Guiding Principles

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The teacher builds a strong sense of academic belonging in the classroom where students see themselves as members of not only a social community, but also an
intellectual community.

  • Design culturally-relevant learning spaces where students’ cultural identity is widely represented
  • Honor students’ individual and collective strength

The lessons incorporate implicitly the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of diverse students to make learning more appropriate and effective for them.

  • Affirm students’ cultural identity
  • Celebrate students’ cultural values
  • Students are allowed to use their personal culture to enhance their quest for educational excellence

The teacher engages students in academic tasks and topics that connect in some way to their lives and communities, future educational pursuits or current interests.

  • Teaching and learning is contextualized by connecting what is taught to students’ lives and communities

Teachers implement inquiry-based learning and promotes student’s intellectual skills to recognize societal problems, ask critical questions, develop robust investigations

  • Students ask questions effectively to build literacy skills and content knowledge while engaging in expert thinking
  • Students participate in social justice events either through critical dialogue, advocacy, or activism

Both the teacher and the students embrace a mindset that we all possess the intelligence and capabilities to engage in rigorous academic learning experiences.

  • Teacher sets high expectations for rigorous learning
  • Students are held accountable despite difficult circumstances
  • Teacher sees promise and possibilities in students
  • Mistakes are part of the learning process
  • Teacher praises students’ effort rather than intelligence

The teacher develops critical and complex teaching practices to engage all students

  • Adjust teaching styles to engage all students and meet individual needs
  • Promote cooperative, collaborative and collective learning
  • Provide instructional scaffolding that support students success