RACE, CULTURE & BIAS IN EDUCATION:  Culturally Proficient Teaching


[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Wendi Fein



Take a personal journey toward improving your cultural competence.  This class will enable you to better understand the concept of White Privilege and its impact on education.  You will also explore current issues of race and culture in American schools by selecting and reading a book from the bibliography.  Possibilities include books like How to Teach Students who Don’t Look Like You, Courageous Conversations About Race, and Every Day Anti-Racism

Coursework will offer teachers a better understanding of White Privilege, reveal common misconceptions about cultures, and explain ways for teachers to connect to students of diverse cultural backgrounds.  Classroom application will involve a personal examination of how race and culture are impacting your school and classroom environment.



LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Use terminology such as cultural competence, cultural proficiency, and culturally relevant teaching and be able to describe why these skills are necessary in today’s classrooms.
  2. Explain how students’ and teachers’ cultural backgrounds affect teaching and learning.
  3. Identify how students develop ideas about race and culture because of their family upbringing.
  4. Describe how White Privilege in America has shaped interactions between cultures and influenced our educational system.
  5. Detect possible cultural or racial bias within themselves and/or within their school/district organization.
  6. Design instructional strategies and learning environments where individual cultural differences are respected and valued.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Choose one book from the bibliography to complete assignment #3.  Price will vary depending on choice of text.  Books are available from a public library, or new or used online at, etc.

None. All reading is online.


Choose one book from the bibliography to complete assignment #3. Text price will vary but will be under $20.00.


Wendi Fein, M.A., enthusiastically brings her years of teaching experiences since 1980 to the development and implementation of her courses. Presently, she is teaching Adult Education, Developmental Math and English as a Second Language at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma Washington.  

She spent 25 years teaching in K-12 public schools with a focus on special education, math, dance, PE, study skills and English/World Cultures. In addition, Wendi has traveled and volunteered extensively, bringing her stories and passion for human rights and equity into the classroom. Wendi holds a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.A. in Special Education.


RACE, CULTURE & BIAS IN EDUCATION:  Culturally Proficient Teaching

In selecting possible choices for your book review, I took into consideration the following criteria: critical reviews by authorities in the field, publication date (within 10 years), a variety of topics that you may be interested in, and cost.   If there is a particular book that you would like to review that is not on this list, please contact me first.

Chi, M. and Park, C. editors.  (1999) Asian-American Education: Prospects and Challenges.  Praeger.
This book includes essays from various authors about seven major Asian-American groups, emphasizing that teachers can not lump all Asian students together, and their are unique differences within various Asian ethnic and linguistic groups.

Davis, B.  (2005) How To Teach Students Who Don’t Look Like You: Culturally Relevant Teaching Strategies. Corwin Press.
This book offers a common-sense approach to teaching diverse learners and includes various teaching strategies to close the achievement gap.

Gay, G. editor.  (2003).  Becoming Multicultural Educators: Personal Journey Toward Professional Agency.  Jossey-Bass.
This book includes 14 stories of personal journeys to help teachers along a path of personal growth.  Becoming a multicultural educator is a lengthy and unique process for each of us, and teachers will be able to relate to the personal journeys shared here.

Howard, G. and Nieto, S. (2006). We Can't Teach What We Don't Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools.  Teachers College Press.
Howard discusses what good teachers know and do in the classroom and shares real stories of how schools are successfully closing the achievement gap.

Kunjufu, J. (2002)  Black Students, Middle Class Teachers.  African-American Images.
A successful author of many non-fiction books about African-Americans, the author proposes reasons why our education system is failing to serve minority students.  He also offers ways that schools can change to meet the needs of our minority students who live below the poverty line.

Ladson-Billings, G.  (2009) The Dreamkeepers:  Successful Teachers of African-American Children. Jossey-Bass, 2nd Ed.
This inspirational book shares eight stories of successful teachers who have developed successful teaching strategies in their classrooms.

Landsman, J. (2006)  White Teachers / Diverse Classrooms: A Guide to Building Inclusive Schools, Promoting High Expectations, and Eliminating Racism.  Stylus press.
This book is a straight-forward guide to tackling the issues of institutional racism and closing the achievement gap.  It serves as a model for school-wide transformation at all levels.

Lee, S.  (2009).  Unraveling the ''Model Minority'' Stereotype: Listening to Asian American Youth.  Teachers College Press.
The updated second edition offers the latest in social science research on Asian-American high school students.  The author argues against assuming that all Asian-Americans have the same experience in American schools.  She successfully presents an insider perspective to help teachers correct misunderstandings about this group of students.

Marshall, P.  (2002)  Cultural Diversity in our Schools.  Wadsworth publishing.
This is a basic text which offers chapters on five different ethnic groups.  It is meant as an introduction to those who are being introduced to ideas about how to teach students of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Pollock, M.  (2008)  Everyday Anti-Racism.  New Press.
This book includes essays from various authors on tackling every-day issues that come up with students.  It will help teachers analyze classroom interactions and tackle challenging questions that may come up with students in middle and high school.

Robins, K., Lindsey, R., Lindsey, D. Terrell R., (Editors). (2005)  Culturally Proficient Instruction: A Guide for People Who Teach. Corwin Press.
In order to move forward with the premise that all children can learn, teachers must do a self-examination of their own beliefs, and the school needs to do an assessment of their collective beliefs.  This guide is a useful way to move through this process and change the status quo.

Singleton, G.  (2005). Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools.  Corwin Press.
This book is part of a larger program by the same name.  The book can stand alone without the program to help schools talk about difficult issues and confront the challenges of creating an inclusive school environment.

Tatum, B. (2007) Can we talk about race? And other conversations in an era of school resegregation. New York: Beacon Press Books.
This is a follow-up book ten years after her first book (see below) became a best seller with widespread audiences.  A psychologist and a teacher, Tatum focuses on the broader questions which still make race a thorny issue in our society.

Tatum, B. (2003) Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria?  Basic Books. Revised Edition.
Tatum's best selling book explains African-American identity formation, White privilege, and how the two interact in our current school settings.  This book is still a best-seller for its ability to discuss the issues of race in a clear and engaging manner.

Thompson, G.  (2009) Up Where We Belong:  Helping African and Latino Students Rise in School and in Life.  Jossey-Bass.  2nd ed.
This book is unique on the list in that it mixes in student voices with adult voices.  Using current research, Thompson offers teachers practical teaching strategies while making a clear case for instructional improvement among our African and Latino population.