Latino State News
Culturally Responsive Teaching Model to Expand in Chicago & Suburbs
Photo: Changing Worlds
Students’ academic achievement and social development grew from a curriculum that uses culture as the foundation for literacy and fine arts instruction—according to a three-year independent study conducted by nonprofit Changing Worlds and its research partner, Loyola University’s Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL).
The study, “Unlocking Pathways to Learning” will be released Tues. Feb. 28 at an 8:30 a.m. breakfast reception hosted by Northern Trust. (181 W. Madison, 7th floor) More Information Here
CURL researchers used various assessment measures to track learning outcomes of 95 children enrolled at public schools in three very different Chicago neighborhoods. West Englewood’s Goodlow has a predominantly African-American student body. Pilsen’s Whittier is predominantly Latino. West Ridge’s Boone is ethnically and racially diverse. Students were followed over a three-year period, from fourth through sixth grade (between 2009 and 2011) to gauge the impact of their participation in Changing Worlds’ Literacy and Cultural Connections (LCC) program.
Test scores for LCC participants averaged 11.5 points higher than those of control group students at the three Chicago Public Schools (CPS). They outperformed their peers in writing, arts learning and cultural awareness measures. The greatest gains occurred at Goodlow and Whittier—the two schools that offer no other comprehensive arts and culture programs.
“The study findings demonstrate that a curriculum combining culture, literacy and fine arts creates a space for youth of all backgrounds to get better connected to the learning process,” Changing Worlds’ Executive Director Mark Rodriguez says. “The Literacy and Cultural Connections program offers schools a means to instill in kids a desire to better understand themselves, their communities and the larger world.”