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Curriculum and Instruction News

Kansas City Star highlights Ladson-Billings’ thoughts on teaching today’s students

May 19, 2016

Kansas City Star columnist Lewis W. Diuguid recently authored a commentary about the struggles of teaching students today.

And in the column, headlined, “Teaching today’s students is more taxing,” Diuguid puts the spotlight on several comments made earlier this spring by UW-Madison’s Gloria Ladson-Billings.

Diuguid begins by writing: “Gloria Ladson-Billings posed a question to point out a troubling trend in education:”

Gloria Ladson-Billings
“How can we develop culturally competent students if our teachers are culturally incompetent?” Ladson-Billings asked at her “Urban Education and Community Forum” lecture at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Diuguid continues: “Culturally competent education is essential now that Latino, African American, Asian American and Native American students in kindergarten through 12th-grade public schools make up the majority. They should be able to see people who are like them in their education.”

“Cultural competence is the ability to be grounded in one’s own culture of origin and be fluent in at least one other culture,” said Ladson-Billings, Kellner Family Distinguished chair in Urban Education at UW-Madison. “Ideally we should be multiculturally competent.”

“But,” writes Diuguid, “that’s not what’s occurring.”

To learn more about Diuguid’s thoughts on this topic and to read more comments from Ladson-Billings, make sure and check out the entire column for free on the Kansas City Star’s website.

Ladson-Billings is a faculty member with the School of Education’s departments of Curriculum and InstructionEducational Policy Studies, and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.
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