November

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

America is becoming increasingly more diverse. As the student population changes, so do classrooms. Schools must prioritize efforts to promote diversity and equity within their school culture and within the classroom. Below are 5 ways to promote equity and diversity in your classroom.


Self-awareness

Promoting equity and diversity in your classroom begins with self awareness. Educators must recognize how the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, and being able-bodied impact us individually. We must understand how our identification within a particular group gives us privilege in certain spaces and we must be open to actively listen to marginalized groups who experience life differently because of their social groupings. We must acknowledge our personal biases and seek to understand people with different experiences.


Class Norms

An important part of promoting equity and diversity is setting norms in your classroom that promote inclusion and openness. Be explicit about the way your class will be respectful to each other; and share ideas, opinions and values. Teach students how to disagree respectfully. Use Restorative Practices to promote self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Challenge negative stereotypes immediately and openly. Create class norms together with your students to give students ownership over their community. Be flexible and ready to amend and refine norms as needed.


Culturally Relevant Teaching

Culturally relevant, or responsive, teaching emphasizes academic excellence, cultural competence, and social and political analysis and activsim. This pedagogy provides a framework for exposing students to diverse cultures in deep, meaningful ways and prioritizes academic excellence for all students. This framework is also unique because of its emphasis on social justice and activism.

It is important to remember that diversity is not just about race. Culturally relevant teaching prioritizes analysis of academic performance that recognizes the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, and being able-bodied. Teaching Tolerance has great lessons and activities focused on the intersections of diversity; an excellent resource to increase cultural competence.


Purposeful Planning

Conversations about diversity and equity can be uncomfortable for students and teachers. An important part of promoting equity and diversity in your classroom is purposeful planning. Planning a lesson is just as important as the execution of the lesson; especially if your class will discuss sensitive topics or ideas.


Community Involvement

Your students and their families have a wealth of knowledge to share about themselves. Invite parents and family members into your classroom as community experts. Allow them to read a book about a particular issue that relates to their culture or that they are passionate about. Show students various representations of their culture and other cultures. Invite people from the community to your class as guest speakers to talk about a topic your class is learning about. Invite persons with physical or learning disabilities to talk about their experience as a students. Creating respectful ways for students to have diverse experiences adds value to the learning experience for everyone. The more exposure students get to diverse people, experiences and identities the more prepared they will be for life outside of the classroom.


For more of this article, click here.

"Our diversity is our strength. What a dull and pointless life it would be if everyone was the same."
–Angelina Jolie

Big picture

School-Wide Diversity & Inclusion Ideas

Inclusion Makes the World More Vibrant
To Speak Up for Inclusion, we need to speak about inclusion
Windows and Mirrors: Learning About Difference—and Belonging—Through Books

Parent Connection

Teaching Kids Tolerance & Diversity

We live in a time which the word is becoming increasingly more diverse. However, even though the world is more diverse, racism and intolerance still exists. Here are eight ways you can teach children about tolerance and diversity.


1. Practice What You Preach

Children will often practice what they see and hear as opposed to what they are taught.

2. Discuss Tolerance & Diversity Honestly

Many adults tell children things like, "we don't see color" and "we are all the same inside." The truth is, people do come in different colors. It is more important that children learn to accept others for who they are instead of pretending differences don't exist.

3. Expose Kids to Diversity

Have your children participate in activities or play dates with children from diverse backgrounds when possible.

4. Correct Racial & Cultural Insensitivity

Sometimes children will repeat things that they hear not knowing that what they are saying is offensive. It is important to correct them and explain why it is unacceptable

5. Help Kids Embrace Their Own Culture

This is helpful because when a child accepts who they are and have a positive self-esteem, they are less likely to see people who are different as threats.

6. Read Diversity & Tolerance Themed Books

Visit kiddiematters.com for a list of books.

7. Watch Diversity & Tolerance Movies

Make sure that you discuss any elements of diversity and tolerance that come up while watching these films.

8. Complete Diversity & Tolerance Activities

Play dress up and provide children with clothing from different cultures.


For more of this article, visit HERE.

Are Stronger SEL Skills Linked to Better Attendance, Behavior & Grades? | Panorama Research Minute
Big picture
Big picture

Monthly SEL Newsletter Sponsored by:

Big picture
Big picture