• Employing culturally responsive pedagogy to foster literacy learning in schools

      Wearmouth, Janice (Taylor & Francis, 2017-03-16)
       In recent years it has become increasingly obvious that, to enable students in schools from an increasingly diverse range of cultural backgrounds to acquire literacy to a standard that will support them to achieve academically, it is important to adopt pedagogy that is responsive to, and respectful of, them as culturally situated. What largely has been omitted from the literature, however, is discussion of a relevant model of learning to underpin this approach. For this reason this paper adopts a socio-cultural lens (Vygotsky, 1978) through which to view such pedagogy and refers to a number of seminal texts to justify of its relevance. Use of this lens is seen as having a particular rationale. It forces a focus on the agency of the teacher as a mediator of learning who needs to acknowledge the learner’s cultural situatedness (Kozulin, 2003) if school literacy learning for all students is to be as successful as it might be. It also focuses attention on the predominant value systems and social practices that characterize the school settings in which students’ literacy learning is acquired. The paper discusses implications for policy and practice at whole-school, classroom and individual student levels of culturally-responsive pedagogy that is based on a socio-cultural model of learning. In doing so it draws on illustrations from the work of a number of researchers, including that of the author.