Tiers and Cultural Shifts

Knowledge acquisition is essential for learning. A Eurocentric view of knowledge acquisition is common in educational practice. For students to acquire new knowledge, they need to witness a more knowledgeable ‘other person….In this case, the instructor teaching using the strategy being demonstrated is one such example.

However, According to Arruzza and Chau (2021), “data relating to the skills domain demonstrated positive effects for students after experiencing culturally responsive interventions. Students were satisfied with their experiences and demonstrated improvements in confidence and attitudes toward culturally competent practices.

Secondly, knowledge acquisition is dependent on the delivery of the knowledge for acquisition.  Two conceptualized modes for delivering knowledge are pedagogy and andragogy. It is important to provide distinctions between andragogy and pedagogy. Each word is often used interchangeably in education.

For instance, educational professionals often apply the term pedagogy when discussing best practices in education. The term pedagogy is also aligned with Euro-centrism and cultural norms.The repeated application of the term pedagogy creates an unsafe learning environment because it narrows applications of cultural responsiveness within teaching and course design.

Educators internalize frameworks. Educators who have internalized a framework of pedagogy, embed maladaptive frameworks within their courses and then express concern about “coddling students” or make complaints about the reduction of “student responsibilities.” However, the same educators use pedagogy to teach adults. In essence, the framework of pedagogy is in most instances a developmentally inappropriate framework for learning. Because of the inappropriateness of the framework, some adults display “inappropriate” cultural responses in the learning environment. Instructor beliefs about “inappropriate” responses result in the perpetuation of stereotyping, micro-aggression, racism, and blaming/shaming on the part of the instructor and create a less-than-optimal learning environment.

The framework for cultural responsiveness is no different. Culturally responsive course design and teaching frameworks are often framed using the term pedagogy. Whereas, andragogy is a more useful framework for applications of culturally responsive teaching and design practices.

The Differences between Andragogy and Pedagogy

ContentPlaces more focus on the student’s desire for self-motivation by using their specific ways of learning.Content and subject matter remain the focus of the education process.
LearnerImportance of social roles and how learners will learn within collaborative settings. Presenting opportunities for learning within contextual and collaborative settings.The learner is expected to complete take-oriented activities.
Role of InstructorUse problem-solving skills.Students are highly dependent on the directions of instructors and peers.
LearningApply a range of applications for learning and knowledge acquisition.Learning is subject centered and toed directly to the content and learning outcomes.

Because the framework pedagogy was originally constructed within homogenous learning environments, it is rooted in an ethnocentric context. Because of ethnocentrism within the framework, pedagogy practices equal power. Once an individual has identified and internalized pedagogy as a model of power and control, it is extremely difficult to adopt additional practice because the power dynamic favors a culture of control (teacher to “child”). The concepts associated with pedagogy are used to consistently promote the disregard of cultural responsiveness within the educational framework.

For individuals from systematically marginalized communities, pedagogical applications contribute to the development of unsafe learning spaces. Such practices elicit cognitive patterns of self-protection within the learning environment. Individuals from systematically marginalized communities learn to protect themselves psychologically and/or physically early in life. Individuals from marginalized communities are more likely to psychologically protect themselves in a pedagogy-framed learning environment than engage in the learning process. Especially, if acculturative stress is present to a marked degree.

The use of pedogeological practices with adults, in some instances, brings feelings of trauma associated with racism and micro-aggression within previous learning experiences to the forefront, especially if the trauma occurred in childhood. The pedogeological model reinforces the need for self-protection. This is because emotional memories are often tied to cultural responsiveness or its absence in the learning environment. Moreover, victims of racism, marginalization, and micro-aggressions, may experience feelings of cognitive “numbness” in the learning environment because the trauma associated with past pedological practices resulted in high levels of acculturative stress. 

Tier 1 CRS Applications

CRS© Applications
Tier 1: Who is involved? LODEIs, Instructional Designers, Practitioners, and Students
What’s the Purpose?To add up to 20% of cultural responsiveness to a course.
How will it happen?Development of culturally responsive goals, content selection, course design, and community considerations
Types of Culture Academic Community Ethnic/ Intersectionality A.C.C.C.E.Academic culture: Belongingness, inclusion, equity, self-identity (planning, announcements, content, policy) Community culture: Learners as stakeholders, decision-makers, and caretakers (Sense of Community, Climate, Community, and Course Ecosystem)
Which students?All students have access to minimal forms of cultural responsiveness and opportunities to build cultural competency.
Ethnic culture and Intersectionality: Student engagement, motivation, cognitive and social presence, learning, and memory. (All aspects of course planning, design, and instruction)