What is Cultural Proficiency?

Cultural Proficiency is about educating all students to high levels through knowing, valuing, and using as assets their cultural backgrounds, languages, and learning styles within the context of our teaching. A central tenet of Cultural Proficiency holds that change is an inside-out process in which a person is, first and foremost, a student of his own assumptions. Initially, educators must have the capability to recognize our own assumptions in order to retain those that facilitate culturally proficient actions and to change those assumptions that impede such actions. Similarly, educators as a community apply this inside-out process to examine school policies and practices that either impede or facilitate culturally proficient practices. This ability to examine one’s self and organization is fundamental to interdependent thinking needed when addressing achievement gap issues. Cultural Proficiency is about being effective thinkers and educators in cross-cultural situations

Cultural Proficiency provides a comprehensive, systemic structure for school leaders to discuss issues facing their schools. The Four Tools of Cultural Proficiency provide educators with the framework to assess and change one’s own values and behaviors and a school’s policies and practices in ways that better serve the needs of students and their communities. Cultural Proficiency challenges communities to use prevalent assessment tools to examine their current reality and establish desired outcomes for more students than ever before to achieve at levels higher than ever before—all students! Then, the community of educators uses the Tools of Cultural Proficiency to determine a path by which they will achieve those outcomes for all students.