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Harvard Graduate School of Education

Advancing Culturally Responsive Literature Instruction

Oct 26—27
2 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
USD 995
USD 497 per day

How it works


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Literature, by its nature, conveys values and norms. By identifying elements of curriculum that value the identity of their students, teachers increase student engagement and achievement. In this program, you will have the opportunity to interact with researchers and leading practitioners and collaborate with colleagues who share your passion for and questions about developing high quality and culturally responsive learning experiences.

This program aims to deepen your insight and sustain your pedagogy in literature instruction that is relevant and responsive to your students. The program will begin using the critical literacy framework to discuss curricula generated by participants in advance of the workshop. Critical literacy, according to Lewison, Leland, and Harste, includes four elements: disrupting the commonplace, interrogating multiple viewpoints, focusing on social political issues, and taking action and promoting social justice. Applying new perspectives, participants will collaborate on the design of new lessons and units and consider instructional methods that deepen comprehension and generate empathy. Participants will also consider their role as influencers and leaders in their context and develop strategies for inviting colleagues to reconsider their own practice in terms of critical literacy.

Program Details

Advancing Culturally Responsive Literature Instruction is a highly interactive on-campus program for educators who are eager to develop instructional practices that support and value the variety of identities in the 21st-century classroom. As a participant, you will prepare material in advance, which will then be critiqued using the critical literacy framework. Building on feedback from expert practitioners, you will co-create a new curriculum with fellow participants through workshop activity, discussion, and collaborative reflection.

You will leave the program with feedback on both the curriculum materials you developed in advance and the new material designed onsite with fellow participants. These elements, along with instructional methods that deepen engagement, will prepare you to incorporate culturally responsive literature instruction in your own classroom. Additionally, you will learn to communicate with your colleagues and community in compelling ways, citing research about the importance of culturally responsive instruction as it pertains to the whole child.

Session Topics:

  • Critical literacy and its implications for teaching and learning and for narrowing the opportunity gap
  • Instructional Strategies for Exploring Texts
  • Concept Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI)
  • Leveraging literacy resources, including the Jeanne Chall Reading Lab
  • Note: Advancing Culturally Responsive Literature Instruction is an in-depth extension of the HGSE online workshop, Culturally Responsive Literature Instruction. Applicants who have not completed the online offering will be required to complete pre-work to ensure that all participants begin the program with a common vocabulary and skill set.


  • Learn and apply the critical literacy model to critique literature curricula
  • Understand approaches to curriculum development for culturally responsive teaching based on research
  • Create curricula, with fellow participants, that incorporate culturally responsive content and instruction
  • Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to influence others in your school and/or system to advance the practice of culturally responsive literature instruction

Who should attend

  • All K-12 teachers interested in deepening their understanding of culturally responsive content and instruction*
  • K-12 instructional coaches and principals*
  • Past participants of Culturally Responsive Literature Instruction offered online through HGSE


Pamela A. Mason is director of the Language and Literacy Master's program and the Jeanne Chall Reading Lab and a senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her professional and research interests encompass the interaction of text complexity and background knowledge,...

Next dates

Oct 26—27
2 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
USD 995
USD 497 per day

How it works

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