Culturally Inclusive Practices

Guidelines for local educational agencies
In 2015, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas, formed the Culturally Inclusive Practices
Committee because she recognized that our students did not have equitable access to rich educational opportunities and issued this charge:

Develop culturally inclusive guidelines which are subsequently adopted by each local educational agency.

This dedicated committee, comprised of educators and community members, carried out this charge to develop the guidance which can be easily implemented.

The Guidelines:

Cultural diversity is clearly evident within our school environments and is compounded by an ever-changing student population. As populations change, so too does the identity of the school and community. Educational environments must adjust nimbly to the needs of students, thus, culturally inclusive practices are critical. The following four areas are critical to the development of a culturally inclusive environment.

  • Professional Development:
  • To build the cultural competence of educators, professional development must address evidence-based practices related to instruction, curriculum, and school climate/environment. Educators and communities must openly dialogue to identify opportunities to implement culturally responsive practices and strategies.

  • Instruction:

    While planning lessons across all subjects, integrate culturally inclusive instruction that takes into account the unique stories, accomplishments, and struggles of all of the people of Arizona.

  • Curriculum:

    Every local educational agency (LEA) must teach a balanced curriculum adhering to State adopted standards and mandates for the content areas, using complementary materials that address the contributions of diverse cultures.

  • School Climate/Environment:

    Schools must consciously build educational environments which value the rich heritage of all of Arizona’s communities and cultures, fostering appreciation for all, so that all students and their families are treated equitably and with respect.