenship • Computational Thinking If we believe our work as teachers is mainly to prepare students for successful futures, then we should give opportunities for students to strengthen these skills.

How do you promote equity and diversity in the classroom? ›

Seven effective ways to promote equity in the classroom
  1. Reflect on your own beliefs. ...
  2. Reduce race and gender barriers to learning. ...
  3. Don't ask students of color to be “experts” on their race. ...
  4. Diversify your curriculum. ...
  5. Hold every student to high expectations. ...
  6. Avoid assumptions about students' backgrounds.
Mar 19, 2020

What are the 3 C's of culture? ›

Often, we can identify an issue in culture, but we don't know where to start. Review these three Cs of culture: Communication, Core Values, and Commitment to Excellence, and this will help you pinpoint an area or two that you can improve on with the tips above.

What are the three A's when practicing cultural sensitivity? ›

Cultural sensitivity develops through 6 stages: denial, defense, minimization, acceptance, adaptation, and integration.

What are the four 4 vital cultural components? ›

The major elements of culture are symbols, language, norms, values, and artifacts.

What are the 6 principles of classroom management? ›

Your ability to connect with the students and demonstrating qualities like kindness, warmth, support, clarity, proactive approach, and consistency can go a long way in making the classroom heaven for learning where students exhibit ideal behavior full of politeness and obedience.

What are the six elements for an effective classroom management? ›

The six keys identified to successful classroom management based on the concepts of the Process Communication Model are: (1) Know Yourself; (2) Know Your Students; (3) Examine Current Strategies; (4) Motivate by Type; (5) Develop Intervention Strategies; and (6) Create a Multifaceted Environment.

What are the six dimensions of classroom management? ›

The six features are: psychosocial, procedural, physical, behavioral, instructional, and organizational (Smith, 2004, p. 415, fig. 14.1). When all six dimensions are well designed and in harmony with each other, a classroom will manage itself.

What are the 4 basic elements of successful classroom management plans? ›

According to researchers, classroom management is a core strategy for effective teaching, four components of classroom management were identified and analyzed, which included: rules and regulations, disciplinary interventions, teacher-student interactions, and mental sets.

What is the most effective classroom management? ›

Good classroom management isn't simply about keeping everyone in their seats and quiet. It's about building strong relationships with your students, encouraging them to take part in their own learning, and sharing a little of yourself.

What are the 5 P's of classroom management? ›

Try the 5 Ps: positive, polite, prepared, productive, and prompt.

What are 5 strategies of classroom management? ›

5 Effective Classroom Management Strategies
  • Write Down the Rules.
  • Let Students Help.
  • Encourage Questioning.
  • Let Students Lead.
  • Encourage Group Projects.
Sep 21, 2021

What are the big 5 principles of classroom management? ›

Effective classroom management requires awareness, patience, good timing, boundaries, and instinct. There's nothing easy about shepherding a large group of easily distractible young people with different skills and temperaments along a meaningful learning journey.

What is an example of the principles of culturally responsive teaching? ›

For example, we might invite families or community members representing the different faiths found in students' communities into school to share their values. Students' family members and community guests can provide firsthand knowledge of the content and add a level of relevance to learning.

What are the 5 principles of classroom culture? ›

The five elements of classroom culture, discipline, management, control, influence and engagement, provide a deeper way to look at what's goes on in classrooms as both leaders and teachers.

What are the key concepts in culturally responsive practice? ›

It means being respectful of everyone's backgrounds, beliefs, values, customs, knowledge, lifestyle and social behaviours. It helps you provide culturally appropriate care and support, so people are empowered to manage their own health.

How can teachers create a culturally responsive classroom? ›

Six Steps to Creating a Culturally Responsive Classroom
  1. Tap into Various Cultures. Get to know your students! ...
  2. Design for Multiculturalism. ...
  3. Create a Student-Centered Classroom. ...
  4. Pronounce Names Correctly. ...
  5. Set High Expectations. ...
  6. Embrace an Asset-Based Mindset.
Feb 28, 2023

What is a key element of culturally responsive teaching? ›

The Culturally Responsive-Sustaining (CR-S) Framework outlines four principles and embedded strategies to help educators create student-centered learning environments that: affirm racial, linguistic and cultural identities; prepare students for rigorous and independent learning; develop students' abilities to connect ...

What is culturally responsive teaching in simple terms? ›

culturally responsive teaching: a pedagogy that uses students' customs, characteristics, experiences, and perspectives as tools for better classroom instruction. Students of color see themselves and their communities as belonging in academic spaces.

What are the 7 domains of pedagogy? ›

The 7 domains are as follows: Domain 1 – Content Knowledge and Pedagogy, Domain 2 – Learning Environment, Domain 3 – Diversity of Learners, Domain 4 – Curriculum and Planning, Domain 5 – Assessment and Reporting, Domain 6 – Community Linkages and Professional Engagement, Domain 7 – Personal Growth and Professional ...

What are the four conditions necessary for culturally responsive teaching? ›

Culturally relevant pedagogy appears as a core pedagogical approach to multicultural education. Wlodkowski and Ginsberg (1995) conceptualize four motivational conditions that involve establishing inclusion, enhancing positive attitude,promoting meaning,and engendering competence.

What are the 7 principles of classroom design? ›

Seven Principles of Early Childhood Classroom Design
  • Principle 1: Nature Inspires Beauty. ...
  • Principle 2: Color Generates Interest. ...
  • Principle 3: Furnishings Define Space. ...
  • Principle 4: Texture Adds Depth. ...
  • Principle 5: Displays Enhance Environment. ...
  • Principle 6: Elements Heighten Ambiance.

What are the 8 cultural forces in the classroom? ›

Ritchhart identified eight cultural forces; opportunities, time, modelling, language, environment, interactions, routines & expectations.


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