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Culturally Responsive Teaching: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How You Can Do It!

Monday, April 10 at 12pm ET

Culturally responsive teaching uses students' own customs, characteristics, experiences, and perspectives as tools for better classroom instruction. This allows more students of all backgrounds to see themselves and their communities as belonging in academic spaces. Join Debi Rutledge for a discussion of why this is so crucial and how you can start applying culturally responsive teaching methods to your course today! 


Debi Rutledge

Debi Rutledge

Director of Academic Support & Retention, Rochester University

Debi Rutledge is the Director of Academic Support and Retention at Rochester University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Debi holds a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree from Abilene Christian University. She has served in leadership roles in a variety of areas in Higher Education over the last thirty years including Admissions, Financial Services, Residence Life, and Advising. She assumed leadership of Academic Support and Retention in May of 2020 and has worked to increase Rochester University’s retention using a three-pronged approach focusing on improved feedback from faculty, improved feedback from students, and improved follow-up that shifts the focus from transactional to transformational interactions

Robert Martin

Robert Martin

Special Instructor and Coordinator of the Master of Education in Educational Leadership, Oakland University

“Exposure, experience, and enrichment” are the authentic and interactive cornerstones guiding Robert A. Martin’s personal and professional educational endeavors. He is a Special Instructor in the Department of Organizational Leadership at Oakland University in the Educational Leadership program and serves as the Coordinator for the Masters of Education in Educational Leadership program. In 2016, he retired from Chief of Staff for Utica Community Schools and Assistant Superintendent for West Bloomfield Schools. Dr. Martin’s breath of administrative experience includes a founding coordinator of a public Arts Academy, high school assistant principal, middle school principal, and a regional Leadership Consultant.

Dr. Martin’s research expertise involves Leadership, Cultural Proficiency, and Student Engagement. His collegiate experience includes the University of Michigan-Flint, Michigan State University, Lipscomb University, and Rochester University. Robert facilitates sessions for public and private schools, rural, suburban, and urban districts, the Michigan Department of Education, the Henry Ford Health System, and various community activities related to his research areas.

Dr. Martin graduated from the University of Michigan, B.M., Wayne State University, M.Ed. and Oakland University, Ph.D. He is the founder of Martin, Martin & Associates, LLC and the Artistic Director Emeritus of a semi-professional adult chorus, the Madrigal Chorale.