One of the many things I admire about Jesus is the intentional and genuine connection He made with people. Regardless of their status, religion, cultural background, or other people’s opinions, nothing prevented Jesus from teaching and serving others, or interacting with each person with whom He came into contact.
According to Ellen White, Jesus’ first students, the disciples, differed “widely in natural characteristics, in training, and in habits of life [however] . . . He sought to bring them into unity with Himself.”2 She also indicated that Jesus instructed the disciples and others using specific techniques: “the unknown was illustrated by the known; divine truths by earthly things with which the people were most familiar.”3 Through the use of parables, Jesus tapped into the disciples’ experiences, or as scholars today would say, “funds of knowledge”4—their ways of life, occupations, skills, dispositions, and experiences—to reach and to teach them about the love His Father had for them.
This article will draw upon spiritual principles and lessons learned from Jesus, the Master Teacher, real-world examples, and educational research that supports wholistic pedagogical practices that connect teaching and learning with the education and culture of each child.
The basic definition of culture is the way of life of a group of people5; however, culture is more complex than that. In an educational context, culture includes students’ implicit and explicit funds of knowledge. Students’ implicit funds of knowledge include body language, unspoken rules of engagement, nonverbal communication, and rules of conduct. Their explicit funds of knowledge include language, traditions and celebrations, holidays and festivals, and tangible elements of culture. Children and adolescents who interact with more than one cultural group in their home and community will encounter and have to navigate multiple sources or “funds of knowledge.” In this article, culture is operationally defined as “the values, symbols, interpretations, and perspectives that distinguish one [group] from another.6
Scholars in the field of multicultural education, such as James and Cherry Banks, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Geneva Gay, and Paul Gorski, have advocated for validating students through the inclusion of their cultural strengths, the development of a community of care, and the incorporation of students’ experiences and knowledge gained outside of school into the curriculum and classroom. In order to accomplish these goals, teachers must acknowledge that students’ cultural frames of reference have an effect on how they learn. Teachers must also re-evaluate their teaching philosophies and pedagogies in order to ensure equitable learning opportunities for all.
What Is Culturally Responsive Teaching?
The phrase “culturally responsive teaching” (CRT) was coined by Geneva Gay and centers around the belief that students perform better when teaching is filtered through their cultural experiences. To address the needs of students, care is given to the creation of classroom communities that are sensitive and relevant to students’ backgrounds.7 Gay posits that culturally responsive practices infused within classrooms and instruction are necessary for meaningful connections to exist between students’ home, school, and community experiences.8 For schools that enroll a large number of students from dissimilar cultures, this can pose a challenge; however, these challenges are what CRT seeks to address by pointing to instructional approaches that can help educators narrow the distance between students from historically marginalized groups (based on their race, ethnicity, language, etc.), and those from mainstream populations.
CRT acknowledges the legitimacy of the cultural backgrounds of different ethnic groups as content worthy of being integrated into the formal curriculum, uses a variety of instructional strategies to meet the learning needs of students, and teaches students to embrace their “funds of knowledge” while concurrently seeking to understand the uniqueness of their peers.9 It also seeks to provide students with multiple pathways to reach academic goals.10 Educators in Adventist schools must make sure that all cultural practices, even those found within majority cultures and religious subcultures, are evaluated through the lens of the gospel.
Why Do Christian Teachers Need to Practice Culturally Responsive Instructional Practices?
Culturally responsive teachers have developed positive perspectives on families and communities, communicate high expectations for students, use culture as a context for learning, and redesign traditional curricula and instruction to meet students’ needs.11 Adventist teachers are called to go beyond these duties and to be representatives of Christ to all students, co-laboring with Him to impart a knowledge of the principles of His kingdom to all and to assist in molding them to more fully reflect the likeness of God in which they were created.12
While Adventist teachers generally recognize this duty, sometimes their perceptions of students, families, and the community may hinder them from fully exercising their Christian witness. To be culturally responsive, teachers must acknowledge that their own cultural identity, perceptions, and expectations of students affect the ways they relate to and engage students in the classroom. For example, if teachers believe that certain groups of students are likely to fail in school because they are lazy, unmotivated, linguistically deficient, or have parents who do not care about their education,13 then their expectations for their students’ academic success will be negatively skewed.
Unfortunately, this ideological framework―deficit thinking―has impacted American education14 and is not unique to public schools. Deficit thinking works counter to the values taught in Christian schools and the ministry of the Adventist teacher. If the principles set forth by the Master Teacher are followed, teachers will be less likely to become victims of deficit thinking. As a result, more students and families will want to attend Adventist schools and remain faithful to the church.
The “counter” to this deficit frame of thought is Culturally Responsive Teaching. CRT aligns with the Master Teacher’s example. Its strengths include its embrace of the ideal that all students can learn and should see their lives, cultures, histories, or ways of knowing mirrored in the curriculum, embraced in classrooms, and used to inform instructional practices. Teachers thus can use these pedagogical opportunities to validate and affirm students while focusing on the fundamental knowledge required for young people to become capable learners.15 Regardless of their differences, students should be loved, nurtured, and valued, just as Jesus loves, nurtures, and values each human being.
What Does Culturally Responsive Teaching Look Like in the Christian Classroom?
In the following paragraphs, the Curriculum Connections Instructional Model™ (CCIM)16 will be used to illustrate what culturally responsive pedagogy looks like in the classroom. This model is grounded in the recognition that students are complex; therefore, a reciprocal relationship exists between instructional methods and the funds of knowledge students bring with them into the classroom. CCIM also recognizes the entities—home, school, church, and community―whose roles are fundamental to the harmonious development of the child. The six domains of the CCIM are: connections, community, culture, character, content, and critical consciousness. I will link biblical teachings and CRT examples to each domain and show how they function in culturally responsive schools and classrooms.
Domain 1 – Connections
In this domain, the teacher begins the learning process by developing a mutually respectful partnership—a two-way, reciprocal relationship—with students. This parallels Jesus’ method of relationship building. According to Ellen White, personal connections were essential to His teaching. She wrote: “Christ in His teaching dealt with people individually. By personal contact and association He trained the Twelve. In private, often to but one listener, He gave His most precious instruction. . . . Even the crowd that so often thronged His steps was not to Christ an indiscriminate mass of human beings. He spoke directly to every mind and appealed to every heart. He watched the faces of His hearers, marked the lighting up of the countenance, the quick, responsive glance, which told that truth had reached the soul.”17
This personal connection reaches beyond the boundaries of race, class, and gender, and requires teachers to develop cross-cultural communication skills that begin with scrutinizing their own cultural assumptions, stereotypes, and value system. Teachers must move beyond “color blind” teaching, which ignores students’ cultural differences rather than embracing them as assets. This type of teaching can adversely affect relationships with students and their families. To honor who students are, educators must view them, both individually and collectively, through the eyes of Jesus, and show them care—by standing by the door to greet them individually each morning, taking time to listen to their joys, praying with them when they express feelings of inadequacy, fear, and/or frustration, and celebrating milestones they have accomplished spiritually, academically, and physically.
In addition, teachers must familiarize themselves with students’ cultural backgrounds, their families, and the communities in which they reside; develop an understanding of the uniqueness of each student, and view students’ diverse cultures and ways of knowing as windows into their identity, perspectives, and values.18 Terry-Ann Griffin, an Adventist curriculum coordinator, achieves this by doing the following:
“I ask teachers to consider using surveys and/or questionnaires. While building relationships with students, teachers can learn quite a bit about their . . . interests. Sending surveys/questionnaires to parents and students at the start of the school year is a meaningful way to begin planning a school year that is inclusive of students’ heritage, music, language, etc.”19
This mutually respectful partnership should include students as co-investigators of knowledge. Freire20 believed that authentic dialogue occurs when the preconditions of (radical) love, humility, trust, and hope are present. Like Jesus, teachers’ actions and relationships in the classroom should reflect the care and concern that He showed for each person He met.
Children who develop meaningful relationships with their teachers have fewer behavior problems and demonstrate more engagement in the learning process. When teachers’ actions communicate genuine care, students will want to please them, and to achieve the high expectations set for them. This preventive approach to discipline21 can help produce behaviors that contribute to the development of Christlike characters.
Domain 2 ‒ Community
According to the CCIM framework, community is defined in two ways. The first type relates to the culture of care that can be created within a school and by individual teachers. Drawing on the work of Cavanaugh,22 the culture-of-care theory stresses the importance of schools emphasizing relationships over curriculum when determining the purpose and goals of the institution.
Culturally responsive schools and classrooms are places where students’ voices, experiences, and ideas are encouraged and valued, and where students are taught to be independent critical thinkers, rather than “mere reflectors of other people’s thought.23 Nurturing begins with cultivating an environment of respect, honesty, integrity, and empathy through the sharing of biblical lessons, daily modeling, hands-on experiences, and teachers implementing Christ’s example. Caring teachers nurture a sense of community and safety in the classroom while supporting the social and academic engagement of students.24 These classrooms move away from theories of traditional classroom management (“doing to” students) to classrooms of care (“working with” students). Table 1 illustrates some key differences between traditional classrooms and classrooms/schools of care.
In a culturally responsive classroom, management and discipline should be redemptive in nature. Taylor posited that “Redemptive discipline serves as a means by which teachers discipline their students and teach them that their obedience to the rules is the fruit of their salvation and that their obedience is only possible by God’s grace.”25 Discipline must be grounded in love and mutual respect between teacher and student, with clear expectations and boundaries firmly established. Discipline should be so thoughtfully and creatively integrated that it becomes the classroom norm, driving the rules of engagement.26
The second type of community emphasizes the need to partner with families, churches, and communities to nurture and develop the whole student. Culturally responsive teachers seek to engage school families in multiple ways by meeting parents where they are socially and spiritually, and recognizing that open dialogue is important. Examples of how the Master Teacher did this can be found throughout the Gospels, such as Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well (John 4:1-30). Jesus met the woman where she was. In connecting with her, He broke several Jewish taboos: (1) He spoke to a woman who was a Samaritan; and (2) He asked for a drink of water from her cup, which was considered unclean. This did not matter to Jesus because He was more interested in her receiving eternal life than following the customs and traditions of the time.
Some believe that interacting with students, families, and communities from another faith/religion or with unbelievers makes them less of a Christian or might threaten their faith. Christ said “‘You are the light of the world’” and “‘let your light shine before others’” (Mathew 5:16, NIV)27 so that all may know Him (Matthew 28:19). How can the gospel commission be fulfilled if His followers do not interact with people from other faiths, and even with those who make no profession of religion?
Strong partnerships will open up access to more resources for the school, as well as opportunities to witness and evangelize the community. Table 2 includes ideas on how to forge school-home-church-community partnerships.
Domain 3 – Culture
The culture domain recognizes and celebrates the differences among learners (culture, race, ethnicity, social class, language, gender, etc.), thereby creating a culture of acceptance that promotes respect, equity, and affirmation. Yet, for Christians, not all aspects of culture can be celebrated―namely, those that stand in opposition to Christ and foster a love of the world and self, or that harm self or others. John 17:16 implies that while followers of Christ may be in the world, they are not of the world. So as Adventist schools incorporate this domain, they will reject those cultural elements—not the people—that run counter to the Word of God, whether in the majority or minority culture. Instead, they will introduce God’s teachings and emphasize His grace.
CRT involves student-focused teaching that regards students’ funds of knowledge as assets and not deficits; therefore, an important first step is to get to know the students’ cultures. These assets can be used to make the learning process relevant and meaningful. As teachers explore students’ cultures, they will come to know how students learn best and can then use this new knowledge to inform teaching practices.
The premise of this domain is not for teachers to find ways to include every culture in every lesson every day. The expectation is that teachers should develop personal relationships with their students and use what they know about them to address their needs and to engage them.
To ensure that students’ lives, cultures, and histories are represented in the curriculum, teachers should seek resources such as personal narratives, literature, parents or families from the community, Websites, and/or other counter narratives to supplement the traditional curriculum. For example, if there are students in a history class from a marginalized group whose narrative is missing from the textbook, the teacher can supplement the textbook authors’ perspective. Teachers can be creative about finding ways to highlight the historical contributions of groups that represent the cultures and voices of the students in their classroom as well as other marginalized groups. Every aspect of culture, both positive and negative, should be compared with God’s ideal and His ultimate plan for His children. When students’ cultures are included and honored, classrooms become places where students thrive. Students will then feel more comfortable being themselves and be more likely to view others in a positive light.
Some oppose the idea of embracing and celebrating the differences of all students, especially when students’ lifestyles are different from or stand in opposition to the culture or religious belief system of the school or a biblical standard. Christian teachers are to teach and model the principles of the Bible, and should be concerned with how various cultural influences affect students, their families, and society. However, it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict. Following God’s leading, seeds of love and truth can be planted on the hearts and minds of students. Teachers are called to love as Jesus loves. Building on the character of Christ doesn’t mean all have to agree, but it does mean showing respect, kindness, and compassion. Students should experience this love in words, in deeds, and in actions (1 John 3:18).
Domain 4 – Character
This domain focuses on character building. According to Ellen White: “The salvation of our pupils is the highest interest entrusted to the God-fearing teacher. He [the teacher] is Christ’s worker, and his special and determined effort should be to save souls . . . and win them to Jesus Christ.”28 Culturally responsive classrooms should be hopeful, joyful, kind, and visionary.29 In these classrooms, opportunities are created for students to develop Christlike characters as teachers empower them to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Jesus, the Master Teacher, listened to the voices from the margins and was interested in those who were rejected; He sought to minister to every need of humanity no matter who the people were. “His compassion knew no limit”30; not only did He empathize with the least of them, Christ also took on their identities and stood in solidarity with them. This is expounded upon in the following quote: “It was I who was hungry and thirsty. It was I who was a stranger. It was I who was naked. It was I who was sick. It was I who was in prison. . . . When you closed your doors against Me, while your well-furnished rooms were unoccupied, I had nowhere to lay My head. . . . When you were enjoying health, I was sick.”31
In culturally responsive schools and classrooms, students should “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause” (Isaiah 1:17, ESV).32 This can be accomplished by sharing with students the many stories in the Bible that illustrate how Christ and other biblical characters were agents of change. Teachers should, however, go beyond merely talking about The Change Agent to creating opportunities for students to critically reflect and act on issues that continue to challenge this world such as racism, discrimination, and marginalization; to help them foster and embrace respect and love for others; and to encourage them to actively seek answers to societal injustices. Students should be taught empathy and how to put themselves in the shoes of others to envision how they would feel in the same situation.
Educators should seek to engage students in inquiry, critical thinking, and critical action, so that schools and classrooms become places of hope and promise. While many students will have the innate ability to show care for their peers and others, some will need to be taught, nurtured, or supported to do this. While teachers cannot singlehandedly transform all schools and communities, they can help shape characters for the kingdom and teach their students that together they can be instruments of Christ to make a positive difference in the world. These are among the purposes for which Adventist schools and churches exist.
Domain 5 – Content
This domain sustains the connection between knowledge embodied in the curriculum and the learner. The “banking concept” of education, a term coined by Freire, describes students as empty vessels into which educators must deposit knowledge. Those who claim to have the authority to make these deposits are the ones to define the facts that must be acquired by students. According to this model, students are expected to be compliant and to passively store the deposits of “official knowledge.” This ignores students’ funds of knowledge and their ability to be critical thinkers who participate actively in the learning process.
Domain 5 supports the view that students can learn from experiences, content, and instruction that are connected to their knowledge and cultures, and that expose them to multiple ways of knowing. Freire33 recommended problem-posing as an alternative to banking education, abandoning the traditional dichotomy between the teacher and student and replacing it with an arrangement in which teacher and student are both active in the learning process and collaborate in constructing knowledge. Students are encouraged to ask questions, and meaningful connections are made between what they are learning and their lives outside of the classroom.
Learning that is personal and meaningful is rewarding for students of diverse backgrounds because it helps establish “a link between classroom experiences and the students’ everyday lives.”34 The Master Teacher’s use of parables (Matthew 18:23-35, 25:14-30; Luke 15:3-7, 15:8-10; Mark 4:1-20; 26-29) demonstrated His preferred teaching method. The content of these parables was culturally responsive and provided a transformative intellectual curriculum.
Amber Willis, an Adventist math educator and mathematics research specialist, recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for learning that cross traditional classroom boundaries. For one of her geometry lessons, she took her students to the trendy, upscale art district of their urban community. During visits to several art galleries, her students were assigned to investigate the artists’ use of mathematics. It was not hard for them to find connections between the artwork and the geometry content, such as the use of angles, symmetry, and patterns. What took her students’ investigations to the next level were their interviews with the local artists, who explained the meaning of the art to them, as well as how mathematical ideas were intentionally incorporated within their creations.
This teacher used local geography, language, and culture to illustrate the intentional use of mathematics in artistic design and debunked the idea that only a few people or a certain kind of person had access to the content of artistic works. Amber knew that unless she incorporated learning opportunities that felt familiar and safe to her students, she could “never [create] a classroom culture that promotes curiosity about mathematics nor could I create authentic bridges of relevance with the content.”35
Domain 6 – Critical Consciousness
Critical consciousness is the process by which individuals become aware of internal and external practices, systems, ideologies, and powers that seek to oppress or dehumanize human beings.36 After achieving awareness, they use their newfound knowledge to identify what is oppressing them (or others around them), and transform their knowledge into a vehicle or catalyst for change. As was noted in Domain 4, Christ was a change agent; He had compassion and empathy for the disenfranchised. Recall how He interacted with Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), the woman at the well (John 4:1-42), and the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). He provided “them with an emancipated realization of their own worthiness in God’s sight.”37 This was a significant part of Christ’s mission on earth: to help His students understand their condition and to set them free.
Teachers who are committed to facilitating students’ awareness of inequities in society extend the compassion and empathy of Christ by intentionally engaging students in opportunities to change the world. Current societal issues that students can advocate for are shelters for the homeless, resources to end food insecurity, laws to protect victims and potential victims from bullies and abusers, enforcement of child labor laws, potable water, etc. Their awareness of these injustices is merely the tip of the iceberg. Awareness should be coupled with appropriate action. Educators must be willing to take a deep dive into unearthing the real culprits of these societal issues with students, and teach them how to connect and use what they are learning inside the classroom to combat the injustices and inequities that exist in their world.38
Harris and Baxley39 tell a story that illustrates one facet of this domain. A teacher overheard several of her kindergarteners discussing a homeless panhandler they encountered each morning on their way to school. She decided to explore the topic of homelessness with the goal of moving her students from a state of curiosity and confusion to empowering them through action.
First, she created time in the daily schedule to talk about homelessness. Each morning, the students were given an opportunity to share concerns and ask questions about the topic. Next, with the help of several teacher-education candidates assigned to her classroom as part of their field placement, she shared the kindergartners’ questions with their parents, compiled a list of informational books from the library on the topic, collected picture books that could be read during the class read-aloud time, and prepared to help the kindergartners turn their questions into an action plan.
Over a six-week period, the kindergarten students brought in spare change and began filling up a large “Give” jar. Once the jar was full, the teacher arranged an after-school family field trip to the neighborhood grocery store where the class purchased groceries with the spare change they had collected. They delivered the purchased supplies to a community-outreach program that served the homeless and hungry. The class left the center feeling both empowered and encouraged—convinced that one person can make a difference.
The students in this kindergarten class were the hands and feet of Jesus. Many of the classrooms in Adventist schools are participating in a variety of service-learning projects and other servant-leadership opportunities. The charge of Domain 6, however, is for teachers to urge students to achieve a level of true consciousness where sensitivity to human need becomes a way of life, not just a one-time-and-go event or project. It means authentically embracing the persona of Christ. This must be the message in every Adventist classroom and school. Making this the mission of Adventist schools will ensure that students achieve academic success and commit themselves to addressing the many forms of injustice in the world around them.40
The Master Teacher looked for opportunities to provide equitable learning experiences for His students. His instruction was effective because it was anchored in the events of their everyday lives. Recognizing and honoring the cultural backgrounds, families, and home experiences of students is paramount in creating culturally responsive classrooms. The first step in implementing this type of classroom is to become aware of the impact of the hidden curriculum—the unexamined aspects of cultural expectations and perspectives—and to be deliberate about avoiding responses and behavior that negatively impact students.
Getting to know students and their families through needs assessments, surveys, home visits, etc., is the next step. As teachers and administrators get to know members of the community, they will discover a variety of resources that can be used in classrooms. Every effort should be made to infuse students’ funds of knowledge into the curriculum and instruction so that their learning experiences are relevant and authentic. Collectively, schools must be intentional about creating experiences that ensure that students are proficient on grade-level learning outcomes and have opportunities to grow into the likeness of the Master Teacher.
This article has been peer reviewed.
Kalisha A. Waldon, “Why Culturally Responsive Teaching Matters,” The Journal of Adventist Education 80:3 (July-September 2018): 10-17.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
- Gloria Ladson-Billings, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publications, 1994), 17, 18.
- Ellen G. White, Education (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press, 1903), 86.
- ________, Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1900), 17.
- Luis C. Moll et al., “Funds of Knowledge for Teaching: Using a Qualitative Approach to Connect Homes and Classrooms,” Theory Into Practice 31:2 (Spring 1992): 132-141. doi: 10.1080/00405849209543534.
- Tony Townsend and John MacBeath, eds., International Handbook of Leadership for Learning (New York: Springer, 2011).
- James A. Banks and Cherry A. Banks, Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2010), 8.
- Geneva Gay, Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice (New York: Teachers College Press, 2010).
- Nyaradzo Mvududu, “Culturally Responsive Teaching: The Bible Tells Me So,” International Christian Community of Teacher Educators 5:1 (2010): Article 5.
- Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/icctej/vol5/iss1/5.
- Gay, Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice.
- Ellen G. White, A Call to Stand Apart: Challenging Young Adults to Make an Eternal Difference: Selections From the Writings of Ellen G. White (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald, 2002), 14.
- Paul C. Gorski, Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap (New York: Teachers College Press, 2013).
- Lois Weiner, “Challenging Deficit Thinking: Urban Teachers Must Question Unspoken Assumptions About the Sources of Their Students’ Struggles,” Educational Leadership 64:1 (September 2006): 42-45; Christine E. Sleeter, Un-standardizing Curriculum: Multicultural Teaching in the Standards-based Classroom (New York: Teachers College Press, 2005).
- Lisa Delpit, Other People’s Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom (New York: The New Press, 1995); Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race (New York: Basic Books, 1997).
- Traci P. Baxley and Genyne H. Boston, “Curriculum Connections Instructional Model,” EdConnections LLC (2016): http://edconnections.org/?page_id=85.
- Ellen G. White, True Education: An Adaptation of Education by Ellen G. White (Nampa, Idaho.: Pacific Press, 2000), 141.
- Genyne H. Boston and Traci P. Baxley, Connecting Readers to Multiple Perspectives: Using Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in a Multicultural Classroom (Tallahassee, Fla.: EdConnections, 2014); Ladson-Billings, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children.
- Terry-Ann Griffin, personal interview. Name used with permission.
- Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (New York: Continuum, 2000).
- Mark Boynton and Christine Boynton, Educator’s Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline Problems (Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development [ASCD], 2010).
- Tom Cavanagh, “Schooling for Peace: Creating a Culture of Care in an Elementary School.” PhD diss., Colorado State University, 2004. ProQuest (AAT 305204156).
- White, True Education, 17.
- Nell Noddings, Starting at Home: Caring and Social Policy (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2002).
- Chris P. Taylor, “The Need for Redemptive Discipline in a Christian School,” Christian Perspectives in Education 6:1 (Winter 2013): 3: http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1095&context=cpe.
- Boynton and Boynton, Educator’s Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline Problems.
- Matthew 5:16. Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- Ellen G. White, Fundamentals of Christian Education (Nashville, Tenn.: Southern Publishing, 1923), 116.
- Wayne Au, Bill Bigelow, and Stan Karp, eds., Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Justice, Vol. 1 (Milwaukee, Wisc.: Rethinking Schools Ltd., 2007).
- Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press, 2005), 17.
- __________, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press, 1948), 2:25.
- Isaiah 1:17. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
- Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
- Ladson-Billings, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children, 94.
- Amber Willis, personal interview. Name used with permission.
- Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
- Heekap Lee and Ruth Givens, “Critical Consciousness and the Christian Conscience: Making the Necessary Connections Between Faith-based Learning and Critical Pedagogy,” Journal of Research on Christian Education 21:3 (December 2012): 205.
- Joan Wink, Critical Pedagogy: Notes From the Real World (New York: Pearson Publishing, 2010).
- Deborah L. Harris and Traci P. Baxley, “Hungry, Homeless, and Hurting: Helping Novice Teachers Develop a Curriculum of Hope for Today’s Children of Poverty.” In Nancy P. Gallavan and Leann G. Putney, eds., Teacher Education Yearbook XXV: The Association of Teacher Educators (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016), 114.
- Gay, Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice; Ladson-Billings, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children.