Supporting Culturally Responsive Practices through Indian Education for All, Multilingual Learner Instruction, and Technology Integration

Teacher Development Grant

 2022-2023 Project Summary

Jacie Jeffers

Billings Public Schools • Billings, MT

To improve learning outcomes, this project will provide training in culturally responsive practices (CRP), Technology, Pedagogy, Content Knowledge (TPACK), and Multilingual Learning (ML) over three years. Montana is one of two states that do not provide state funding for ML, and the state has new technology standards. No in-state universities offer an ML endorsement. A majority of teachers come through the Montana University system where limited preservice training is offered or required in Indian Education for All (IEFA) or technology. IEFA is a Montana state constitutional law, federal law mandates instructional programs for MLs, and 2021 technology integration standards require teachers to integrate technology into their daily instruction, which includes fusing IEFA lessons with digital tools. Well-developed CRP frameworks can facilitate teachers’ understanding of how students’ cultural backgrounds and experiences enhance student learning. Digital tools and technology integration are among the best practices for teaching multicultural classrooms due to the difference in ethnically diverse student populations. Opportunities for PD for teachers in Montana are critical for IEFA, ML, and technology integration shortened here as MITeach.

The goal of the project is to develop a cadre of teachers trained in TPACK for MITeach. The training will be provided by instructional coaches. This professional development will strengthen Collective Teacher Efficacy (CTE) in order to empower participants’ confidence to provide professional development to their colleagues. The purpose of the cadre is to build teacher leadership capacity in school buildings. Each year, teachers will participate quarterly in 6 hour training sessions. Year one focuses on building mindset, year two on classroom practices, and year three on leadership cultivation. In year one, teachers will grow their mindset for culturally responsive practice in MITeach. Qualitative and quantitative data will identify essential questions. Participants will demonstrate their knowledge through a digital portfolio containing memoir writing, research on CRP, and an implementation plan. In year two, teachers will implement their plan and share through reflective story practices. Teachers will provide feedback to each other in a peer-developed rubric, measuring the effectiveness to understand, implement, and reflect on MITeach. Each session will provide CRP case studies to evaluate cultural literacy, the next steps for their own practice, paralleling these to their own teaching journey, while providing a context for restorative discussion circles. Year three will explore ideals for providing PD as an instructional leader. Teachers will create and present their PD to the cadre, receive feedback, and then revise. The peer feedback will be on the ability to use CRP, technology, and andragogy. The teacher will revise the lesson and share to their portfolio their lesson and written or video reflections.

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