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Culturally Proficient Inclusive Schools

Culturally Proficient Inclusive Schools
All Means ALL!

Foreword by Douglas Fisher & Nancy Frey

June 2017 | 320 pages | Corwin

Create inclusive educational environments that benefit ALL learners!


As schools become more diverse with students of differing abilities and needs, this self-reflective and action-oriented guide helps you create and support more inclusive schools and classrooms that intentionally educate all students. Using the Five Essential Elements of Cultural Proficiency as a roadmap, this book presents: 

  • Students’ learning differences as just that – differences rather than deficits
  • Strategies that show you how to break though the common barriers to culturally proficient and inclusive schooling
  • Assessments that gauge your awareness and show you how to best serve every student’s needs

About the Authors
Part I: Commitment to ALL!
Chapter 1: What are Equity and Access Gaps? Why do They Persist?
Chapter 2: Using the Tools of Cultural Proficiency and the Vision and Practices of Inclusive Education as a Conceptual Framework
Chapter 3: Barriers to Culturally Proficient Inclusive Education
Chapter 4: Overcoming Barriers and Creating Opportunities for Learning
Part II: How to Become Inclusive Using the Five Essential Elements of Cultural Proficiency
Chapter 5: Assessing Cultural Knowledge Through Authentic and Differentiated Strategies
Chapter 6: Valuing Diversity Through Inclusiveness
Chapter 7: Managing the Dynamics of Diversity Through Collaboration, Creative Problem Solving and Conflict Management
Chapter 8: Adapting to Diversity Through Advocacy and Universal Design for Learning
Chapter 9: Institutionalizing Cultural Change
Chapter 10: Engaging in Action: When All Means All
Resource A: Book Study Guide
Resource B: Cultural Proficiency and Inclusive Schooling Books’ Essential Questions

“In Culturally Proficient Inclusive Schools, the authors challenge their readers to deeply consider how schools have failed to be as inclusive and accessible to all students as they should be. The authors take a positive approach to the issue by pushing educators to move away from deficit thinking and focus on the varied assets of all students. Through the lens of cultural proficiency, they emphasize that for educators to fully embrace all learners, they must carefully examine the assumptions and beliefs they may currently hold about them. This book is a welcome addition to the literature as we seek to educate all students who attend our schools.”

Michael R. Hillis, Ph.D., Dean and Professor, Graduate School of Education
California Lutheran University

"The authors of Culturally Proficient Inclusive Schools provide a guide to champion the development of inclusive schools through culturally proficient practices that support students and the professional community. The tools help the school community by identifying student needs and selecting appropriate materials and approaches while considering the social-emotional requirements of the student population. The Systems, Practices, Strategies tool supports the growth of educators in the important work of knowing who they are, where they should develop their skills, and how to best serve and value their school community as they reflect-on-action and reflect-for-action."

Patricia Horton, Principal
Abraham Lincoln Elementary School

"This powerful book will certainly help any reader better understand inclusive education, but it offers so much more than that. It goes deeper and challenges readers to understand culture in new ways, to create real change, and to build true communities built on listening, understanding, and action. Use this text as a guide to both understand the barriers that get in the way of inclusion and to build the skills and competencies that will help it thrive in today’s diverse schools. Culturally Proficient Inclusive Schools will help you create a progressive vision for teaching all learners and a powerful plan to realize that vision."

Paula Kluth, Ph.D., Consultant, Author, Advocate and Independent Scholar
Author of Universal Design Daily: 365 Ways to Teach, Support and Challenge All Learners

This book answers the important call to equip and position school personnel at the front lines of supporting students of differing abilities to become culturally proficient leaders. 'Inclusion' in U.S. school systems has become a buzz word. What makes this book about inclusive practices stand out from the rest is that it is the first text that uniquely bridges evidence-based knowledge about cultural proficiency with hands-on culturally proficient practices to meet the needs of students with disabilities specifically. The authors provide teachers, administrators, and teachers in training with critical tools to honor and respond to students with different abilities, including significant learning and communication differences. This groundbreaking book will mobilize educators to cultivate more equitable educational opportunities and outcomes for students of all abilities.”

Edlyn Vallejo Peña, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Co-Director
California Lutheran University, Autism and Communication Center

"Culturally Proficient Inclusive Schools: All Means ALL! by Jacque Thousand, Delores Lindsey, Cindy Jew and Lori Piowlski provides a wonderful contribution to the literature by promoting effective inclusive education! Culturally proficient schools are essential to support learner diversity, which is a given everywhere in our land. Not only do the authors clearly and honestly lay out the barriers to culturally proficient schools, they offer highly meaningful ways to overcome issues through collaboration, advocacy, authentic learning, universal design for learning, differentiated instruction, creative problem-solving, conflict resolution and institutionalizing cultural change. This fine book achieves much by bringing these practices together and provides methodology to bring forward true school improvement. It is a highly valued addition to my best practice library!"

Patrick Schwarz, Ph.D., Professor, Diversity in Learning and Teaching
National Louis University, Chicago

"Culturally Proficient Inclusive Schools is a much needed resource in schools across the United States. The authors have created a user-friendly book that lays the foundation for building a strong MTSS program. The tables are outstanding and will allow school and district teams to hit the ground running."

Stacie Stanley, EdD, Director of Curriculum
Burnsville-Eagan Savage School District 191

Sample Materials & Chapters

Part 1 Introduction

Chapter 1

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