Laurie Kimbrel Atlanta GA Superintendent Laurie Kimbrel Culturally Relevant Instruction

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Laurie Kimbrel Atlanta GA Superintendent Laurie Kimbrel Culturally Relevant Instruction

Shared By Laurie Kimbrel   /     Aug 23, 2015  /     Blog, Laurie Kimbrel, Laurie Kimbrel Superintendent, Laurie Kimbrel Tamalpais  /  

Culturally Relevant Instruction

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Culturally Relevant Instruction or Culturally Relevant/Responsive Teaching is education that is based on teachers displaying cultural competence and skills while teaching in a multicultural or cross-cultural setting. This form of education system enables students to be in a better position to relate their curriculum to their cultural context.

Though the term Culturally Relevant Instruction is associated with teaching of African American students in the U.S, it has also been proven to be a very effective form of pedagogy for students of other ethical and racial backgrounds as well. A good example is in Canada where the gap between Western education systems and traditional Aboriginal education has been successfully bridged by including spirituality in Aboriginal educational practices. Academic achievements were easily attained by making education culturally relevant. Culturally Relevant Instruction practices are undertaken in a primary or secondary school setting, however, they can also be relevant within a higher education environment.

Some of the characteristics of Culturally Relevant Instruction include:

  • Affirming and validating: Culturally Relevant Instruction is affirming and validating due to the fact that it recognizes the strengths of students’ diverse heritages.
  • Comprehensive: Culturally Relevant Instruction is comprehensive because it mainly employs cultural resources in the community to teach skills, knowledge, attitudes and values.
  • Multidimensional: there are numerous areas that are encompassed in Culturally Relevant Instruction, and it also uses multicultural theory to the teaching methods, classroom environment and evaluation.
  • Liberating: Culturally Relevant Instruction liberates students.
  • Empowering: Culturally Relevant Instruction empowers student by giving them the opportunity to exploit their full potential and excel in the classroom and beyond. As a result, empowerment translates into personal confidence, academic competence, courage and the will to act.
  • Transformative: Culturally Relevant Instruction is transformative since teachers and their students must generally challenge educational traditions and the status quo.

Teachers must be careful to create an accommodating and inviting classroom culture in order to be relevant and reach diverse audiences. Teachers must show that they care for the cultural needs of their students, because a genuine attitude of interest shown by a teacher will often lead to positive emotions that motivate and empower students.

In addition to Culturally Relevant Instruction, teachers can also use reciprocal teaching, where both the teacher and the students take active roles in leading discussions.  By using such a system to complement Culturally Relevant Instruction, students are given the opportunity to express the material according to their cultural viewpoints which is very important in enhancing education.

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  • About Laurie Kimbrel

    The current project manager for the Atlanta K-12 Design Challenge, Laurie Kimbrel is an educator with many years’ experience. Before undertaking this position in 2015, Kimbrel served as Superintendent of the Tamalpais Union High School District in Larkspur, California, where she oversaw 4,200 students, 435 staff members, and managed a $63 million budget. Among other achievements under Laurie Kimbrel’s tenure, the district implemented a leadership model that formed Professional Learning Communities designed to augment teacher effectiveness through shared assessment data.

    Kimbrel holds a bachelor of science in music and business from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. She also received a master of science in special education from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, and completed her education with leadership-based doctoral studies at Loyola University in Chicago.

    Dedicated to her community, Laurie Kimbrel is a hospice volunteer and works with nonprofits aimed at ensuring every child has access to great teachers and schools. She is also passionate about education reform and champions efforts to bring about effective hiring practices in schools.

  • Education & Publications


    Loyola University Chicago - Doctorate, Curriculum & Instruction

    National Louis University, Certificate of Advanced Study, Educational Leadership

    Dominican University, Master of Science, Special Education

    Millikin University, Bachelor of Science, Music and Business

    It's a Man's World: How to Achieve Success as a Woman in High School District, AASA Women in Leadership Conference, 2013

    How to Run a Clean Construction Program, California School Board Convention, 2012

    A Transition Success Story: California School Boards Association Conference, 2009

    Program Growth and High Achievement: College Board National Conference, 2008

    Building Leadership Capacity through Effective Staffing Planning, Illinois Association of Personnel Administrators Conference, 2008

    Improving Student Achievement: Illinois NCLB Conference, 2007

    Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations: Lake County Personnel Administrators Conference, 2007

    The Impact of Proactive Classroom Management, Doctoral Dissertation, Loyola University, 2002

  • Community Service

    Laurie Kimbrel volunteers for a number of community organizations including Bristol Hospice as a patient volunteer, Destiny's Daughter's of Promise as a student mentor and Students First as an advocate for effective educational practices.
  • Contact Laurie Kimbrel