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Abstract

Teachers who serve diverse students must navigate two “worlds.” One world is that of standardized curricula and pedagogy and the other is culturally relevant education. To effectively navigate these worlds, teachers need assistance from “cultural brokers” who can help make sense of the tension that emerges when these two educational worlds interact. This study analyzes the work of two Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence coaches who worked as cultural brokers to help teachers integrate multiple pedagogical models. The results indicate the coaches shifted their strategies depending on teacher preferences, and helped teachers overcome constraints within their classrooms and curricula. Framing coaches as “cultural brokers” may be a useful metaphor for others assisting teachers with navigating the tension that emerges in implementing culturally relevant education.

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