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This paper theorizes that academic interventions will be maximally effective when they are culturally grounded. Culturally grounded interventions acknowledge cultural differences and validate multiple cultural models in a given context. This review highlights the importance of considering culture in academic interventions and draws upon the culture cycle framework to provide a blueprint for those interested in building more efficacious interventions.
Specifically, the paper reviews literature in education and psychology to argue: 1) when working-class and racial minority students’ cultural models are not valued in mainstream academic domains, these students underperform; and 2) many current academic interventions intended to improve working-class and racial minority students’ academic outcomes could be further enhanced by cultural grounding.