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Cultural Proficiency - Book Cover

Cultural Proficiency

A Manual for School Leaders

Your first step in the cultural proficiency journey

Cultural Proficiency’s inside-outside approach to leadership is grounded in the assumption that honest introspection is a requirement to leading equity-driven change. And now, with updated content, new case studies, expanded vignettes, new activities and study guides, and an updated matrix, this fourth edition is more urgently needed than ever.

Rely on these authors to be your guides as you learn how to

  • Engage colleagues in collaborative dialogue about creating powerful teaching and learning environments
  • Recognize and respond to both individual and group differences to break down barriers
  • Use the Cultural Proficiency Continuum to assess the limitations of school practices and identify opportunities to shift the culture

Full description

Cultural Proficiency - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506390543
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 360
  • Publication date: August 21, 2018

Price: $47.95

Price: $47.95
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This is a book for everyone who teaches. Whether you are responsible for your organization’s training and development, you are providing basic education in an elementary school, or you are creating workshops for professional development, this book will help you manage the dynamics of difference necessary to create an environment where all students can learn. Use this book as a workbook for small groups, or as a guide for improving the cultural competence of your teaching.

“This book is a riveting and unparalleled resource for all educational merchants of hope. . . . The insights, learning strategies, and professional development structures in this edition illuminate a path for all leaders to successfully commit to the journey of being equity champions!”

--Dr. Erick E. Witherspoon, National Director of Equity Professional Development Services
Generation Ready

“There is no greater honor than to have one’s professional work become the inspiration for a new way of thinking, and transformative literature and action that change the world for schools and the children and youth they serve. I am grateful that the ideas have been so skillfully brought to scale by these authors.”
--Dr. Terry L. Cross, MSW, Founder and Senior Advisor
National Indian Child Welfare Association



Randall B. Lindsey photo

Randall B. Lindsey

Randall B. Lindsey is Emeritus Professor at California State University, Los Angeles. He has served as a teacher, an administrator, executive director of a non-profit corporation, as Interim Dean at California Lutheran University, as Distinguished Educator in Residence at Pepperdine University, and as Chair of the Education Department at the University of Redlands. All of Randy’s experiences have been in working with diverse populations and his area of study is the behavior of white people in multicultural settings. His Ph.D. is in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University, his Master of Arts in Teaching is in History Education from the University of Illinois, and his B.S. in Social Science Education is from Western Illinois University. He has served as a junior high school and high school teacher and as an administrator in charge of school desegregation efforts. At Cal State, L.A. he served as Chair of the Division of Administration and Counseling and as Director of the Regional Assistance Centers for Educational Equity, a regional race desegregation assistance center. With co-authors he has written several books and articles on applying the Cultural Proficiency Framework in various contexts.

Email – randallblindsey@gmail.com
Website - CCPEP.org
Twitter - @RBLindsey41
Kikanza Nuri-Robins photo

Kikanza Nuri-Robins

Kikanza Nuri-Robins helps people to close the gap between what they say they are and what they actually do. Whether she is in a corporate boardroom, the fireside room of a retreat center, or a convention center auditorium, Kikanza uses her skills and insights to help people and organizations that are in transition – or ought to be. She shares her observations and recommendations with clarity and candor, while gently encouraging them to face the difficult situations that challenge their skill sets and their values. She leads people to this growing edge with unswerving focus, an understanding heart, and laughter that rises from the seat of her soul.

Since 1978, Kikanza has worked as an organizational development consultant in a variety of settings includ­ing education, health care, criminal justice, and religion, focusing on leadership development, change management, and cultural proficiency. Her clients range from school districts, to university faculty, to government offices and non-profit organizations. The connecting thread is her passion for working with people who want to making a difference for others.

Kikanza studied at Occidental College, the University of Southern California, and the San Francisco Theological Seminary. She is the author of many articles and five books, including: Cultural Proficiency and Culturally Proficient Responses to the LGBT Communities. Kikanza lives in Los Angeles where she spends her discretionary time as a textile artist.

Raymond D. Terrell photo

Raymond D. Terrell

Raymond Terrell, EdD. retired as Associate Dean for Research and Diversity and member of he department of Educational Leadership at Miami University, Oxford< Ohio. He previously worked at California State University, Los Angeles where he served as Professor of Educational Administration and for five years he was the Dean of the School of Eduction. His journey in education began in a public school district where he taught English to junior and senior high students;. He also was a principal and an assistant superintend in the same district. Dr. Terrell is co-author on a number of books including , Cultural Proficiency: and a A Manual for School Leaders, Cultural Proficient Leadership. His books and numerous articles and life’s work have all focused on issues of equity and inclusion
Delores B. Lindsey photo

Delores B. Lindsey

Dr. Delores B. Lindsey retired as Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at California State University San Marcos; however, she has not retired from the education profession. Her primary focus is developing culturally proficient leaders. She helps educational leaders examine their organizations’ policies and practices, and their individual beliefs and values about cross-cultural communication. Her message to her audiences focuses on viewing, creating, and managing socially just educational practices, culturally proficient leadership practice, and diversity as an asset to be nurtured. Her favorite reflective question is: Are we who we say we are? Delores and husband Randall, her favorite Sage/Corwin author, continue to co-write about the application of the four Tools of Cultural Proficiency. Her most recent publication, which is on the Bestseller list from Corwin, is Leading While Female, A Culturally Proficient Response for Gender Equity, with Trudy Arriaga and Stacie Stanley.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface to the Fourth Edition

Foreword to the Third Edition

Foreword to the Second Edition

Foreword to the First Edition


About the Authors


1. Cultural Proficiency

Cultural Proficiency: An Inside-Out Approach to Difference

The Four Tools

A Historical Context

Why Would I or My School Want to Engage?

Learning and Educating Effectively

Living in a Global Community

Participating in the Community

Culturally Proficient Leadership: Diversity “Is”

Resources for Developing Culturally Proficient Leaders

Read the Text First

Cultural Proficiency Books’ Essential Questions

Going Deeper: Reflection

Going Deeper: Dialogic Questions

2. A Cultural and Historical Context for Our Unfolding Democracy

An Inside-Out Approach

What It Takes

Culture Is . . .

What Happened to Race?

The Legacy of Segregation and Exclusion

A History of Caste in the United States

Labels for Historically Oppressed People

From Segregation to Cultural Proficiency

Culture and History Provide Perspective

Going Deeper: Reflection

Going Deeper: Dialogic Questions

3. Leadership for Today’s Schools

Our Journey With Culturally Proficient Leaders

Culturally Proficient Leadership: Exploring Deeply Held Values for Equity

Shared Vision

Long-Term, Systemic Change: Finding Leverage Points for Acti

Limitations of Local School Change Initiatives

Inside-Out Approach to Change: Why Leaders Ask Why?

Cultural Proficiency as a Frame for Change


Culturally Proficient Leadership Is Transformative

Continuum as a Guide: Creating Initial Awareness Is Cultural Precompetence

Tools for Change

Formal and Nonformal Leaders


Culturally Proficient Leaders Focus on Inequities

Going Deeper: Reflection

Going Deeper: Dialogic Questions

4. Framing Your Work With the Tools of Cultural Proficiency

The Important First Step: Inside-Out Change

Cultural Proficiency Conceptual Framework

The Four Tools of Cultural Proficiency

Going Deeper: Reflection

Going Deeper: Dialogic Questions


5. The Tool: Overcoming Barriers

Barriers to Cultural Proficiency

This Chapter Is for Everyone

Caveat: Systemic Oppression

Caveat: Privilege and Entitlement

Caveat: Unawareness of the Need to Adapt

Changing Educational Practices

Culturally Proficient Educators

Overcoming Resistance

Very Good News

Going Deeper: Reflection

Going Deeper: Dialogic Questions

6. The Tool: The Guiding Principles of Cultural Proficiency

Cultural Proficiency as an Expression of Values

Principle: Culture Is Ever Present

Principle: People Are Served in Varying Degrees by the Dominant Culture

Principle: People Have Group Identities and Personal Identities

Principle: Diversity Within Cultures Is Important

Principle: Each Group Has Unique Cultural Needs That Must Be Respected

Principle: The Family, as Defined by Each Culture, Is the Primary System of Support in the Education of Children

Principle: People Who Are Not a Part of the Dominant Culture Have to Be at Least Bicultural

Principle: Inherent in Cross-Cultural Interactions Are Social and Communication Dynamics That Must Be Acknowledged, Adjusted to, and Accepted

Principle: The School System Must Incorporate Cultural Knowledge Into Practice and Policymaking

Make It Count

Going Deeper: Reflection

Going Deeper: Dialogic Questions

7. The Tool: The Cultural Proficiency Continuum

Macro- and Microaggressions

The Continuum

Going Deeper: Reflection

Going Deeper: Dialogic Questions

8. The Tool: The Essential Elements

The Essential Elements of Cultural Proficiency

Finding Leverage for School Leadership

Going Deeper: Reflection

Going Deeper: Dialogic Questions


9. Commit to Action

So Where Do You Start?

You Are Here

Action Through Transformative Collaborative Inquiry

Design the Inquiry

Going Deeper: Reflection

Going Deeper: Dialogic Questions

10. A Note to Those Preparing School Leaders



Historical Overview

Legacy in Part

Transformative Leadership Is Inclusive Leadership

Systemic Leadership and Tools of Cultural Proficiency

Achievement Gaps, Disproportionality, and Our Preparation Programs

Call to Action



Introduction to Learning Strategies

Do Your Own Work

Believe It

Be Able to Work Without the Script

Set the Tone

Take Time to Process

Use Small Groups

Work in Teams

Develop Your Own Style

Be Prepared for Trouble

Have Fun

Resource A: Understanding Diversity

Learning Strategy 1: Telling Your Stories

Learning Strategy 2: Diversity in Your Life

Learning Strategy 3: Stand Up

Learning Strategy 4: Line Up

Resource B: Getting to Know Myself

Learning Strategy 1: Journaling

Learning Strategy 2: Diversity Lifeline

Learning Strategy 3: Name Five Things

Learning Strategy 4: Who Are You?

Learning Strategy 5: Who Am I?

Learning Strategy 6: Cultural Portrait

Learning Strategy 7: Identities

Learning Strategy 8: Group Stereotypes

Learning Strategy 9: The Process of Personal Change

Learning Strategy 10: Seven Dynamics of Change

Learning Strategy 11: Paradigms

Learning Strategy 12: Strength Bombardment

Resource C: Getting to Know Your Colleagues and Your Organization

Learning Strategy 1: Introductory Grid

Learning Strategy 2: Cultural Perceptions

Learning Strategy 3: What’s in a Name?

Learning Strategy 4: Totems or Crests

Learning Strategy 5: Family Portrait

Learning Strategy 6: Group Stereotypes

Learning Strategy 7: Circle of History

Learning Strategy 8: Storytelling

Learning Strategy 9: Voices That Resonate

Learning Strategy 10: Needs Assessment

Resource D: Understanding Power and Privilege

Learning Strategy 1: Barriers to Cultural Proficiency

Learning Strategy 2: Describe a Culturally Incompetent Organization

Learning Strategy 3: A Survey of Privilege and Entitlement

Learning Strategy 4: Listening and Hearing

Learning Strategy 5: Seven-Minute Day

Resource E: Going Deeper With the Principles

Learning Strategy 1: Guiding Principles Discussion Starters

Learning Strategy 2: Family Values

Learning Strategy 3: My Work Values

Learning Strategy 4: Examining Your Organizational Values

Resource F: Going Deeper With the Continuum

Learning Strategy 1: Cultural Proficiency Continuum

Learning Strategy 2: Exploring Behaviors Along the Continuum

Resource G: Going Deeper With the Essential Elements

Learning Strategy 1: Using the Essential Elements

Learning Strategy 2: Essential Elements of Culturally Proficient Leaders

Learning Strategy 3: Cultural Competence Self-Assessment

Resource H: Book Study Guide

Resource I: Cultural Proficiency Books’ Essential Questions

Suggested Foundational Readings





Price: $47.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.