Culturally Responsive Teaching with NPR

The following is a tip for educators seeking more equitable course design. The material is available for use under Creative Commons License ShareAlike (CC BY-SA 4.0). Please note that, when using NPR content, you must link directly to their website in order to respect their copyright.

We know that course material is best absorbed when it can be connected to real-life issues. In other words, students retain our course content when they can understand why it matters to their personal life and/or how it might apply to future career options.

NPR is a wonderful resource to find culturally relevant, brief, and enticing material that can augment courses in higher education.

To find relevant material for your course, follow these steps:

  1. Visit NPR.org
  2. Click on the search bar in the navigation bar (top of the page)
  3. Search for your subject matter (ex: “anthropology”, “biology”, “political science,” etc.)
  4. Identify the radio stories that would augment your course material

Below is the text for a sample NPR assignment; feel free to adopt this language in your own courses.

Canvas users, it’s recommended that you upload this assignment page directly from Canvas Commons; you can find the content on Canvas Commons.

NPR Assignment

Listen to this 3-minute NPR story to better understand how anthropologists and archeologists can bring previously marginalized stories to light.

Your Response

Please thoughtfully answer the following questions:

  1. What does this story tell us about native anthropology (the practice of studying ourselves)? How might you be able to study your own local community in an equally powerful way?
  2. What can anthropology students offer to our field? What unique perspectives can the next generation of anthropologists bring, in your opinion?

Guidelines

❗️Please remember: it is your responsibility to demonstrate a sincere knowledge of the content. Please reply with complete and thoughtful answers that prove — beyond any doubt — that you took the time to complete this important reading.

Academic Integrity

  • The ideas in your response must be your own. Do not take ideas verbatim from any “study” or plagiarism websites.
  • You’re always encouraged to tie in elements from other readings or lessons. If you incorporate ideas from our lectures or other readings, please remember to properly cite the source in-text. If you need help with citations, please refer to Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Length and Content

  • For this assignment, quality is much more important than quantity. You only need to write 1–3 sentences for each question. But, please seriously reflect on the work before drafting your response.
  • Please include at least one in-text citation in this assignment. You can cite this reading, your own outside resources, my lessons, a radio story, etc. Citations need to be academic and reliable.
  • Be sure to practice cultural relativism and refrain from practicing ethnocentrism.
  • Remember to think critically! Examine the evidence presented, consider the speaker, consider the arguments coming from your professor and classmates and, ultimately, decide for yourself!

📹 Video Option: Consider filming your response!

Rubric

This is reading can earn 20 points. Review the rubric by scrolling to the bottom of this page and viewing the attached rubric.

This assignment page is linked to NPR’s website with permission from NPR. All NPR content (audio, text, photographs, graphics, videos) is protected by copyright in the U.S. and other countries. For more, visit NPR’s Rights and Permissions website.

Photo by Jonathan Velasquez on Unsplash