Teachers College Press 

Biography-Driven Culturally Responsive Teaching

Socorro Herrera
Foreword by Edmund T. Hamann
Pub Date: May 2010, 192 pages

Paperback: $31.95, ISBN: 0807750867
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“Herrera’s biography-driven approach offers ample opportunities for teachers to bring children’s lived experiences, their social, cultural, and language histories, into the thick of the pedagogical action as important resources for learning and development.”
Luis C. Moll, College of Education, University of Arizona

“This is a wonderful, fresh, application-focused model that integrates the best of teaching and learning in preparing future educators and inservice teachers. Reading this book should result in more schools teaching CLD learners in a more responsible and developmentally appropriate way.”
Pedro R. Portes, College of Education, The University of Georgia

“This work takes readers on a journey from the unknown of teaching CLD learners to the known of academic success for all students. I think the most valuable contribution of this book is the ease with which teachers will come to understand and to apply the foundations of biography-driven instruction.”
Diane Rodriguez, East Carolina University

“Biography-driven instruction is one powerful way to find common ground among all students in the classroom. Everyone has a biography that is distinct and unique. The author uses concrete examples and ‘how to’ approaches when describing theory and its application. The book is very much needed!”
Diana Gonzales Worthen, University of Arkansas

Nationally known literacy expert Socorro Herrera provides a practical guide for teachers serving culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) populations. Teachers will learn how to plan and implement more successful culturally responsive instruction using student biographies as the point of departure. The author provides tools for tapping into the strengths students bring from their sociocultural, linguistic, cognitive, and academic histories. She shows how to both draw on these assets as a teacher and guide students to better access their own strengths and existing funds of knowledge and prior knowledge to accelerate academic learning. Herrera’s research-based strategies incorporate easily into any program being used by a school or district for improved results. Perfect for professional development, this book takes the reader on a personal journey of reflection on multiple aspects of teaching and learning in the context of their own diverse classroom communities.

Book Features:

  • Tools for understanding families and students in ways that value culture and language.
  • CLD teaching strategies based on the most current knowledge in the field.
  • Concrete examples of differentiated instruction from diverse classrooms.
  • Support for Level 1 Response to Intervention (RTI ) implementation and reduction of the need for Levels 2 and 3.
  • Teacher voices and samples of student work.

Socorro Herrera is a Professor in the Department of Elementary Education and Executive Director of the Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy (CIMA) at the College of Education, Kansas State University. As a keynote speaker, district consultant, and trainer of trainers, she has helped teachers across the country find new paths to academic success for CLD learners.

Download selected instructional aids from the book here.

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