Teaching as Dialogue: Toward Culturally Responsive Online Pedagogy
AbstractDespite the preponderance of online learning in K-12 public schools, still little is known about what constitutes good online teaching. The purpose of this interpretivist investigation was to learn about some of the ways in which culturally responsive teaching occurs online. This study focused on the practices of four full-time online high school teachers. Using the methods of grounded theory research, the author analyzed data generated through observations of online courses, interviews with teachers, and teacher-written narratives in order to learn how four instructors practiced culturally responsive online pedagogy in one state-supported online program. Results indicated that the teachers engaged in frequent and ongoing dialogue with their students. The teachers used multiple strategies to get to know their students, to build class community, to adapt instruction to students’ learning needs and preferences, and to make learning relevant. Teachers also discussed contextual factors that impacted their practice. However, some characteristics of culturally responsive pedagogy, including infusing students’ cultures into the curriculum and helping students to challenge power and hegemony were not identified.