Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education



Mardi Schmeichel

Date of this Version



Journal of Curriculum Studies 44:2 (2012), pp. 211–231.

doi: 10.1080/00220272.2011.591434


Copyright © 2012 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


The adoption of educational policy measures to close the achievement gap, as well as the significant amount of scholarship dedicated to the subject, are just some of the indicators that reflect the tremendous concern in education about the academic performance of students of color. Within research aimed at promoting equitable practices in education, culturally relevant teaching has emerged as a good teaching strategy to improve achievement. Using genealogical methods to examine the ways in which culture has become relevant to classroom practice, the author argues that the perceived difference from white students that made it possible to conceive of children of color as culturally deficit in the 1960s is also invoked in more recent literature that promotes attending to culture as an equity strategy. The take-up of culturally relevant teaching as something that a teacher can “do,” instead of a critical stance that a teacher takes, is also examined and critiqued.