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Recognizing Culture Kindles Success in High School
Posted 11/12/2018 02:47PM

Culture is central to learning. Beyond shaping the way we communicate and receive information, research has shown that culture informs, crucially, the thinking processes of groups and individuals. Last year, our school began a partnership with Stanford University's Center to Support Excellence in Teaching, and with their guidance, we have started the incremental implementation of the principles of Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) in International High School classrooms.

Culturally Responsive Teaching is a dynamic pedagogy that recognizes and celebrates the importance of culture and students' cultural references in all aspects of learning. The approach emphasizes social, emotional and academic growth among culturally and linguistically diverse student bodies, such as our own.

"Thinking about my students' rings of culture allows me to consider how and why they move through the world the way they do," said Traci Everett, Learning Specialist at International. "The responses I see may not mean what I think upon first instinct. My culture also plays into the responses."

While some cultural behaviors are easy to see, such as the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the languages we speak, others are not presented as obviously. Concepts of time, patterns for handling emotions, non-verbal communication, clarity in expression, and even eye contact are all examples of less conspicuous cultural behaviors that impact student learning in the classroom.

Through Culturally Responsive Teaching, educators are encouraged to know students as individuals and contemplate how the many aspects of the individual informs a particular learning experience. At International, CRT ensures equitable access to education for all of our students.

"It's one more way to make school more engaging and will lead to better outcomes," Everett adds.

By approaching each student as an individual, we build a safe, joyful and inclusive environment for our entire school community.

"Research shows that younger children have a superior ability to learn a second language and that bilingual students tend to outperform their monolingual peers."

Admission Information

Visit our admissions section to learn about our bilingual immersion in the lower and middle school. Or visit our high school to learn about the French Bac or IB program.

Global Travel

Many cultural and linguistic trips as well as student exchanges are offered each year. Learn more

Academic Roadmap

The school delivers a rigorous bilingual immersion program from PK3 to grade 8, culminating in either the French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

The Bilingual Advantage

The bilingual education program of the French American International School provides our students with a springboard for a global perspective. The curriculum is taught in English and French in a way that makes learning exciting and challenging, while meeting the high standards of the French and American educational systems.

French American International School

Main building

150 Oak Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

Ph: 415.558.2000

Early Childhood Center

1155 Page Street

San Francisco, CA 94117

Ph: 415.231.5733

An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either the French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

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