Culturally and Personally-Relevant Teaching and Instruction

Culturally and Personally-Relevant Teaching and Instruction


The Culturally and Personally-Relevant Teaching and Instruction project looks at how to support teachers to teach in a manner that is personally and culturally relevant to children in the class. The motivation for the project is situated within the broader phenomenon of demotivation that occurs if children perceive that content taught at school is not relevant to them, to their lives, or to their future. It is immensely difficult for the teacher to cater for the diversity of individual students’ backgrounds, interests, experiences, epistemologies, values, learning styles, etc. in their lessons. Therefore, this project addresses various avenues on how teachers incorporate relevant lesson and the ways this material can be presented to the teacher during a real-time lesson.


  • Our initial investigations began with observations in various elementary science classrooms. We conducted observations in order to understand how teachers include cultural and persona information into their lessons. We were also interested in the teaching strategies that are used when including relevant types of information.
  • Upcoming investigations will address interaction techniques for displaying relevant student information to teachers during a real-time lesson. We are interested in seeing which techniques would work best for a teacher as well as whether using different interaction techniques add to or lessen the cognitive load of the teacher.