How a cultural lens can help teachers disrupt inequity

By Stephanie L. Dodman, Nancy Holincheck and Rebecca K. Fox
February 2022
Viewing classrooms as apolitical, race-neutral environments isn’t working — and never has. In promoting color blindness, educators have denied student racial identities. In using the broad language of multicultural education, schools have maintained a strict adherence to white, middle class, heteronormative definitions of success. As a result, students from minoritized populations have been asked to adopt the norms of either school or home. Unsurprisingly, school has become a place of dissonance for too many. It is past time to change that pattern, and education leaders have a clear opportunity for change right now. The confluence of racial justice movements and COVID-19 school shutdowns have forced long-existing inequities into the spotlight. Now there is an opening to shift the structures and culture of schools. We see

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In


Caro-Bruce, C., Flessner, R., Klehr, M., & Zeichner, K. (Eds.). (2007). Creating equitable classrooms through action research. Corwin.

Dana, N.F. & Yendol-Hoppey, D. (2019). The reflective educator’s guide to classroom research: Learning to teach and teaching to learn through practitioner inquiry. Corwin.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. Touchstone.

Gay, G. (2018). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice (3rd ed.). Teachers College Press.

Gonzalez, N., Moll, L.C., Tenery, M.F., Rivera, A., Rendon, P., Gonzales, R., & Amanti, C. (1995). Funds of knowledge for teaching in Latino households. Urban Education, 29(4), 443-470.

Jacob, E. (1995). Reflective practice and anthropology in culturally diverse classrooms. Elementary School Journal, 95, 451-463. doi: 10.1086/461855

Jacob, E., Johnson, B.K., Finley, J., Gurski, J.C., & Lavine, R.S. (1996). One student at a time: The cultural inquiry process. Middle School Journal, 27(4), 29-35. doi: 10.1080/00940771.1996.11495906

Ladson-Billings, G. (2014). Culturally relevant pedagogy, 2.0: a.k.a. The remix. Harvard Educational Review, 84, 74-84. doi: 10.17763/haer.84.1.p2rj131485484751

Learning Forward. (2020, October 14). Learning Forward’s equity position statement. Author.

Nieto, S. (2018). Affirming diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education (7th ed.). Pearson.

Paris, D. (2012). Culturally sustaining pedagogy: A needed change in stance, terminology, and practice. Educational Researcher, 41(3), 93-97. doi: 10.3102/0013189X12441244

Ward, A.M. (2021, December). Addressing students’ humanity is an equity issue. The Learning Professional, 42(6), 10, 12.

Wink, J. (2010). Critical pedagogy: Notes from the real world (4th ed.). Pearson.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Stephanie-dodman

Stephanie L. Dodman ( is an assistant professor of education at George Mason University.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Nancy Holincheck-scaled

Nancy Holincheck ( is assistant professor of education at George Mason University.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Rebecca Fox

Rebecca K. Fox ( is professor of education at George Mason University.

The Learning Professional

Published Date


  • Recent Issues

    December 2022

    Overcoming barriers to equity takes deep listening, learning about self...

    October 2022

    Professional learning can help educators navigate the competing...

    August 2022

    New teachers have unique professional learning needs and challenges. When...

    June 2022

    This issue celebrates the 2022 revision of Standards for Professional...

    Skip to content