NCTE Professional Dyads and Culturally Relevant Teaching (PDCRT) - NCTE

2021–2023 PDCRT Co-Directors

“Currently, a global health and racial pandemic has shifted about every facet of our lives, especially the education profession. For this reason, it is ever more important that we continue to support teachers in their efforts to validate the social, cultural, linguistic, and heritage knowledge of children and their families as anti-Black, Latinx, and Asian racism is on the rise. Therefore, in our role, we hope to support dyads by working toward a common goal to maintain our commitments to children and their families. We desire to help and support dyads as they develop their commitment to decolonizing and humanizing culturally relevant teaching through this pivotal time in history. Additionally, we hope to develop a space where dyads can feel supported.”

Eliza G. Braden is an assistant professor of elementary education in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina. Eliza taught and served as a teacher for eight years at an elementary school in north Georgia. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Elementary Section Steering Committee, former chair of the Donald H. Graves Writing Award Committee, and a member of NCTE’s Affirmative Action Committee and the Early Childhood Education Assembly’s Anti-Racist Consultant Network. Her research interests include critical literacy and language practices of Black and Latinx children and their families, culturally relevant pedagogy, and critical multicultural children’s literature. Eliza’s work has been published in Journal of Children’s Literature, Teachers College Record, Talking Points, and Journal of Language and Literacy Education. She is the recipient of several awards, including the 2017 Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award from NCTE, the 2018 Early Literacy Educator of the Year Award from the Early Childhood Education Assembly of NCTE, and the University of South Carolina College of Education’s 2019 Early Career Teaching Award.

Valente’ Gibson is a fifth-grade teacher at Jackson Creek Elementary in Columbia, SC. In his role as a fifth-grade teacher, he focuses his research and teaching on racial and social justice education practices while working to promote equity in issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality. He has centered on Black and Brown students’ brilliance and their families as anti-racist pedagogy in his work. He holds Treasurer’s position with the Early Childhood Education Assembly and participated in the PDCRT (Professional Dyads and Culturally Relevant Teaching) Cohort. He received the 2019 Social Justice Award through the Early Childhood Education Assembly. He is serving on the Elementary Section Steering Committee and was awarded the 2020 NCTE Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award.

2021–2023 PDCRT Application


Applications Due: Monday, May 3, 2021 EXTENDED to Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Send to Kristen Ritchie:

Please submit all application materials as outlined in this document as ONE PDF file.

Before deciding to apply, please carefully review the PDCRT Participation Requirements below.

The PDCRT project, initiated by the Affirmative Action Committee of the Early Childhood Education Assembly (ECEA) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) was developed to create a space within NCTE to support early childhood Educators of Color and educators who teach Children of Color, children who are emerging bi/multilinguals, and children from low-income households in studying about culturally relevant pedagogies and generating, implementing, documenting, evaluating, assessing, and disseminating classroom practices and process reflections from work done in preK to fifth-grade classrooms. The project is guided by a definition of culturally relevant pedagogies as that which requires a commitment to:

  • Developing a critical consciousness that recognizes inequities and injustices; strengthening that consciousness in ourselves and others through our work with students, colleagues, administrators, families, and community members
  • Broadening what counts as normalized/centered social, cultural, linguistic, and heritage knowledge; validating students’ home, community, and heritage knowledge and using it as foundational to teaching; focusing particularly on knowledge marginalized, neglected, or distorted in typical curricula, policies, and practices
  • Supporting all children in developing the skills and strategies that will enable their success within existing systems as well as the knowledge and ability to use their literacy and content knowledge to challenge and change unjust systems

Applicants must apply as dyads—teacher and teacher educator partners complete one application together. At least one member of the dyad must be an Educator of Color, but preference will be given to dyads in which both members are Educators of Color. The teacher must work in a preK–fifth-grade classroom. Requirements for classroom demographics must also be met as outlined in the participation requirements on page 2 of this document. The new dyads will be notified in the summer of 2021.

The following application items are to be submitted as one PDF document and sent as an email attachment by May 3, 2021 June 1, 2021, to NCTE via

  1. PDCRT Dyad Application Information Form
  2. Joint Statement from the dyad (addressing required questions on application form)
  3. Dyad Letter of Agreement
  4. Administrator Letter of Agreement
  5. Résumés of each dyad member

Items 1-4 above can be found in this single application document.

Application Documents

PDCRT Participation Requirements

Please know that, by submitting an application, BOTH members of the dyad are agreeing to the following requirements:

  • Both dyad members must be members of the National Council of Teachers of English and NCTE’s Early Childhood Education Assembly (ECEA) and maintain their active membership throughout their participation in the PDCRT project:
  • The dyad teacher must work in a preK–fifth-grade classroom where the majority of the students represent low-income households (at least 50% qualify for free and reduced lunch) and at least 75% of the students are Children of Color.
  • At least one member of the dyad must be an Educator of Color; however, preference will be given to dyads that consist of two Educators of Color.
  • The dyad teacher educator must commit to weekly work with the teacher in the classroom, and the dyad must commit to meeting regularly (no less than once every two weeks) to discuss readings, plans for teaching, and the process of the work.
  • The dyad must commit to:
    • Building and using further knowledge about culturally relevant/sustaining practices
    • Collecting, organizing, archiving, and analyzing data about the dyad relationship, classroom work, student and family interactions, etc. and using data in biannual dyad reports as well as other publications and presentations
    • Collecting, organizing, analyzing, and reporting on literacy assessment data for selected students at three predetermined times throughout the school year (details to be provided after your acceptance)
    • Engaging fully in the project’s professional development activities (reading and discussing readings, viewing and discussing videos and weblinks, active participation on the PDCRT Facebook site, etc.) and using new knowledge to develop, try out, and document culturally relevant practices in the classroom
    • Sharing work electronically and through other means of virtual communication; thus, each dyad member must have regular and dependable access to the internet
    • Participating in all virtual meetings with all project dyads (typically monthly virtual meetings), the first virtual meeting to be scheduled for the first week in December
    • Regularly checking email and responding promptly to project emails
    • Submitting signed consent forms from parents/guardians of the students each year by a designated date (forms will be provided)
    • Attending and participating in NCTE’s Annual Convention: Some funding will be provided by the project (see Dyad Letter of Agreement in the application document); participants are responsible for any funding not covered by the project
    • Participating in the project’s three-day Summer Institutes—some funding will be provided by the project (see Dyad Letter of Agreement in the application document); participants are responsible for funding not covered

Questions? Please contact Kristen Ritchie.