Cultivating Genius: A Four-Layered Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy (Paperback)
In Cultivating Genius, Dr. Gholdy E. Muhammad presents a four-layered equity framework—one that is grounded in history and restores excellence in literacy education. This framework, which she names, Historically Responsive Literacy, was derived from the study of literacy development within 19th-century Black literacy societies. The framework is essential and universal for all students, especially youth of color, who traditionally have been marginalized in learning standards, school policies, and classroom practices. The equity framework will help educators teach and lead toward the following learning goals or pursuits:
- Identity Development—Helping youth to make sense of themselves and others
- Skill Development— Developing proficiencies across the academic disciplines
- Intellectual Development—Gaining knowledge and becoming smarter
- Criticality—Learning and developing the ability to read texts (including print and social contexts) to understand power, equity, and anti-oppression
When these four learning pursuits are taught together—through the Historically Responsive Literacy Framework, all students receive profound opportunities for personal, intellectual, and academic success. Muhammad provides probing, self-reflective questions for teachers, leaders, and teacher educators as well as sample culturally and historically responsive sample plans and text sets across grades and content areas. In this book, Muhammad presents practical approaches to cultivate the genius in students and within teachers.
Dr. Gholnecsar (Gholdy) Muhammad is an Associate Professor of Literacy, Language, and Culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She studies Black historical excellence within educational communities with the goal of reframing curriculum and instruction today. Dr. Muhammad’s scholarship has appeared in leading academic journals and books. She has also received numerous national awards and is the author of the best-selling book, Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy.
Dr. Muhammad’s responsive education model has been adopted across U.S. school districts. In 2022 she was named among the top 1% Edu-Scholar Public Influencers, and received the 200 university-College of Education Researcher of the Year, the 2020 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division K Early Career Award, and the 2021 NCTE Outstanding Elementary Educator in the English Language Arts. She has led a federal grant with the United States Department of Education to study culturally and historically responsive literacy in STEM classrooms.