Discussion IV:

Diversity

Diversity in the Classroom

The easiest way to go about teaching World History would be to talk about the white male perspective the entire year and glide past other pieces of history. I could also put up posters of white men that pass a stern look out over the class with a quote about success. It is in the best interest of my students though to take the path with more resistance. I am working in a school that is nearly 98% white, so I have taken upon myself to try and give them different perspectives on history. I personally have purchased four posters to hang in my room. The first is one of Florence Griffith-Joyner, an African American Olympic, who speaks about believing in the impossible. The second is of Gandhi, which speaks of life and learning. The third is of an Italian man, who's "whole life was a million-to-one shot" and is immortalized in Hollywood boxing history. The fourth and final poster, seems to sum it all up for me as it is shows the joys of what hard work can do not just for an individual, but for an entire group. All four of these posters will be put in focal points of the classroom so that they may be seen everyday.

Diversity in Curriculum

I have mentioned many times to my co-teacher that I want to carve out opportunities for students to submerge themselves in ideas that differ from their own. Once again, it would not be difficult to fall into the trap of only using texts that were written by prominent white men and not ever looking at other material, but I want to fight this idea in order to give my students the best opportunities in the class. I see myself making my units on historical areas such as China, Japan, various African countries, and several dig deeper than the usual skim that over the top that is given in a lot of World History classes. Allowing the students to own the learning is in a way allowing them to hold onto portions of history for these other areas that they are not as familiar with, so student projects will be a guiding force to these units.

Culture among the Students

The culture here in some ways is not that different from where I grew up as we are both riverfront counties that are heavily entrenched in agriculture and factory work. Students find themselves involved in about everything that they can possibly find time to do for the most part. Finding ways to connect with kids that come from difficult backgrounds, as there are quite a few, will be trying at times. I like to try and make personal connections with my students and letting them know that I can be that one person that they can trust to be consistent with them on a daily basis. When it comes to grouping students, I will most likely use the idea from last summer where students have index cards and group up based on the sticker. I thought this was a creative way to randomize the groups and allow students to be with other people for group discussions.