Biography-Driven Strategies as the Great Equalizer: Universal Conditions that Promote K-12 Culturally Responsive Teaching

Della Pérez, Melissa Holmes, Stuart Miller, Cristina A. Fanning


The growing number of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students entering our public school system demands a new pedagogical framework for teaching and learning. With its emphasis on all four dimensions of the CLD student biography (sociocultural, linguistic, cognitive, academic), biography-driven culturally responsive teaching (Herrera, 2010) addresses the limited attention currently devoted to second language learning issues in the literature and research related to culturally responsive pedagogy. This study investigates the use of biography-driven instructional (BDI) strategies by 58 general education teachers at the elementary and secondary levels with CLD students in their classrooms using the Biography-Driven Performance Rubric, which measures enactment of teaching standards and educational best practices. Findings indicate that the use of BDI strategies can facilitate the practical actualization of culturally responsive teaching. Findings also suggest that implementation of BDI strategies can help teachers overcome challenges that are unique to secondary settings as they accommodate the assets and needs of CLD learners.


ESL, Strategies, Biography-Driven

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