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Culturally Responsive Methodologies

Culturally Responsive Methodologies.


Mere Berryman, University of Waikato, New Zealand
Suzanne SooHoo, Chapman University, California
Ann Nevin, Arizona State University


Challenging traditional education research paradigms, Culturally Responsive Methodologies puts forward a new position from which to navigate the field of research in order to contribute to a more respectful and humble way of working with all peoples. These new methodologies require the researcher to develop relationships that may enable them to intimately come to respect and know the "Other" with whom they seek to study. Such a process of reciprocity challenges traditional research notions of distance and neutrality, opening up instead streams of research that call for engagement through the establishment of relational discourses.

The chapters included in the book show how the researchers find, discover, and invent methodology that benefits both the researcher and subject, from their insider knowledge and from the epistemology of others.

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Read the Introduction

Editor Profiles

This team of scholars and emerging scholars, informed by the work and scholarship of critical studies and indigenous researchers, are realizing culturally responsive methodologies offer a more socially responsible position from which to navigate. Their ethnic backgrounds make them all members of historically oppressed groups sharing characteristics of minorities. All have travelled and lived in multiple places, caring about others who are 'different', learning from them and infusing this caring, curiosity and new understandings into their work.

As experienced educators and researchers from many disciplines (e.g., special education, Indigenous studies, disabilities studies, multicultural studies, critical pedagogy, linguistics and language learning, lesbian studies, etc) they bring their histories as good teachers and researchers to this book, scaffolding each chapter with metaphors, flow charts, outlines, question posing, summaries, and other ways to guide the reader through textual discussions.


Mere Berryman has extensive experience as a primary teacher in English and bilingual settings and in special education. She completed her PhD in Education at the University of Waikato and currently serves as a senior research fellow where she is the professional development director of Te Kotahitanga. After more than 30 years as a classroom practitioner, she began her researcher work in 1997. Now she collaborates extensively with practitioners, community members, and other professionals to develop culturally responsive and collaborative approaches to understanding and resolving problems concerning students identified as having issues with learning and behaviour. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Teaching and Teacher Education, Teacher Development, Journal of Maori and Pacific Development, Canadian Journal of Native Education, and International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

Suzanne Soohoo is a professor in the School of Education and the co-director of the Paulo Freire Democratic Project at Chapman University in Orange, CA. A former school administrator, she teaches in multicultural education, critical pedagogy, decolonizing methodologies, and action research. She is an active contributor in the American Educational Research Association where she assumes leadership positions in divisions and other committees. She is a published author with theoretical, methodological, and theory/practice-based works. Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals such as International Electronic Journal for Leadership in Learning, Teacher Education Quarterly, Scholarly Partnerships in Education, The Australian Educator, Journal of Moral Education, and Educational Forum. She is also the co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Issues in Teacher Education.

Ann Nevin, Ph. D., is professor emeritus at Arizona State University and faculty affiliate of Chapman University in Orange, California. She has an abiding interest in collaborating with K-12 students, teachers, and parents in designing and evaluating effective instructional procedures for students with disabilities. Since entering academia in 1969, she has authored books, research articles, chapters, and federal and state grants. She is recognized for her scholarship and dedication to providing meaningful, practice-oriented, research-based strategies that allow students with special learning needs to be educated with their peers. Since the 1970s she co-developed various innovative teacher education programs in Vermont, Arizona, California, and Florida by working with a diverse array of people to ensure that students with disabilities succeed in normalized school environments. Ann’s most recent research articles appear in Florida Educational Leadership (2011 with doctoral students from Chapman University), and the Journal of Teaching and Teacher Education (2010, with Thousand and Villa), and in Global Perspectives on educational leadership reform edited by A. Normore (2010, with Cristina Devecchi from Cambridge, UK).

Additional Information:


Culturally Responsive Methodologies is ideally suited for qualitative research work and therefore would be used in Research Qualitative Methods courses. The book will also appeal to researchers, doctoral students, teacher educators and educators throughout the world who share an interest in culturally responsive research and practice.

Book Information

ISBN Print: 9781780528144
Publication Date: 17 January 2013
Format print: Paperback
Page count: 350
Dimensions: 174 x 246

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Join the flow of this conversation that spans internationally and interculturally with vivid stories and incisive analyses of culturally responsive, socially responsible research methods in the making. This book unsettles our very notions of who we are as researchers and what we (should) do to make our relationships and our research more effective, more engaged, more ethical.

Kevin Kumashiro, President, National Association of Multicultural Education, Director, Center  or Anti-Oppressive Education and author of "Bad Teacher! How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture".


Beginning with the assumption that knowledge is neither neutral nor simply something to be discovered "out there," the authors and editors of this important book challenge many taken-for-granted ways of doing research. With an international focus and a variety of research methodologies, Culturally Responsive Methodologies suggests that at its most meaningful, research is a process of self-interrogation and collaboration. It will be an important resource for both veteran and emerging scholars.

Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture, School of EducationUniversity of Massachusetts, Amherst


This dialogue will vigorously challenge both traditional qualitative research and a philosophy of individualism. On a number of levels, the authors redraw the boundaries of authentic research trust in both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The authors do not settle with critique, however. They work inter culturally with both professors and their students in ways that typifies the start of, if not the symbolic act of, culturally responsive methodology. The emerging dialogue has significant potential to move not only the debate about research methodology paradigmatic opposites, but also to shift the dialogue within qualitative fields. A must read for potential academics and academics stuck in the mire of their old "qualitative" ways.

Barry Kanpol, Professor, Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Indiana


I know Mere Berryman and her work and had the privilege of hearing her and several of her contributing authors present from this book last November at the Culturally Responsive Research and Pedagogy Symposium at Waikato University. I found it very inspiring and know my students will, too! Thank you for publishing it!

Dr. Nancy Hornberger, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education



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Editors Suzi, Mere and Ann introduce Culturally Responsive Methodologies and reflect on their 'journey down the river'.

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