Cultural Competence Continuum
Cultural Destructiveness
See the difference, stomp it out
Attitudes, policies, structures,
and practices within a system
or organization that are
destructive to a cultural group.
Looks like/sounds like
Cultural Incapacity
See the difference, make it wrong
The lack of capacity of
systems and organizations to
respond effectively to the
needs, interests and
preferences of culturally and
linguistically diverse groups.
Cultural Blindness
See the difference, act like you
An expressed philosophy of
viewing and treating all people
as the same.
Genocide and ethnocide,
exclusion laws
“When we redistrict we can get
rid of THAT neighborhood!”
“Why are those kids speaking
Spanish at lunch?”
“There are so many problems
coming from Lakeside.”
“If we could get rid of the
special needs students, our
scores would improve.”
Giving more or less resources to
certain groups, lowered
“Another generation to never
leave the projects.”
“The apple doesn’t fall far from
the tree.”
“It’s too bad we have to
mainstream the IEP kids and
take away from the kids who
actually have potential.”
Discomfort in noticing
difference, beliefs/actions that
assume the world is fair and
achievement is always based on
“I don’t see color. We are all the
“Everyone learns the same.”
“I’m not prejudiced. I treat
everyone the same.”
My notes/examples
Cultural Pre-competence
See the difference, respond to it
A level of awareness within
systems or organizations of
their strengths and areas for
growth to respond effectively
to culturally and linguistically
diverse populations. Tendency
for token representation with
no clear plan for achieving
organizational cultural
Cultural Competence
See the difference, understand the
difference that difference makes.
Systems and organizations
that exemplify cultural
competence demonstrate an
acceptance and respect for
cultural differences.
Cultural Proficiency
See the difference; respond
positively. Engage and adapt.
Systems and organizations
hold culture in high esteem
and use this a foundation to
guide all of their endeavors.
Delegating “diversity work” to
others, quick fixes, unclear rules
and expectations
“Diversity is covered through
our Language Arts curriculum.”
“Mrs. Alvarez is in charge of
parent engagement at our
“Ill do what I can to make the
Special Education students feel a
part of my Honors class.”
“Make sure you do an activity
for Black History Month.”
Advocacy, on-going education
of self and others, support and
“You are you and I am me, but
together, we are we.”
“It is important to take a walk in
someone else’s shoes.”
Interdependence, personal
change and transformation,
alliance for groups other than
one’s own
“I differentiate for the needs of
all types of learners in my
“My boys aren’t doing well in
reading. I need to start
integrating more nonfiction
“With the addition of _____, our
classroom experience has
become richer. The other
students are also learning from