Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy

Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy

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In Cultivating Genius, Dr. Gholdy E. Muhammad presents a four-layered equity framework--one that is grounded in history and restores excellence in literacy education. This framework, which she names, Historically Responsive Literacy, was derived from the study of literacy development within 19th-century Black literacy societies. The framework is essential and universal for all students, especially youth of color, who traditionally have been marginalized in learning standards, school policies, and classroom practices. The equity framework will help educators teach and lead toward the following learning goals or pursuits:

  • Identity Development--Helping youth to make sense of themselves and others
  • Skill Development-- Developing proficiencies across the academic disciplines
  • Intellectual Development--Gaining knowledge and becoming smarter
  • Criticality--Learning and developing the ability to read texts (including print and social contexts) to understand power, equity, and anti-oppression

When these four learning pursuits are taught together--through the Historically Responsive Literacy Framework, all students receive profound opportunities for personal, intellectual, and academic success. Muhammad provides probing, self-reflective questions for teachers, leaders, and teacher educators as well as sample culturally and historically responsive sample plans and text sets across grades and content areas. In this book, Muhammad presents practical approaches to cultivate the genius in students and within teachers.