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But That's Just Good Teaching! The Case for Culturally Relevant PedagogyAuthor(s): Gloria Ladson-BillingsSource: Theory Into Practice,Vol. 34, No. 3, Culturally Relevant Teaching (Summer, 1995),pp. 159-165Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.Stable URL: Accessed: 19-06-2019 13:36 UTCJSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a widerange of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity andfacilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available atTaylor & Francis, Ltd.is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access toTheory Into PracticeThis content downloaded from 220.127.116.11 on Wed, 19 Jun 2019 13:36:30 UTCAll use subject to
Gloria Ladson-BillingsBut That's Just Good Teaching! TheCase for Culturally Relevant PedagogyOR THE PAST 6 YEARS I have been engaged inresearch with excellent teachers of AfricanAmerican students (see, for example, Ladson-Billings,1990, 1992b, 1992c, 1994). Given the dismal aca-demic performance of many African American stu-dents (The College Board, 1985), I am not surprisedthat various administrators, teachers, and teacher edu-cators have asked me to share and discuss my findingsso that they might incorporate them in their work.One usual response to what I share is the commentaround which I have based this article, "But, that'sjust good teaching!" Instead of some "magic bullet"or intricate formula and steps for instruction, somemembers of my audience are shocked to hear whatseems to them like some rather routine teaching strat-egies that are a part of good teaching. My responseis to affirm that, indeed, I am describing good teach-ing, and to question why so little of it seems to beoccurring in the classrooms populated by AfricanAmerican students.The pedagogical excellence I have studied isgood teaching, but it is much more than that. Thisarticle is an attempt to describe a pedagogy I havecome to identify as "culturally relevant" (Ladson-Billings, 1992a) and to argue for its centrality in theacademic success of African American and otherchildren who have not been well served by our nation'spublic schools. First, I provide some background in-Gloria Ladson-Billings is associate professor of educa-tion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.formation about other attempts to look at linkagbetween school and culture. Next, I discuss the thretical grounding of culturally relevant teaching the context of a 3-year study of successful teacheof African American students. I conclude this discus-sion with further examples of this pedagogy in action.