You are here

Culturally Proficient Learning Communities

Culturally Proficient Learning Communities
Confronting Inequities Through Collaborative Curiosity

Foreword by Shirley M. Hord

© 2009 | 168 pages | Corwin

"Cultural proficiency challenges learning communities to go even deeper when inquiring about student barriers to success. This perspective is necessary to truly address the achievement and expectation gaps in our schools. Before we ask ourselves why our students are not succeeding, we must understand and examine our own perceptions and assumptions about them."
—Timothy A. Bias, Administrator
Pomona Unified School District, CA

Close the achievement gap with equity-focused professional learning communities!

Professional learning communities (PLCs) can be a powerful force for creating equitable, inclusive schools where all students succeed. Integrating the four Tools of Cultural Proficiency with the PLC framework, this relevant guide offers school leaders, district administrators, and staff developers a collaborative approach to address bias and inequity.

Culturally Proficient Learning Communities discusses the impact of our history on cultural understanding and provides a wealth of practical PLC-building strategies—including assessment and inquiry-driven planning, instructional design, curriculum development, coaching, leadership, and shared decision making. The authors examine the goals, purpose, and process of creating and sustaining equity-focused PLCs through:

  • Templates, protocols, activities, and rubrics for deconstructing inequity in student achievement
  • Stories, tools, and thinking prompts to guide an inside-out transformation toward cultural proficiency
  • An extended example of one school district's journey in becoming a culturally proficient learning community

Schools that view diversity and differences as assets and opportunities will experience stronger holistic growth and increased academic achievement!

Foreword by Shirley M. Hord
About the Authors
Part 1. Getting Centered
1. Getting Centered With the Tools of Cultural Proficiency
2. Getting Centered With Our History
3. Getting Centered: The Evolution of Learning Communities
Part 2. Voices From the Field
4. Maple View: Sustaining a Culturally Proficient Learning Community
5. Assessing Cultural Knowledge Through Shared Personal Practice
6. Valuing Diversity Is a Reflection of Shared Beliefs, Values, and Vision
7. Managing the Dynamics of Difference Through Collaboration
8. Adapting to Diversity Through Supportive and Shared Conditions
9. Institutionalizing Cultural Knowledge Through Collective Learning
Part 3. Call to Action: Disturb the System Through Curiosity and Inquiry
10. Aligning Our Behaviors With Our Values

"From the very first word, this book provokes thinking and cultural responsibility for educating one’s self and others. The collaboration of the authors and their collective knowledge and experiences both challenge and celebrate every culture’s contribution for every student’s success. The focus on student achievement through the development of cultural proficiency is imperative to creating a community of learners where all students perform at levels higher than before. The end results will not only create culturally proficient educators, but also culturally proficient learning communities that promote and foster global education, collaboration for lifelong learning, and world citizenship."

Duncan DeBruhl, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services Department
Victor Valley Union High School District, Victorville, CA

"This groundbreaking publication is unrivaled in its explication of the role of cultural awareness in ensuring equity for the diverse groups in a school community. The authors deftly provide a treasure trove of tools and ideas that can give direction to educators who seek to support the varied cultures served in their schools. The volume is indispensible for leaders of learning community schools."

Sylvia Roberts, Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Leadership
The City College of New York

"Culturally Proficient Learning Communities challenges the paradigm of the current PLC structure. This book brings in a crucial tenet that until now has been left out of the PLC discussion: a willingness to have deeper conversations about issues of equity and access. The new framework is sure to stretch educators as they begin the process of using an inside-out approach to examine personal cultural norms and the way the norms impact leadership and instructional practices."

Stacie Stanley, Program Director, Office of Equity and Integration
East Metro Integration District 6067, Maplewood, MN

"This book is an affirmation of the combined experiences of the valiant authors and their commitment to the process of positive change within the educational system. This is truly a book that can be used in any school in America, and should be read by every administrator whose vocabulary includes the word 'diversity.'"

Jean M. Rogers, Educator
Fontana Unified School District, CA

"Cultural proficiency challenges learning communities to go even deeper when inquiring about student barriers to success. This perspective is necessary to truly address the achievement and expectation gaps in our schools. Before we ask ourselves why our students are not succeeding, we must examine and understand our own perceptions and assumptions about them."

Timothy A. Bias, Administrator
Pomona Unified School District, CA
Key features
  • A practical guide to forming and facilitating Culturally Proficient learning communities in the interest of all students
  • Integrates the four sets of Tools for Cultural Proficiency with the elements and characterisitcs of Professional Learning Communities and the domains of Small Learning Communities
  • Contains protocols, activities, and rubrics to convene conversations about the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, and SES with disparities in student achievement

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Preview this book

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412972284
ISBN: 9781412972277

For instructors

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.

SAGE Knowledge brings together high-quality content from across our imprints, including CQ Press and Corwin titles.