Dear Colleague,
I agree with you entirely that there is a greater need for evidence-based teaching practices in the classroom. Bloomberg (2011) explored ways to create teaching and learning environments that foster learning, as you stated. However, Bloomberg not only emphasizes the need to use evidence based practice in the classroom, he emphasizes the need for the teacher to be an advocate to promote its use by other staff members, besides themselves. This suggests that teachers need to play a more active role in the development of creating culturally responsive learning environments.

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This is also supported by Sleeter (2012) who found that multicultural approaches to teaching have been displaced by standardized curriculum and pedagogy. His research found that this process has led to an educational approach that marginalizes minority students. It was suggested that more research be done on developing a pedagogy that is more responsive to currently marginalized student groups. Griner and Stewart (2013) agree stating that culturally responsive teaching practices will have a positive effect on closing the achievement gap in a culturally diverse classroom setting. Paris (2012) also agrees, stating that teaching should go beyond relevance in terms of culture, and should move towards culturally sustaining practices.

As your research, and the above authors point out, there is a need to improve pedagogy using evidence based methods. There is also a need to create a more culturally responsive classroom. The focus needs to be on how to achieve this goal. The literature addresses what needs to be done adequately, but as researchers, the focus needs to be on developing methodology for instituting these principles. As teachers, we will face increasingly culturally diverse classrooms and need to develop methods that will help to sustain the diversity, yet prevent marginalizing diverse groups. This is the challenge that we face.

    References
  • Blumberg, P., (2011) Making Evidence-Based Practice an Essential Aspect of Teaching. Journal of Faculty Development. [Online] 25 (3) pp. 27-32. Available at: https://elearning.roehampton-online.com. [Accessed: 30/07/2016].
  • Griner, A. and Stewart, M. (2013). Addressing the Achievement Gap and Disproportionality Through the Use of Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices. Urban Education. [Online] 48(4) pp. 585-621. Available at: DOI: 10.1177/0042085912456847 [Accessed: 30/07/2016].
  • Paris, D. (2012). Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy. Educational Researcher. [Online].  41(3) pp. 93-97. doe: 10.3102/0013189X12441244 [Accessed: 30/07/2016].
  • Sleeter, C. (2012). Confronting the Marginalization of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. Urban Education. [Online]. 47 (3) pp. 3584. Available at: doi:10.1177/0042085911431472 [Accessed: 30/07/2016].