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Principles of Culturally Relevant Teaching
May 20, 2019 - December 31, 2285

Culturally relevant teaching (CRT) is a way of developing as an educator who continuously practices self-awareness, awareness of others, sociopolitical awareness, and cultural competencies to better provide relatable, socially just, and equitable learning environments for all learners. This introductory course introduces the definitions and principles of CRT, the essentials for being able to enact CRT, and opportunities to examine resources that support facilitating CRT in the classroom. This course is designed to provide you with an initial understanding of CRT to begin building your knowledge and skills towards supporting teaching and learning.

Principles of Culturally Relevant Teaching


Professional development
  • Self-paced, asynchronous, start any time
  • 10 hours of learning, includes full lifetime access to course discussions and materials
  • Certified badge (micro-credential) awarded upon successful completion of final project
Competencies addressed

Once you have completed the assigned materials and expectations for this course, you should be able to:

  • Define culturally relevant teaching (CRT) and its origins as a framework for teaching and learning
  • Identify key concepts in practicing CRT, such as equity vs. equality, standardization vs. standards, explicit and implicit curriculum, and intersectionality.
  • Understand how culturally relevant teaching relates to your subject matter.
  • Know how to reflect on ways your identity, perspectives, and beliefs influence your ability to be culturally relevant.
  • Identify your level of proficiency to enact CRT on a continuum.
  • Develop an approach to lesson planning that enhances your capacity to teach in a culturally relevant way, regardless of topic, subject matter, or student body.
  • Closely examine at least one key principle of CRT in your current teaching.
Standards met

Meets the following professional learning standards:

The Learner and Learning: Standards/Progressions #1 & #2, Learner Development and Learning Differences; Standard/Progress #3, Learning Environments.
Content Knowledge: Standard/Progression #4, Content Knowledge; Standard/Progression #5, Application of Content.
Instructional Practice: Standard/Progression #6, Assessment; Standard/Progression #7, Planning for Instruction; Standard/Progression #8, Instructional Strategies.

  • Any K–12 teacher can take this course (no prior knowledge or actual classroom experience is required).
  • Access to Internet on mobile device or computer. No purchase of additional materials needed.
  • Review and engagement of all content material included in the course, in the sequence presented.
  • Successful completion of final project.
Content and format
  • 5 research-based modules, each taking roughly 1.5 to 2 hours to complete

1. What Is Culturally Relevant Teaching?
2. Reflection and Awareness
3. Deficit vs. Asset-Based Approaches
4. Being Culturally Relevant While Teaching
5. Resource Review and Culminating Project

  • Associated activities to test your knowledge of each module
  • Live weekly discussion sessions to review modules
  • Final project: Create or modify a lesson plan or unit in your content area or develop a project based on a school/community issue to conceptualize how a culturally relevant teaching process can be implemented. Write a narrative description and analysis of the process and implementation undertaken to execute a culturally relevant stance.
About the authors

This course was developed in collaboration with the National Association for Multicultural Education, of which both authors are members.

Dr. Courtney Bentley is Dean of the College of Education at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. In addition to various faculty positions, she has taught in and worked with rural, suburban, and urban P–12 schools and other educational agencies to support equitable learning opportunities for children, youth, and adult learners. Her combined experiences inform her commitment to increasing equitable opportunities, improving educational outcomes, and seeking social justice for underserved communities.

Dr. Vera L Stenhouse is currently an interdisciplinary educator and independent researcher who has taught culturally relevant pedagogy at Georgia State University with aspiring elementary teachers in an urban-school-focused accelerated teacher preparation program. Vera is the author of the book In the Service of Learning and Empowerment: Service–Learning, Critical Pedagogy, and the Problem–Solution Project.