Reflections and Dispositions

Monica Izquierdo

ED5123: Diverse Learners

Dr. Carol Theodorou

Fall 2015

Journal Entry One: A Reflection of the Analysis

Diversity in education is important because as the United States continues to grow and become more diverse, so do schools around the country. Students need to be able to thrive and excel in a diverse environment in order to be successful once they enter the workforce. Thanks to advances in technology, we are now living in a global community and students must be prepared beforehand to accept differences and adapt in a multicultural world. Diversity is important to student learning because it ensures that all students be provided equal opportunities to be successful and gives them the tools to learn and grow while embracing the differences in others. As an educator in a diverse, urban school district, I have experienced first hand the difference that a multicultural education can make for students. As R. Henze (2002) notes, “[s]tudents who attend schools with a diverse population can develop an understanding of the perspectives of children from different backgrounds and learn to function in a multicultural, multiethnic environment.” These ideas connect most closely to the Disposition 3, Diversity and Unity and can be demonstrated by my own efforts and those of my colleagues to foster a “collaborative school learning community that promotes academic achievement for all.”

Journal Entry 2: A Reflection of the Application

The application assignments in Modules 1-3 particularly helped me to understand diversity, not just at a textbook level, but within my own learning community. The process of analyzing the data on the school report card and processing the numbers to calculate and create a visual representation of the achievement gap within my own students and in my own school was most eye opening. While I learned that there are many areas in which our students are excelling, especially in comparison to the state and the rest of our district, I was also able to make note of increased gaps and areas where we distinctly need improvement. My hope is to continue my research on Hispanic students for the rest of the semester and use what I learned about diversity in this course to guide my studies. I have chosen a classroom and a teacher to observe and will follow their performance on district assessments and benchmarks until the end of the semester. I will also be working closely with the teacher to create lesson plans with a more cultural focus and incorporating strategies specifically aimed at Hispanic students. Hopefully we will be able to notice some gains from the Spring administration of their state assessment to the benchmark assessment administered at the end of the semester in January. What I learned from the application assignments and what I hope to gain from this study connects directly to Disposition One: Equity which states that “candidates believe in, value and are committed to building and sustaining a positive school culture and a safe, orderly, effective learning environment that supports the educability of all.”

Journal Entry Three: A Reflection of the Application

As a school leader, I can use what I have learned in this course to continue to support a rigorous learning environment that honors diversity. I will also incorporate what I have l learned about learning styles and differentiated instruction into my classroom and into the lessons I create for my students. I will also share my knowledge with my team during PLC, so that we can continue to learn and grow from each other. G. Howard (2007) stresses that “For school leaders, [diversity] often means facing the limits of their own knowledge and skills and becoming co-learners with teachers to find ways to transform classroom practices.” He also reminds us that, “when diversity comes to town, we all must grow.” This idea of collaboration and growth connects most with Disposition 4: Lifelong Learning in that it asks that “candidates believe in, value, and be committed to the implementation of a shared vision of learning that is supported by the school community and promotes lifelong learning for self and others.”