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CRCM in urban schools

schools10's picture

I greatly appreciated Bondy et al.'s article about culturally responsive classroom management, especially its focus on resilience. However, I found it difficult to fully comprehend the importance of CRCM because I think I have always been in classrooms where either the teacher practices this style of management or the classroom is mostly white and the teacher and students share a similar cultural background. The main problem I have with this article is that this is framed as a specific pedagogical style that works especially well for African American students. I believe that almost all of the recommendations she makes are already being done in classrooms that serve more privileged children and the only difference is that teachers adopt a different teaching style in urban schools and with ethnic minority students because they have different expectations. Instead of attempting to identify strategies that resonate with African American students, Bondy could just as easily be making an argument that African American students should be taken seriously as learners and treated with as much respect as their whiter and more privileged peers. I always took it for granted throughout my educational career that my teachers would respect me and value my opinion and strive to know who I was as a person. I know that this doesn't happen in many classrooms, but it is the same strategy that should be adopted. Bondy makes a good point that culturally relevant teaching practices are important because some "typical African American behaviors" (I find this problematic by itself) are seen as defiant by teachers but what is really happening is that teachers are not giving these students the benefit of the doubt because of their misconceptions of these students as less studious and more rebellious to begin with. I believe that white students are routinely given the benefit of the doubt, even when their behaviors do not align with those expected of them, because white students are seen as naturally studious and obedient and when their behavior does not align with these expectations it is seen as a deviation from the norm. In addition, I believe that Bondy's article could have benefitted from a socio-economic analysis as opposed to a purely racial analysis because many student learning orientations are shared among all students who belong to a certain socio-economic status, not only among students of a certain racial group. Bondy makes the statement: "Children from some cultural backgrounds, including many African American children, put more emphasis on the social and emotional environment than do mainstream children and therefore expect teachers to have and show emotion." This assertion is made without a single reference to relevant literature or problematization of generalizations made based on race alone. I find Bondy's article compelling but it has many problems that harm its credibility.


Bondy, Elizabeth, Dorene D. Ross, Caitlin Gallingane, and Elyse Hambacher. “Creating Environments of Success and Resilience: Culturally Responsive Classroom Management and More.” Urban Education 42 (2007): 326-348.