Arizona Alliance of Black

School Educators

Becoming Culturally Responsive: Starting with Me


Explore how personal reflection can lead teachers & staff to identify and plan concrete steps to create and maintain a culturally inclusive educational environment. Cultural inclusiveness starts with how we treat one another. Educators serve as role models for the students, and we set the standards for our schools. This has a ripple effect into the community. Creating culturally inclusive educational environments and communities will help foster our students’ social and emotional development, as well as create a safe learning environment. For this reason, culturally inclusive practices encompass professional development, curriculum and instruction, as well as school climate/environment. It is after personal reflection, specifically through Mezirow’s transformative learning, that educators can truly understand how implicit bias works. Participants will critically reflect on and challenge their own biases and assumptions, and then engage in rational discourse about how those assumptions may be affecting behavior. 

Lynnette Brunderman is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Practice at the University of Arizona. Dr. Brunderman coordinates the Master’s program in Educational Leadership, and oversees the principal and superintendent certification programs. She works across the state with leadership development and capacity building in high-poverty, low-performing schools. Additionally, Dr. Brunderman has served as a team member with AdvancED since 2014, as well as on the Arizona Executive Council for that organization, participates with Arizona School Administrators-Higher Ed Division, and represents the University of Arizona with the Education Coalition. She attained her doctorate in Educational Leadership and through her work, Dr. Brunderman seeks to prepare K-12 educational leaders to understand and navigate the political, social and cultural climate to ensure positive student outcomes and sustain educational change. Dr. Brunderman has conducted research with both successful and underperforming schools to look at leadership practices that build school capacity, ultimately resulting in improved outcomes for students. Through her career in education, Dr. Brunderman has taught in both regular and special education classrooms, as well as serving as a building principal and central office director. She has presented her work at local, state, national and international conferences.