NORTH ADAMS, MA—Pearson Higher Education recently published Strategies and Lessons for Culturally Responsive Teaching: A Primer for K-12 Teachers by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Education Professor Roselle K. Chartock.
The textbook, which draws on Dr. Chartock’s 43 years of experience as a high school teacher and college professor, helps educators talk to young people about diversity, social justice, and building community.
“There is a fear of difference in our society, and I think education is the only way you can get across the realities that those fears are really unwarranted,” she says.
Strategies and Lessons for Culturally Responsive Teaching includes 40 lesson plans on diversity, building community, teaching students who speak English as a second language, honoring students’ cultural backgrounds, and other subjects.
For example, says Dr. Chartock, social justice themes can be added to a math lesson by examining the percentages of ethnic groups in a city. She worked on the book for four years.
“This is an important book, and it showcases Roselle’s passion for culturally responsive~teaching and her experience as an educator,” says Dr. Cynthia Brown, vice president for Academic Affairs at MCLA. “She is a distinguished member of our faculty and community, as well as an active
researcher and scholar.”
Before joining the faculty at MCLA 23 years ago, Dr. Chartock was a teacher at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington. She says teachers sometimes see students from another culture as a challenge in the classroom rather than an opportunity.
“It’s a very complex topic,” she says, but it often comes down to how teachers relate to their students.
In her classes at MCLA, for example, Dr. Chartock gives her students questionnaires so she can better understand their academic needs. “I feel like I know them, not only to learn their names but to connect,” she says. “Students talk about their interests and their classmates see them as individuals. Students respond to that.”
The book also helps educators become aware of their own prejudices and attitudes and offers different perspectives.
“We can change attitudes,” she says. “If you can change the thinking early, you can have the population that realizes how destructive prejudice is.”
Dr. Chartock says educators need to respects students’ commonalities and differences with regard to language, gender, ability, and culture.
“Every teacher should teach in a way that recognizes those contradictions,” she says. “When they teach with a one-size-fits-all attitude, they’re not doing their job.”
Each chapter of Strategies and Lessons for Culturally Responsive Teaching includes art by people with disabilities who participate in the Community Access to the Arts (CATA) program in Great Barrington.
“There are not a lot of books like this, and I know it will play an important role in helping educators and their students succeed in today’s complex classrooms,” says Dr. Ellen Barber, chair of the Education Department at MCLA. “The whole department is very excited to read and use
Strategies and Lessons for Culturally Responsive Teaching is Dr. Chartock’s third book. She is currently doing research for her next book, a study of the former Windsor Mountain School in Lenox, a pioneering multicultural boarding school.
Dr. Chartock grew up in Hudson, NY, and earned her undergraduate degree from Skidmore College, her master’s degree from Hunter College, and her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts.