Our work with schools

Culturally responsive pedagogy

A dual focus on Cultural Intelligence (CQ) in the workplace as well as Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP) in schools marks an exciting new chapter for Mahana. We see education settings as one of the most, if not the most powerful vehicles for addressing cultural trauma and systemic disadvantage. It is our belief that creating a positive climate for learning in which students feel known and heard is crucial to engagement, wellbeing and success. In the context of cultural and community diaspora, culturally responsive practice and pedagogy is more relevant than ever before. Despite this, our current school system, policies and pre-service training struggle to meet the complex needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students and families. We support educators and health and wellbeing teams to create environments and forge relationships wherein:

‘students safely bring who they are and what they know into the learning relationship, and where what students know, and who they are, forms the foundations of interaction patterns in the classroom – in short, where culture counts.’  (Bishop & Glynn, 1999)

Further, we deliberately target teachers as ‘learners’ as we believe the greatest impact of the LENS course involves increased teacher self-awareness as a bridge to more nuanced student and family awareness and understanding. We do this in the knowledge that ‘teachers who are committed to cultural competence, establish high expectations, and position themselves as both facilitators and learners.’ (Samuels, 2018)

If you’re interested in finding out more, please get in touch via our contact page.