The National Education Association defines cultural competency as “having an awareness of one’s own cultural identity and views about difference, and the ability to learn and build on the varying cultural and community norms of students and their families.”
In 2020, it is a moral and practical imperative to value cultural competency and to take steps to better understand, support, and value the diversity of all individuals in our Jewish community. Educators who value cultural competency optimize their learning environments when they strive to get to know each individual student’s cultural background and learn the values and expectations of each students’ family and as well as the values of the school community. In so doing, they model the Jewish value of kavod, respect, and the content of their teaching and programming can be more personal, meaningful, and relevant to each student. In this course, designed for people who work with Jewish teens and young adults, we will explore the concept of cultural competency as it relates to Jewish living and learning. We will consider our own biases about diversity, equity and inclusion, and use what we learn to create nurturing spaces in which our students will thrive.
At the conclusion of each course, participants will be able to:
- Articulate how students' culture can impact their learning
- Describe how cultural competency and literacy are crucial to creating safe and productive learning environments
- Develop tools to help implement cultural competency into their educational spaces