Merging Developmental and Educational Perspectives on Ethnic-Racial Identity and Ethnic-Racial Socialization to Foster Culturally Responsive Education

PIs: Fantasy Lozada, Ph.D. and Chelsea Williams, Ph.D.

Funding: VCU Breakthroughs Fund

Culturally responsive education aims to reduce disparities in educational opportunities and outcomes for students from historically marginalized communities through leveraging their cultural characteristics as assets for learning. In our previous work we have found that while teachers can build stronger relationships with students through culturally responsive action research, they often struggle to identify the funds of knowledge of their students and use these cultural resources to make the curriculum more relevant and accessible. As a result of this persistent challenge, we seek to refine current conceptualizations of culturally responsive teaching by attending more closely to teachers’ understandings of ethnic-racial identity and ethnic-racial socialization. In this project we will accomplish the following specific aims (SA): (SA1) create an integrative conceptual framework based on existing literature that will merge developmental science perspectives on youths’ ethnic-racial identity development and family ethnic-racial socialization processes (i.e., family members’ efforts to engage youth in conversations, lessons, and discussions about their race and ethnicity) with educational perspectives on funds of knowledge and culturally responsive education; (SA2) work with a core advisory team of family engagement specialists, culturally responsive trained educators, and Black and Latinx parents to refine the model for the purpose of application to culturally responsive pedagogy; and (SA3) engage Black and Latinx families and educational stakeholders in multiple focus groups to translate the integrative framework into a professional development curriculum for secondary teachers.