Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders / Edition 3

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Embark on a journey toward cultural proficiency that results in professional growth and organizational change!

This powerful third edition offers fresh approaches, a revised organization, and new activities that enable leaders to engage in effective interactions with students, educators, and the communities they serve. The authors meticulously provide information gathered from their experiences working with schools, educational agencies, and organizations across the United States and Canada and show how school leaders can:

  • Gain a personal understanding of what cultural proficiency means in practice
  • Use collaborative activities to effect change in a school
  • Lead a learning community toward becoming a culturally proficient organization

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Editorial Reviews

Lynne Rosen
"This book is a phenomenal resource for school districts and organizations that are interested in improving the culture of their organizations. It provides a solid foundation for understanding equity, embracing diversity, and adapting to differences. Moreover, the protocols and activities presented in this edition are practical to use and serve as a road map for school and district leaders on the journey toward cultural proficiency."
Bobbie D'Alessandro and Erica Champagne
"The tools of cultural proficiency outlined in this book have provided the foundation upon which we are building our state educational leadership system. We believe that culturally proficient school leaders can close the educational achievement gap in Massachusetts."
Ken Kearney
"A first-rate guide for making the changes in schools that ensure education for each and every student. Provides the concepts, history, theories, strategies, and activities to build cultural proficiency."
Kieran Vaughan

"An asset for any participant in a learning community. However, it is critically important for it to be read and used by principals and other educational leaders in our K-12 schools. The activities and processes are excellent."

Phyllis J. Hart
"Helps us understand why educational equity is everyone’s responsibility. I recommend this book to all educators in the public school system."
Allen A. Mori
"Breaks new ground in the effort to provide contextually appropriate environments for all students. The authors have issued a challenge to the educational community to make quality education available to all students."
Carmella S. Franco

"A sensitive, thoughtful, provocative exploration of perhaps the most significant issue facing today’s urban educator."

Marlin Foxworth
In Cultural Proficiency, there is clarity about the values and common sense underpinning the need for cultural proficiency, and about how to develop that proficiency in a way that will serve us all.
Carol Bartell
The book is appropriate for educational leaders in almost any setting, since it raises issues that face us all as we seek to move beyond being merely competent to becoming proficient in understanding the complex connections between culture and schooling.
Kirk P. Perucca
Cultural Proficiency, Second Edition asks individuals and organizations to come to a deep understanding of their own culture and how it affects others. Each chapter contains crucial insights, cogent discussion, and activities that delve deeply into who we are, the impact of culture, and how organizations can understand and integrate the dynamics of difference.
Marsha Jacobs
This book is an essential and invaluable guide for those brave enough to venture into unchartered waters. It gave me hope that cultural competency is attainable.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412963633
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 8/11/2009
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 318
  • Sales rank: 63,711
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Randall B. Lindsey is emeritus professor at California State University, Los Angeles and has a practice centered on educational consulting and issues related to equity and access. Prior to higher education faculty roles, he served as a junior and senior high school history teacher, a district office administrator for school desegregation, and executive director of a non-profit corporation. All of his experiences have been in working with diverse populations and his area of study is the behavior of white people in multicultural settings. It is his belief and experience that too often white people are observers of multicultural issues rather than personally involved with them. He works with colleagues to design and implement programs for and with schools, law enforcement agencies, and community-based organizations to provide access and achievement. He and his wife and frequent co-author, Delores, are enjoying this phase of life as grandparents, as educators, and in support of just causes that extend the promises of democracy throughout society in authentic ways.

Kikanza J. Nuri-Robins is an organizational development consultant. She has spent her career working with schools, churches, hospitals and not-for-profit organizations helping them to become healthy, productive, diverse, and inclusive. Since 1978 she has worked with businesses like IBM and Baskin-Robbins, school districts from New York to California, and not-for-profit organizations such as United Way and Girls Scouts of America. The connecting thread is her passion for working with people who care about the quality of their work, who have compassion for their clients and colleagues, and who understand the importance of appropriate responses to the cultural context when doing their work. She has taught elementary school, secondary reading in schools of education and public administration. She is currently consulting with the nursing faculty at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, the Oxnard (CA) Police Department, and a domestic violence family center.

Raymond D. Terrell, EdD, served as special assistant to the dean for diversity initiatives in the School of Education and Allied Professions at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. A former secondary English teacher, elementary school principal, professor of educational administration, and dean of the School of Education at California State University, Los Angeles, he has more than 40 years of professional experience with diversity and equity issues.

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Table of Contents

Foreword to the Third Edition by Darline P. Robles
Foreword to the Second Edition by Carl A. Cohn
Foreword to the First Edition by Asa G. Hilliard, III
About the Authors
Part I. Understanding Cultural Proficiency
1. Cultural Proficiency
Cultural Proficiency – An Inside-Out Approach to Difference
The Four Tools
A Historical Context
What’s In It For Us?
Learning and Teaching Effectively
Living in a Global Community
Participating in the Community
Providing Leadership
The Case
Rolling Meadows Unified School District
Coolidge Unified School District
Resources for Developing Culturally Proficient Leaders
Read the Text First
The Matrix
Going Deeper
2. A Cultural and Historical Context for Our Unfolding Democracy
An Inside-Out Approach
What it Takes
Culture is . . .
What Happened to Race?
The Legacy of Segregation and Exclusion
A History of Caste in the U.S.
Labels for Historically Oppressed People
Segregation to Cultural Proficiency
Culture and History Provide Perspective
Going Deeper
3. Leadership for Today’s Schools
Our Journey and Culturally Proficient Leaders
Transformational Leadership
Formal and Nonformal Leaders
Collaborative Leadership
Culturally Proficient Leadership
So, Where Do You Start?
Going Deeper
4. Framing Your Work With the Cultural Proficiency Tools
Inside-Out Change
Cultural Proficiency Conceptual Framework
The Four Tools of Cultural Proficiency
Going Deeper
Part II. Using the Tools of Cultural Proficiency
5. The First Tool: Overcoming Barriers
Barriers to Cultural Proficiency
This Chapter is for Everyone
Caveat: Systemic Oppression
Caveat: Privilege and Entitlement
Caveat: Unawareness of the Need to Adapt
Changing Educational Practices
Culturally Proficient Educators
Overcoming Resistance
Very Good News
Going Deeper
6. The Second Tool: The Guiding Principles of Cultural Proficiency
The Guiding Principles of Cultural Proficiency
Cultural Proficiency as Expression of Values
Principle: Culture is Ever Present
Principle: People are Served in Varying Degrees by the Dominant Culture
Principle: People Have Group Identities and Personal Identities
Principle: Diversity Within Cultures Is Important
Principle: Each Group Has Unique Cultural Needs that Must be Respected
Principle: The Family, as Defined by each Culture, is the Primary System of Support in the Education of Children
Principle: People Who are not Part of the Dominant Culture Have to be at Least Bicultural
Principle: Inherent in Cross-cultural Interactions are Social and Communication Dynamics that must be Acknwledged, Adjusted to, and Accepted
Principle: The School System must Incorporate Cultural Knowledge into Practice and Policy Making
Make it Count
Going Deeper
7. The Third Tool: The Cultural Proficiency Continuum
The Continuum
Going Deeper
8. The Fourth Tool: The Essential Elements
The Essential Elements of Cultural Proficiency
Analyzing School Leadership
Going Deeper
Part III. Making the Commitment to Cultural Proficiency
9. The Case: One Last Look
Matrix: How to Use Cultural Proficiency Books
Introduction to Resource Activities
Resource A. Understanding Diversity
Activity 1. A Few Definitions
Activity 2. Telling Your Story
Activity 3. Diversity in Your Life
Activity 4. Stand Up
Activity 5. Line Up
Activity 6. Demographics
Activity 7. Starpower
Resource B. Getting to Know Myself
Activity 1. Journaling
Activity 2. Diversity Lifeline
Activity 3. Name Five Things
Activity 4. Who are You?
Activity 5. Who am I?
Activity 6. Cultural Portrait
Activity 7. Personal Stereotypes I
Activity 8. Personal Stereotypes II
Activity 9. Process of Personal Change
Activity 10. Seven Dynamics of Change
Activity 11. Paradigms
Activity 12. Strength Bombardment
Resource C. Getting to Know Your Colleagues and Your Organization
Activity 1. Introductory Grid
Activity 2. Cultural Perceptions
Activity 3. What’s Your Name
Activity 4. Totems or Crests
Activity 5. Family Portrait
Activity 6. Group Stereotypes
Activity 7. Circle of History
Activity 8. Storytelling
Activity 9. Voices that Resonate
Activity 10. Needs Assessment
Resource D. Understanding Power and Privilege
Activity 1. Barriers to Cultural Proficiency
Activity 2. Culturally Incompetent Organizations
Activity 3. Privilege and Entitlement Survey
Activity 4. Listening and Hearing
Activity 5. Seven Minute Day
Resource E. Going Deeper with the Principles
Activity 1. Guiding Principles Discussion Starters
Activity 2. Family Values
Activity 3. My Work Values
Activity 4. Managing Conflict with Our Core Values
Activity 5. Examining Your Organizational Values
Resource F. Going Deeper with The Continuum
Activity 1. The Cultural Proficiency Continuum
Activity 2. Exploring Behaviors Along the Continuum
Resource G. Going Deeper with the Essential Elements
Activity 1. Understanding the Essential Elements
Activity 2. Essential Elements of Culturally Proficient Leaders
Activity 3. Cultural Competence Self Assessment
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