Saint Joseph's University

SPE 702 Culturally Responsive Teaching

Embrace the challenges and rewards of a multicultural classroom.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change without notice as course and student needs change over time. For current course descriptions, please see the Online Academic Catalog.

Format: Online

Duration: 16 weeks

Credits: 3 credits

Culture is who we are. From the language we speak, to the beliefs we hold, to the money in our pockets, culture has played a role. And because we live in a diverse world, culture is equally diverse. For a teacher, that can be challenging. In this course, you learn the characteristics of culture and how they shape a student’s ability, and desire, to learn. Multicultural perspectives are introduced to give you the skills to meet the needs of a culturally diverse classroom and their families. As you meet hypothetical students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, you learn effective strategies to help these students become successful students, while discovering how your own culture has shaped your desire to teach.

This course aligns instruction with the potential and differential needs of diverse student populations, including special needs and gifted students. We incorporate multicultural perspectives into the teaching-learning process to maximize the academic, cognitive, personal, and social aspects of student learning. Course content provides ways to use and deliver culturally responsive strategies to culturally and linguistically diverse students and empower their families in the teaching and learning process.

Coursework focuses on addressing challenges to the reading achievement of culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse students with disabilities. Issues covered include assessment and intervention; curricula development; and social/affective skills related to family, community, values and cultures of students from diverse backgrounds.   

Sample Course Topics  

Throughout this course, weekly topics may include:

  • The Impact of Culture
  • The Diverse Exceptional Learner
  • The Challenges of the Achievement Gap and Assessment
  • Discipline and Social Skills of the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Learner
  • CLDE Learners who are Gifted and Talented
  • Early and Community-Based Interventions for the CLDE Learner
  • Issues of Self-Esteem Among CLDE Learners
  • Multicultural Awareness: Building Partners and Support Groups

Examples of What You’ll Learn

When you complete SPE 702, you will be able to:

  • Become a more culturally responsive educator
  • Discuss critical legislation in special education for students with disabilities and their families.
  • Understand how learned systems are shared and transmitted generationally and through daily interactions among members of the cultural group, and how that can affect diverse, exceptional students.
  • Support a positive peer culture for your diverse students.
  • Define and explain the achievement gap, how it has stigmatized cultural groups and ways to close it.
  • Understand the importance of Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE), analyze the social behaviors and unique discipline issues for CLDE learners and apply strategies for culturally responsive effective discipline.
  • Recognize characteristics of students who are gifted and discuss the importance of recruitment and retention of CLDE learners in gifted programs.
  • Identify different types of community-based programs and how they address the needs of CLDE students.
  • Discuss multiculturalism in teacher education and its effectiveness.

To learn more about the online Master of Science in Education – Special Education and the Master of Science in Education – Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing PK-12 Certification curriculum from Saint Joseph’s University, including Culturally Responsive Teaching, call (866) 758-7670 to speak with a Program Manager or request more information.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change without notice as course and student needs change over time. For current course descriptions, please see the Online Academic Catalog.

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