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Culturally Proficient Leadership Practices


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Title: Culturally Proficient Leadership Practices

Culturally Proficient Leadership Practices
  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
  • Randall B. Lindsey
  • November 23, 2009

Session Purposes
  • Cultural Proficiency as leaders personal work,
  • Introduce and practice use of strategies and
    activities, and
  • Guide use of Manual for School Leaders.

Checking-in Activity
  • Give one, Get one
  • Complete the handout as requested
  • On cue from me, find another person to share 1
  • Record that persons learning into your handout
  • On cue from me, you will have 2 more discussions
  • Group discussion

In appreciation of the gifts from
  • Terry Cross

  • Raymond Terrell
  • Kikanza Nuri
  • Delores B. Lindsey
  • Randall B. Lindsey
  • Brenda CampbellJones
  • Franklin CampbellJones
  • Laraine Roberts
  • Richard S. Martinez
  • Stephanie Graham
  • R. Chris Westphal, Jr.
  • Cynthia Jew
  • Linda Jungwirth
  • Jarvis Pahl
  • Keith Myatt
  • Michelle Karns
  • Diana Stephens

Cultural Proficiency
  • It is an inside-out approach and the theme for
    our sessions
  • It is about being aware of how we - as
    individuals and as organizations - work with
  • It is about being aware of how we respond to
    those different from us
  • It is a worldview it is the manner in which we
    lead our lives
  • It cannot be mandated it can be nurtured

Pre-conditions for doing this work
  • School leaders have to do their own work first.
  • Each leader has to think deeply about the
    guiding principles and essential elements.
  • Cultural Proficiency is a journey with our
    colleagues, not done to them.
  • We begin where people are, not necessarily
    where we would like them to be.

Culturally Proficiency is to
  • Reframe our work, not add to it.
  • Be embedded into our processes
  • School Leadership teams
  • PLCs or SLCs
  • Department or grade level meetings
  • Book studies
  • Professional development sessions
  • Faculty meetings
  • Take a 3-5 year horizon

Margaret Wheatley
  • A reading from
  • Turning to One Another

Cultural Proficiency A Manual for School Leaders
  • Scan pages 4 to 7
  • Note descriptions of the tools of Cultural

The Cultural Proficiency tools
  •   The Barriers
  • Four caveats that assist in responding
    effectively to resistance to change
  • The Guiding Principles
  • Underlying values of the approach
  • The Continuum
  • Language for describing both healthy and
    non-productive policies, practices and individual
  •  The Essential Elements
  • Five behavioral standards for measuring, and
    planning for, growth toward cultural proficiency

Cultural Proficiency A Manual for School Leaders
  • Scan pages 98 to 108
  • Pay particular attention to the underlying core
    values in the Guiding Principles

The Barriers
  • The presumption of entitlement
  • Systems of oppression
  • Unawareness of the need to adapt
  • Resistance to change
  • The barriers to cultural proficiency are systemic
    privilege, oppression, and resistance to change

The Guiding Principles
  • The Guiding Principles are the core values, the
    foundation upon which the approach is built
  • Culture is a predominant force
  • People are served in varying degrees by the
    dominant culture
  • Acknowledge group identities
  • Diversity within cultures is important
  • Respect unique cultural needs

Guiding Principles, cont
  • The best of both world enhances the capacity of
  • The family, as defined by the culture, is the
    primary system of support in the education of
  • School systems must recognize that marginalized
    groups have to be at least bicultural
  • Community-centric vs School-centric
  • Schools must recognize and adjust to effects of
    historical oppression - over representation in
    special education and under representation in
    gifted programs

Cultural Proficiency A Manual for School Leaders
  • Telling Your Story, page 169
  • Please organize into groups of 4 people from
    diverse backgrounds - ethnicity, gender, job
    assignments, etc
  • Choose one of the cells and relate a story to
    your colleagues
  • We will debrief in the larger group

The Continuum
  • Cultural destructiveness
  • Cultural incapacity
  • Cultural blindness
  • Cultural pre-competence
  • Cultural competence
  • Cultural proficiency
  • There are six points along the cultural
    proficiency continuum that indicate unique ways
    of perceiving and responding to differences.

  • Downward Spiral Conversation

Upward Spiral Conversation
Words often used to describe some groups and
implied terms for others
  • Inferior
  • Culturally deprived
  • Culturally disadvantaged
  • Deficient
  • Different
  • Diverse
  • Third world
  • Minority
  • Underclass
  • Poor
  • Unskilled workers
  • Superior
  • Privileged
  • Advantaged
  • Normal
  • Similar
  • Uniform
  • First world
  • Majority
  • Upper class
  • Middle class
  • Leaders

Cultural Proficiency helps us to move FROM
Blindness Precompetence
- Proficiency
  • Focus on them and their inadequacies
  • Tolerate, assimilate, acculturate
  • Demographics viewed as challenge
  • Prevent, mitigate, avoid cultural dissonance and
  • Stakeholders expect or help others to assimilate
  • Information added to existing policies,
    procedures, practices.
  • The focus on us and our practices
  • Esteem, respect, adapt
  • Demographics inform policy and practice
  • Manage, leverage, facilitate conflict
  • Stakeholders adapt to meet needs of others
  • Information integrated into
  • policies, procedures, practices.

Essential Elements for Cultural Competence
  1. Assess Culture
  2. Value Diversity
  3. Manage the Dynamics of Difference
  4. Adapt to Diversity
  5. Institutionalize Cultural Knowledge
  • The Essential Elements of cultural proficiency
    provide the standards for individual behavior and
    organizational practices

Cultural Proficiency Conceptual Framework
  • Manual, page 60
  • Read
  • Table conversation
  • Connections?
  • Questions of clarification?
  • General Discussion

Systemic Tension
  • The Barriers are forces within people and
    organizations to resist change and foster a sense
    of privilege and entitlement that inform
    Destructiveness, Incapacity Blindness
  • The Guiding Principles are the core values, the
    foundation upon which the approach is built, that
    inform Precompetence, Competence Proficiency

  • Paired Fluency

Cultural Proficiency A Manual for School Leaders
  • Cultural Competence Self Assessment
  • Complete activity on pages 295-296
  • Individual, small group and large group

The Achievement Gap
  • Exists when specific groups of students do not
    achieve in school at the same level. Achievement
    gaps may correlate with race, ethnicity, family
    income level, language background,
    ability/disability status, and gender.

What we know, but act like we dont
  • Correlation is not causation
  • Wide achievement gaps on state and national
    assessments and attainment gaps in high school
    and college completion exist. But poverty and
    race do not determine destiny in education.
  • Opportunity gaps give rise to achievement gaps
  • Low achievement and attainment rates persist
    because we continue to provide poor and students
    of color with less of everything research says
    makes a difference.

Revisiting Rubrics
  • Study the Assessment Accountability Rubric
  • Locate your school/district for each of the 5
    Essential Elements
  • Locate where you believe your teacher colleagues
    would place your district
  • Guiding QuestionWithin our current school
    processes, where and how do we move the
    conversation and decisions that will result in
    movement towards proficiency?

Revisiting Breakthrough Questions
  • Read handout
  • With 1 other partner, respond to items in Table
  • Discussion Questions, observations, insights?
  • Return to partner discussion, complete Table 1.3
  • Discussion How do these activities inform
    intentional movement along the Continuum?

States of Mind/Essential Elements
  • Each table will work with 1 of the essential
    elements and respond to the prompts
  • Chart and post responses - 20 minutes
  • Carousel sharing
  • Discussion

Consideration of Data
  • What achievement data do you want to examine?
  • How is your school/district doing with regard to
    special needs students?
  • How is your district/school doing with regard to
    language-learning students?
  • What access data do you want to collect and
    analyze - e.g., special needs identification,
    attendance, suspensions, expulsions?

Culturally Proficient leaders ask
  • In what ways do we adapt to students who have a
    different culture, different set of values,
    different behavior patterns, different languages,
    and different learning styles?
  • Maybe the deeper question is Different from what
    or whom?

Voices that Resonate
Other Cultures
  • The world in which you were born
  • is just one model of reality.
  • Other cultures are not
  • failed attempts at being you
  • They are unique manifestations
  • of the human spirit
  • Wade Davis, Anthropologist