Explain metaphors or cultural references that you use in class to ensure that students understand how it relates to the course content.


  • When you use a metaphor or cultural reference to illustrate an idea, first tell students the relevant background information they need to understand your point.
  • Frequently remind students to ask questions if there is anything they don’t understand because it may be difficult to recognize cultural knowledge that is not universal.
  • Avoid relying exclusively on examples and metaphors from your culture or interests.


  • Cultural references within class may be alienating or incomprehensible to students for whom these cultural references are unfamiliar or primarily associated with identities other than their own.