Culturally Responsive Science Curriculum


Where to Begin?


Creating and implementing culturally responsive curriculum is a time-consuming process that is generally collaborative in nature and decidedly marked by what authors know and believe worth knowing. It generally involves reaching out past our own knowledge or comfort range and synthesizing what we find. The process is slightly different for everyone, but general factors for everyone to consider are summarized in the chart below and are used to organize the material in this handbook. An elaborated rubric for assessment of culturally responsive units is included in Appendix A.


Culturally Responsive Science Curriculum


Cultural Relevance

Examines topics of cultural significance, involves cultural experts, addresses cultural standards and provides adequate opportunity for reaching deeper cultural understanding.

Standards Based

Identifies an appropriate number of state science standards; describes specifically what is to be learned about those standards; and provides an adequate number of properly sequenced opportunities that lead students to a deeper understanding of the standards.

Best Practices

Incorporates strategies which are culturally appropriate; focuses on student understanding and use of knowledge, ideas and inquiry process; guides students in active and extended inquiry; and supports a classroom community with cooperation, shared responsibility and respect.


Engages in ongoing assessment of student: understanding of highly valued, well-structured knowledge; skill development and reasoning; and ability to apply knowledge to the real world. Allows for diverse demonstrations of understanding.

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