In Cultivating Genius, Dr. Gholdy Muhammad presents a four-layered equity framework - one that is grounded in history and restores excellence in literacy education. Muhammad's Historically Responsive Literacy Framework is essential for all students, especially youth of color, who traditionally have been marginalized in learning standards, school policies, and classroom practices. The framework promotes four learning goals - or pursuits:
- Identity development; defining self; making sense of one's values and beliefs
- Skill development; developing proficiencies through reading and writing meaningful content
- Intellectual development; gaining knowledge and becoming smarter
- Criticality; developing the ability to read texts to understand power, authority and 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 both teachers and students as well as bibliographies of culturally responsive text and sample lesson plans across grades and content areas.