Jul 28, 2021
Teaching Strategies

The term culturally relevant teaching was created by Gloria Ladson-Billings (1994), who says that it is “a pedagogy that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural referents to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes.” Geneva Gay (2010) further explains that culturally relevant teaching “uses the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning more relevant and effective.”

Source: AVID

Here at NGPF, we're not teaching any students -- you are! But, that doesn't mean that culturally responsive education isn't on our minds. Ever since we started writing curriculum for use in high school (and now middle school and college) classrooms in 2014, we've attempted to create resources that are inclusive -- we want your students to see themselves in our activities and lessons. While we're certainly not perfect, here are the ways NGPF integrates cultural responsiveness into our curricula. 

Resources we curate

  1. Find resources from experts with varied marginalized identities. Ensure expertise is not monopolized by men who are white, cisgender, straight, abled, and/or wealthy. 
  2. Find resources that star, feature, or include diverse people or that come from sources created by or for diverse audiences. 

Scenarios we write

  1. Use a variety of names and pronouns in hypothetical scenarios
    1. Social Security list or Wikipedia
    2. Use our friends, relatives, former students
    3. Open up a college’s website and pull their end-of-year award winners, sports rosters, or SGO
    4. Make sure it’s not always “boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife” -- use “partner” sometimes
    5. Use he, she, and they for pronouns
  2. Avoid perpetuating stereotypes in those scenarios
    1. Who is confused by investing, grocery shopping for their family, babysitting?
    2. Who is a doctor, a financial planner, a construction worker?
    3. What are familial relations -- parents vs parent, grandparents, guardians?
    4. Who’s equipped to offer guidance?

Activities we create

  1. Embed as much adaptability and student choice/leadership as possible
    1. Activities where teachers customize with linked data for their city/state or where students have access to select the data most appropriate for them
    2. Activities where students choose the topic/format
  2. Vary lesson types and access points

What the NGPF curriculum team has started doing more recently

  1. Critically evaluate data sources/charts/graphs that include data based on race or ethnicity
    1. How are different groups categorized? What words are used?
  2. Include resources that address roles of systems of oppressions and/or unequal access or treatment* 
  3. Include resources that address cultural differences in approaches to money or financial decision making*

*These two items are often done in the DO MORE/LEARN MORE section of our Lesson Guides, and we are in the process of greatly expanding these resources. 


Providing high-quality resources for a national audience of teachers and students while celebrating the diversity reflected in schools across America has always been part of the NGPF mission: To revolutionize the teaching of personal finance in all schools in order to improve the financial lives of the next generation of Americans. 




About the Author

Jessica Endlich

When I started working at Next Gen Personal Finance, it's as though my undergraduate degree in finance, followed by ten years as an educator in an NYC public high school, suddenly all made sense.