Cultivating Genius focuses on the need for culturally and historically responsive education

Stephanie Agresti  //  Dec 3, 2019

Cultivating Genius focuses on the need for culturally and historically responsive education

Today, Scholastic announced the release of Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy, a new professional title from Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad created to help K–12 educators ensure all students succeed.

During a time when teachers nationwide are searching for ways to improve literacy achievement and respond to the social and cultural lives of their students, Dr. Muhammad, Georgia State University associate professor of language and literacy, and director of the Georgia State Urban Literacy Collaborative and Clinic, unpacks the critical need for honoring students’ identities to help them grow academically and personally. She calls for a shift to honest, bold, and unapologetic pedagogy that is responsive to the social times.

Dr. Muhammad shares new goals for literacy education that are inclusive and incorporate diverse and enriching texts, and provides specific supports for educators teaching students of color—who are often marginalized by learning standards, school policies, and classroom practices—including self-reflective questions, culturally responsive text recommendations, and sample lesson plans.

Cultivating Genius presents a Historically Responsive Literacy Framework for Teaching and Learning that elevates education for all students across grade levels and content areas. Dr. Muhammad’s equity framework draws from her research on the learning pursuits of 19th-century Black literary societies, which promoted literacy as a conduit for lifelong learning while also countering racism and oppression.

The four pursuits, or learning goals, include:

  • Identity – defining self and making sense of one’s values and beliefs
  • Skills – achieving proficiencies through reading and writing meaningful content
  • Intellect – gaining knowledge and learning to think deeply
  • Criticality – developing the ability to read texts to understand power, authority, and oppression

To learn more, read the official press release, here.