|This website focuses on defining culture, how some cultures are marginalized, privilege, and remarkable
contributions of "minority" cultures as foundations of teachers' efforts to achieve equity, inclusion, and social
justice. Educators create learning communities in their classrooms by nurturing empathy, promoting positive
self-concept, enhancing independence, and inspiring self-advocacy.
Teachers are encouraged to
(1) create inclusive learning communities that embrace diversity, involve families, include all learners, and
support social justice;
(2) explore barriers to equitable service for all students;
(3) discover how biases and prejudices toward students who are culturally and linguistically "different"
significantly reduce and impair their effectiveness as instructors, facilitators, and classroom managers; and
(4) lead students to respect and celebrate one another's heritages.
Advocacy efforts are driven by the firm belief that "our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things
that matter" (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and that "one child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change
the world" (Malala Yousafzai).
|"One child, one teacher, one book, and
one pen can change the world."
|ADDRESSING THE UNITED NATIONS ON HER 16TH BIRTHDAY
INTERNATIONAL MALALA DAY | JULY 12, 2013
Malala Yousafzai is leading a world-wide campaign for the right to an education for all children. Reminiscent of
Nelson Mandela's "it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die," Malala's mission inspires this website. Her
courageous stand against the people who attempted to assassinate her offers an answer to students who ask,
"Why do I have to go to school?" This 20-year-old's vision and imagination provide a frame - a context - for this
website, which is dedicated to her mission.
"Culture reflects the basic values of a particular group of people ... It is likely that you are acutely conscious of your
own culture - how you interpret yourself and your community and how you act on those interpretations. But do you
have sufficient knowledge of how to understand and show respect for the cultures of your future students, their
families and other educators as well as your school, your community, and society at large?"
"We offer four strategies that will assist you to be a culturally responsive teacher: enhancing your self-awareness,
increasing your knowledge and experiences of other cultures, implementing culturally responsive instruction, and
advocating for systems change."
"To become more self-aware culturally, we all should examine our own cultural values; realize that they are cultural
values rather than the ultimate truth about what is right and wrong; and become aware of our stereotypes, biases,
|1. WHAT UNITES US CULTURALLY POTENTIALLY DIVIDES US
|3. EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
|5. MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION
|+ Our differences are real. Your classrooms will be remarkably diverse.
+ Risk: losing sight of the family to which we all belong - the HUMAN family.
+ Our role to create a community of learners depends on acceptance of our natural differences.
+ "Normal is the average of deviance" (Rita Mae Brown).
+ Cultures are our anchors.
+ Rather than divide us, when our cultures are embraced and celebrated, we are all enriched.
+ No two of us are exactly the same, but we take comfort in what binds us together - our humanity.
+ Human dignity is like fingerprints: for each person it's a different thing, but ultimately it's the same thing.
|"I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world" (Rainer Maria Rilke).
+ Advanced by the disability rights movement
+ Reversing English syntax to send a message, to make us "stop and think"
+ Putting the person first | placing the disability second
+ The message: This is a person, not a label. Disability is not the person's essence, not all she's "about."
+ Examples: "person with a disability" rather than "disabled person" | "people with disabilities," not "the disabled"
|Alternatives to saying "learning disabled students"
students who are learning disabled
students with learning disabilities
students labeled learning disabled
students diagnosed as learning disabled
students categorized as learning disabled
students considered to be learning disabled
students identified as learning disabled
Extending people first language beyond disability to express that we care about all people's individual differences
and dignity, while communicating respect for their heritage, culture, language, and membership in a group:
|people who are Native American
people who are White
people who are African American
people who are Hispanic/Latino/Latina
people who are Asian
students who are culturally different
students who are linguistically different
students for whom English is a second language | students who are English language learners
students at risk
students who are gifted
students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender
This website is subtitled "Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice" because these three goals of culturally responsive
teaching guide our work to create genuine communities of learners.
EQUITY differs from equality. Teachers advocate for students, families, colleagues, quality schools, the teaching
profession, protections, rights, entitlements, principles, and fair and equitable treatment of people.
|1. WHAT UNITES US CULTURALLY POTENTIALLY DIVIDES US
2. PEOPLE FIRST LANGUAGE
3. EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
5. MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION
INCLUSION is, above all else, a state of mind. To include is to regard and treat as part of the whole. Synonyms for
the word include are embrace, involve.
The world outside the classroom is diverse. To prepare all students for the
global community in which they live, inclusive schools provide benefits:
+ new friendships
+ realistic view of the "real world"
+ learning that diversity exists and is positive
+ understanding and appreciating individual differences
+ learning how to accept and deal with challenges
+ more positive attitudes and interactions with others
+ enriching instructional methods/activities/materials
+ social, emotional, and academic development
+ building bridges instead of barriers to understanding
+ building respectful relationships
SOCIAL JUSTICE is achieved when human and civil rights are extended to all people, especially people who have
been marginalized by others.
Embracing and Teaching Diversity broadly defines diversity to
include "age, disabilities, economic status, ethnicity, gender,
gender identity, geography, high abilities, language, race,
religion, and sexual orientation."
This website offers current diversity news and monthly
observances, a weekly quote; links to teaching strategies that
are culturally responsive; Internet information, resources, and
support services embracing diversity; and volunteer
opportunities to support teaching and learning.
|Beyond Euphemisms and Code Words: A Broader, Inclusive Definition of "Diversity"
|"NO ONE MODEL AMERICAN"
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (1973)
"Multicultural education is education which values cultural
pluralism. Multicultural education rejects the view that schools
should seek to melt away cultural differences or the view that
schools should merely tolerate cultural pluralism.
"To endorse cultural pluralism is to endorse the principle that
there is no one model American. To endorse cultural pluralism
is to understand and appreciate the differences that exist
among the nation's citizens.
"It is to see these differences as a positive force in the
continuing development of a society that professes a
wholesome respect for the intrinsic worth of every individual."
1. staffing patterns throughout the organizational hierarchy that reflect the pluralistic nature of American society
2. curricula that are appropriate, flexible, unbiased, and that incorporate the contributions of minority cultures
3. affirmation of cultural differences as differences rather than deficiencies
4. instructional materials that are free from bias, omissions, and stereotypes
5. educational assessment/evaluation procedures which encourage understanding and respect for all people
|SCHOOLS THAT ARE RESPONSIVE TO CULTURAL DIVERSITY
+ create and maintain an inclusive community that values inherent worth and dignity of every student
+ beyond mere tolerance
+ promote sensitivity, understanding, respect
+ encourage learners to achieve their potential in a climate that fosters and nurtures cultural diversity
+ develop a culturally responsive curriculum that strengthens the school community
+ promote creativity based on diverse heritages
+ encourage a valued exchange of values, experiences, and ideas
+ nurture open, honest, trusting, fair, accountable community of teachers and learners
+ promote equitable opportunities for every member of a learning community
+ maintain a climate of positive expectations where students are encouraged to be the best they can be
|Students who are Marginalized
+ relegate to an unimportant or powerless position
+ place in a position of little or no influence
+ synonyms: criticize, demean, deprecate, diminish, abuse,
disparage, belittle, depreciate, dismiss, defame, discount,
smear, dehumanize, and villify
+ antonyms: praise, promote, celebrate, value, elevate,
acclaim, commend, compliment, and adulate
+ marginalized populations are exposed to discrimination, harassment, bullying, and emotional or physical harm
+ people who are marginalized are misunderstood, pre-judged, and subjects of myths/negative stereotypes
+ marginalized groups experience ridicule, hatred, rejection, exclusion, neglect, bigotry, and elimination
+ others may respond with pity, patronizing, indulgence, and overprotection (all counterproductive reactions)
|In 2021 US schools, marginalized populations include students who are:
English language learners
gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender
+ a prerogative enjoyed beyond the
advantage of others
+ exemption granted to those in power
+ synonyms: entitlement, liberty,
freedom, favor, allowance, authority,
immunity, license, opportunity, and
+ antonyms: disadvantage, loss, hindrance, misfortune, restriction, responsibilty, refusal, and disapproval
|Part One: Foundations of Multicultural Education
|Part Two: Marginalized Populations | Remarkable Contributions
|"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced."
American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic
|"Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are."
American polymath, author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster,
scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, diplomat, and founding father of the United States
|"As Henry Gates, Jr. pointed out, if affirmative action policies were in place for the next hundred years, it's possible that at
the end of that time the university could have as many mediocre minority professors as it has mediocre white professors."
|The Native American Experience
|My Country 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying
|"As Henry Gates, Jr. pointed out, if affirmative action policies were in place for the next hundred years, it's possible that at
the end of that time the university could have as many mediocre minority professors as it has mediocre white professors."
+ "manifest destiny" (19th century doctrine or belief that US expansion was Anglo-Saxon heritage, justified,
inevitable, God-given mission) = genocide
+ bio-terrorism: smallpox-infected blankets
|Native American Contributions
From how children are valued to social justice, the United States system of government, conservation, agriculture,
ecology, medicine, art and design, sign language and much of the English language, Native Americans have made
enormous contributions to our way of life. The links below document many of those contributions.
|The African American Experience
|African American Contributions
|The first successful open heart surgery; artificial heart pacemaker control unit; X-ray spectrometer; the stoplight; the
bicycle; the automobile rotary engine; refrigerated trucks; multiplex railway telegraph; long distance flight airplane;
heating, air conditioning, and ventilation; computer processor chip; first video game programmable console; and the
cell phone are some of the many achievements by inventors and scientists who are African American.
|The Hispanic / Latino / Latina
|The US Census Bureau defines Hispanic/Latino
as people who are:
South or Central American
other Spanish culture or origin
of any race, ancestry, or ethnicity
|Hispanic American Contributions
| "Hispanics have contributed to every avenue of American life since the inception of this country. Hispanics' origins
have played a key role in our country's socio-economic, political and cultural development" (Harvard Journal of
Hispanic Policy). Becoming the largest ethnic minority group in the United States in 2002, the economic and political
influence of people who are Hispanic is a force in present day America. But, contributions began with early
exploration, support for the American Revolution and union armies of the Civil War. Even President Obama's "Yes
we can" campaign slogan was borrowed from Chavez's and Huerta's "Si, se puede."
Contributions include a model for American currency, an early model of school desegregation, agricultural labor that
significantly impacted the US economy, the fountain pen, health care innovations, color TV, alkaline batteries, NASA
technology, exploration of Mars, social media (Facebook and Instagram), food, and music trends from country and
western (rancheros) to salsa and rock.
|The Asian American Experience
|"We're all related. If you go back far enough, everybody came out of Africa.
This idea makes some people uncomfortable."
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
|"It's a violation of our understanding of human rights and
human dignity, and it's just such a backward movement."
Ai Weiwei (2017) on immigration issues and the rise of nationalism in the United States
|Asian American Contributions
|When considering contributions, we must acknowledge the larger context of how Asian cultures - as the cradle of
civilization - have shaped the world:
+ social and political systems of cooperation, organized government and religions, urban planning
+ domestication of crops and animals
+ the wheel
+ first weights and measures
+ writing, paper, printing, the compass, clocks, and kites
+ numeric systems, including algebra
+ advanced astronomy and navigation
+ steel production
Chinese inventions and discoveries alone are stunning.
The contributions of Asian Americans associated with diverse cultures are documented in every field. They range
from building railroads; cultivating the land; transforming American food; and inspiring activism to advances in
medicine; the arts; cinematography; and computer development, including Universal Serial Bus (USB) technology.
|Considering their histories marked by misunderstanding, prejudice, myth, fear, ridicule,
hatred, rejection, neglect, abuse, bigotry, discrimination, negative portrayals, exclusion,
institutionalized racism, segregation, elimination, and genocide, people who are
Native American, African American, Hispanic/Latino American, and Asian American are
RESILIENT and INDOMINATABLE.
|English Language Learners
|Linguistic Diversity | Teaching Learners with Limited English Proficiency
|Social vs. Scientific Judgement
Intolerance for language and dialect differences interferes with teacher effectiveness and is hurtful to children,
running the risk of harming self-esteem, sending a message that there is "something wrong" with the way their
families talk, and negating the dignity of cultural pride. As educators, we're faced with a dilemma: teaching children
the standard while preserving cultural heritage and identity.
Every standard language results from an arbitrary composite of dialects. Perceiving dialects that vary from the
standard as inferior is a social - not a scientific - judgement. Standard English is in no linguistic way superior.
For successful communication to take place, four events must occur: (1) expression of an idea; (2) transmission;
(3) reception and comprehension; and (4) social or psychological impact that idea. These four events occur -
sometimes more effectively - when people communicate in a dialect other than the standard.
|Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP)
SIOP is an approach to teaching learners for whom English is a new language which
integrates language and content instruction. The goals of SIOP are to:
(1) provide access to mainstream, grade-level content
(2) promote the development of English language proficiency
"As a framework for organizing instruction, the SIOP Model supports teachers in
planning and delivering high-quality instruction for all students."
Given (1) negative social judgements of alternatives to
the standard, (2) equal access to academic success, and
(3) a "level playing field" in educational and employment
opportunities, all children benefit from learning the
standard. Viewing these students as deficient is
prejudicial and professionally naive.
Viewing students who learn the standard - while
maintaining their native language or dialect - as bilingual
means respecting language differences as differences,
Students who are bilingual are twice as powerful. The
challenge is to know when to use which language, to
communicate effectively in the board room as well as on
the basketball court.
Teachers are encouraged to allow children to use their
first language or dialect in social contexts at school.
When it comes to academics, though, educators benefit
students by requiring the standard.
Allowing both is realistic and empowers students.
|English as a second language (ESL),
English language learner (ELL), and
English as a new language (ENL)
are all terms that refer to students
whose first language is not English.
The terms are not limited to students
from any particular ethnic
backgrounds. The student could
be Hispanic, Greek, Russian,
or Chinese, for examples.
These terms do not refer to
children who speak a dialect of
English that is considered to be
significantly different than
standard English because
English is their first language.
Standard English itself is a dialect
that is arbitrarily preferred (and
most of us almost speak).
|Immigrants who are Undocumented
|The Disability Experience
Although this website promotes "people first" language in reference to all
people - with and without disabilities - we dispense with nonlabeling language
in reference to Deaf students because of the Deaf community's prevailing
view that deafness is not a disability. People first language is rejected by
Deaf culture to disassociate with disability. We respect this alternate view.
The point is not to reject people with disabilities; rather, it's an expression of
cultural pride and a message to people who hear. That message, in part, is
that Deaf people are not "broken" and don't need to be "fixed" or "cured." We
use an upper case D in Deaf, just as we would capitalize the first letter of an
ethnic term, such as Greek.
Most members of the Deaf community and advocates for Deaf people believe:
+ Deaf people are culturally different, a linguistic minority - not disabled or in need of special education
+ protecting cultural identity, values, customs, and codes of behavior take precedence over assimilation into the
Students who are gifted require educational experiences not ordinarily offered in the general school curriculum to
develop demonstrated or potential aptitudes, creativity, and leadership. Typically, students who are gifted perform
significantly above average on standardized measures of intelligence and excel academically in one or more areas.
Creativity and problem-solving are chief characteristics associated with giftedness.
Research consistently and conclusively demonstrates that students who are gifted appear in all ages, grade levels,
socioeconomic levels, races, ethnic groups and both genders in about equal numbers. However, in practice, certain
groups of students typically go under-identified: (1) students who are culturally different, (2) those whose proficiency
in English is compromised because it is their second language, (3) those from low-income families, and (4) learners
Studies reveal that most students who are gifted do not match their tested ability with comparable achievement in
school. The greatest challenge facing these students is achieving their potential. In spite of the common belief that
they are more capable of success than others, their needs are not clearly understood, resulting in a high risk of going
unchallenged and receiving instruction designed for someone else's needs.
These students benefit from teaching strategies that emphasize creativity, intellectual initiative, critical thinking skills,
leadership, responsibility for learning, flexibility, collaboration, reflective teaching, student choices, co-planning with
teachers, opportunities for mentor partnerships, and curriculum compacting.
Here are some resources to better understand the educational needs of students who are gifted and how to meet
There is a broad range of placement and service options for students who are gifted. Enrichment (additions to
regular programming) and acceleration (moving through the regular curriculum at a more rapid rate), "pull-out"
programs, magnet schools, and supported inclusive education in which students remain in general education classes
with the benefit of supplementary aids and services are all effective service delivery models, depending on the
individual needs of students.
Although the majority gender in America, girls and women are marginalized and objectified by the nation's power
structure. World-wide, 130 million girls do not attend school because of social, economic, political, and religious
|"SEND HER BACK?" | QUOTES FROM ILHAN OMAR'S 2018 CAMPAIGN
"I plan to keep building bridges of understanding in Minnesota and throughout the U.S., to bring us closer together.
As I get to know people everywhere in our state, I see kindness and generosity,and a willingness to seek
understanding and acceptance of what makes us who we are. In these times, there are so many people looking for
ways to fight for a more just, loving, peaceful world united in diversity.
"By introducing myself as the first Muslim, or the first refugee, or the first woman of color that some of these
communities have met, I hope to break down more barriers, have meaningful conversations and bring us together to
take on the greater effort to build shared prosperity for everyone in America."
|Omar is a United States Representative serving the 5th District of Minnesota
| A rape culture - an environment in which
prevailing social attitudes have the effect of
normalizing or trivializing sexual assault and
abuse - is being challenged by women around
In its December 18, 2017 edition, TIME
Magazine announced, "For giving voice to
open secrets, for moving whisper networks
onto social networks, for pushing us all to stop
accepting the unacceptable, the Silence
Breakers are the 2017 Person of the Year."
After one woman spoke out about sexual
assault, "the hashtag #MeToo has now been
used millions of times in at least 85 countries,"
according to TIME.
As with all human and civil rights movements,
deeply-held attitudes may change only with
significant changes in education. Children
who are taught in gender-fair classrooms grow
up to be the adults who change the world.
The Silence Breakers' courage is a beginning.
Our classrooms are the venues where the next
chapters of such bravery will be read.
"Gender equality is the measurable equal
representation of women and men. Gender
equality does not imply that women and men
are the same, but that they have equal value
and should be accorded equal treatment"
(International Planned Parenthood
In 1992, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) published the landmark
study, How Schools Shortchange Girls, examining how girls were educated. Among the
findings: "The glass ceiling begins to be built in kindergarten;" girls got less attention, faced
biased tests and textbooks and were steered away from math and science courses; lost
twice as much self confidence; and were more likely to develop eating disorders and attempt
Gender-fair teaching requires a commitment by teachers to maximize opportunities for girls and boys to achieve their
potential. The strategies are intuitive when we consider fairness as our guide:
In 2006, Newsweek's The Trouble with Boys summarized research that boys had lower
literacy skills; were less often encouraged to read; were more likely to "fall victim to drugs
and violence;" were more likely to have emotional, learning, and speech disabilities; and
less likely to attend college.
+ Provide the same class content for both genders.
+ Provide the same activities and projects to boys and girls.
+ Set the same standards of behavior for all learners.
+ Allow equal access to tools, equipment, technology, and media.
+ Encourage all students to be equally considerate and respectful.
+ Administer the same consequences for inappropriate behavior.
+ Avoid comparing boys with girls or girls with boys.
+ Use gender-free language and occupational titles.
+ Avoid gender-based stereotypical phrases.
+ Give equivalent attention to both genders.
+ Establish a classroom climate in which harassment on the basis of gender is unacceptable.
+ De-emphasize competition on the basis of gender.
+ Expect a variety of academic preferences for both males and females.
+ Apply the same evaluation and grading standards for all learners.
+ When appropriate, incorporate the topics of gender discrimination, stereotyping, and bias into class discussion.
+ Offer information about expanding occupational interests for both genders.
+ Assist both genders in identifying with adult roles that involve work, parenting, and homemaking.
+ Involve learners in naming examples of gender discrimination, stereotyping, and bias in books, movies, and TV.
+ Select and create teaching materials that are free from bias and stereotyping.
+ Invite resource people in the classroom who model nontraditional gender roles.
+ Rather than line up students by gender, try birth month, alphabetically, astrological sign, or color of shirts.
+ Provide 4-5 seconds wait time when calling on students (it will encourage girls and children learning English)
+ Occasionally change learners' seating to promote inter-gender relationships.
+ Acknowledge the successes, hard work, and attempts of all students.
+ Provide opportunities for all students to experience activities, materials, toys, and emotions traditionally linked
with both genders.
|The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, Queer Experience
Students whose sexual orientation,
identity, and expression have been
marginalized by others face significant
challenges that have an impact on
academic success and social
acceptance. Many are rejected by their
own families - ordinarily key sources of
support for people who are mistreated.
Teachers play a vital role in modeling
respect for people's differences in
general. When figuratively and literally
embracing students who are GLBT,
teachers encourage peers who are
"straight" to be allies who join in
resistance to hatred, discrimination, and
|LGBTQ+ INFORMATION, RESOURCES,
SUPPORT, ADVOCACY, AND NEWS
A 2012 University of Michigan study appearing in the Journal of American College Health reported the negative
consequences of the phrase "that's so gay."
Given the findings, the implications for educators include acknowledgement that we are models who must take a
stand to create a safe, healthy school environment. It's not enough for teachers to refrain from using hurtful
language; we must intervene when others use hostile words. Here are some of the premiere organizations and
initiatives taking a lead in protecting the civil rights of people who are GLBT:
In addition to teaching students who are GLBT, we teach students whose parents are GLBT. Treating, supporting,
and involving those parents no differently than other parents is our professional and ethical responsibility.
|WHY SOCIETY HAS CHANGED
1. Understanding sexual orientation
and gender identity are not choices.
2. With record numbers of people
coming out, most Americans know
people who are LGBTQ, including family
members, friends, and coworkers.
3. Increasingly favorable portrayals in
movies, television, commercials, print
ads, news, and on social media.
|Part Three: Creating Inclusive,
Culturally-Responsive Learning Communities
|Our mission is to maximize opportunities for all learners to achieve their potential, to be the best they can be.
|"You will lead a force of small humans who will change the world."
Teacher Recruiting Ad (TakePart.com, 2013)
2. Connect with students' families. Communicate appreciation and praise for students to parents.
3. Learn about children's cultures and values.
4, Consistently express positive expectations for academic performances and appropriate social behaviors.
5. Show respect for all students through kindness, generosity, and expressions of caring.
6. Through your words and actions, make clear that you want students to respect and value each other.
7. Define "community." Promote positive relationships among community members as stakeholders.
8. Encourage students to describe their roles and responsibilities in the learning community.
9. Invite learners to participate in setting classroom (community) expectations and rules.
10. Urge students to think of ways they will support each other.
11. Model conscientious involvement and work.
12, Reinforce self-directed work.
13. Praise efforts and successes.
14. Frequently check for understanding.
15. Constantly discover students' strengths and needs.
16. Plan differentiated instruction based on individual needs.
17. Develop consistent ways to gather information about students' progress as community members.
18. Collaborate with colleagues, families, and students.
19. Encourage learners to cooperate and collaborate with one another.
|Creating Learning Communities
|Teaching Students with Diverse Learning Needs
|PEOPLE WHO ARE MULTIRACIAL
"There was a mandatory census I had to complete in my English class -
you had to check one of the boxes to indicate your ethnicity: white, black,
Hispanic or Asian. There I was (my curly hair, my freckled face, my pale
skin, my mixed race) looking down at these boxes, not wanting to mess
up, but not knowing what to do. You could only choose one, but that
would be to choose one parent over the other - and one half of myself
over the other. My teacher told me to check the box for Caucasian.
'Because that's how you look, Megan,' she said. I put down my pen.
Not as an act of defiance, but rather a symptom of my confusion.
"I couldn't bring myself to do that, to picture the pit-in-her-belly sadness my mother would feel if
she were to find out. So, I didn't pick a box. I left my identity blank - a question mark, an
absolute incomplete - much like how I felt. When I went home that night, I told my dad what had
happened. He said the words that have always stayed with me: 'If that happens again, you
draw your own box.'"
|Our Mission and Primary Goals
|Creating Inclusive Learning Communities
|Some Ways to Involve Families
Creating an Inviting/Inclusive Climate
PHONE: initial calls of introduction; calling/texting with good news; reporting accomplishments and milestones;
daily or weekly recorded messages; regular updates; available for calls from families; homework hotline; parents
welcome to call teacher at home
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION: initial letter of introduction; "happygrams" and two-way reporting forms and
notebooks; daily folders; notes; monthly calendar of lesson topics/events; "fridge facts;" flash cards; newsletters;
Post-It Notes; behavior contracts; homework forms; "Friday folders"
WEBSITES: message board; online newsletter; teacher home page; homework tips; assignment outlines; goals
and objectives; social media (but, respect that some families do not have Internet access)
PARENT ADVISORY COMMITTEES: the core of the Comer Process, parents collaborate with teachers and
administrators to shape policies that govern the school experience for students and all stakeholders
INVOLVING PARENTS AS EDUCATIONAL DECISION-MAKERS: family representatives at each grade level,
PROGRAMS: for parents by educators | for educators by parents | for parents by parents
OPEN OBSERVATION POLICY: parent visits encouraged, not just "tolerated;" parents invited to special school
events; making school facility available for parents to meet with each other
FAMILY SUPPORT GROUPS: making the school available for meetings and programs
FAMILY-SCHOOL SOCIAL EVENTS: these may be family-directed with school support
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: for family members to support classroom instruction
PARAPROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: parents as paid support staff
INVOLVING SIBLINGS: "sibshops" and support groups for students with disabilities
HOME VISITS: make them voluntary (recognize that some families will not feel comfortable having school
personnel in their homes); schedule in advance (no surprises)
FAMILY-SCHOOL SENSITIVITY TRAINING: establish awareness and knowledge about the diversity of families;
develop culturally-responsive skills promoting successful interaction with family diversity (age, disabilities,
economic status; ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, genetic information, geography, language, marital
status [including same-sex unions], race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status)
ELICIT FAMILY INPUT ABOUT STUDENT INFORMATION, PROFILES, INTERESTS: respect parents as
providers of unique information about their sons/daughters (they know their children better than anyone else)
PARENTS AS TEAM MEMBERS: generalizing skills development to - and from - the home setting; express trust
in parents' descriptions of their sons' and daughters' performances in settings outside of school
COMMUNITY NETWORKING AND INTERAGENCY COOPERATION: promote family resources, services, and
TREATING FAMILY MEMBERS AS "INSIDERS:" avoid a "them and us" mindset
OUTREACH INITIATIVES: promote free and continuous exchange
CONFERENCING: building rapport; sharing information; summarizing; follow-up
FIELD TRIP PARTICIPATION: involve parents as chaperons and support people
TRUST BUILDING | EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: express acceptance; send clear messages; listen actively;
wait for complete messages; match words with actions; avoid differential treatment; be specific; be a model, not a
critic; express understanding (not "I know how you feel" - rather "I understand"); let families see you as a "real
MAINTAIN CONFIDENTIALITY: families should expect absolute respect for their privacy
The privacy of students and their families must be respected by educators.
Beyond the control of student records and other legal issues protected by the Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act, this is a matter of caring, professionalism, and supporting the dignity and
safety of children and their families. Teachers concerned about the perception and status of
their profession by the general public must understand that people "get" the robust attention to
confidentiality in other fields, such as health care and law.
Talking about children and families outside the context of direct service delivery runs the risk of violating trust.
More importantly, it violates the individual dignity of the people to whom we have dedicated our careers. In that
context, violating confidentiality is counter-intuitive, illogical, and professionally naive.
Effective communication, empathy, and support for parents requires understanding
+ that nonjudgmental, unconditional commitment to families is the key to achieving our mission and goals
+ how to engage in genuine teacher-parent partnerships
|BEAMING UP THE
|A "just about perfect"
portrait of "Human:"
50% male | 50% female
24 years old
60% are East Asian
farmers / factory workers
surname is Li
It's critical that each student feels a welcome part of the whole class - a member of the community. It's not enough
that young people like themselves. They must also have a sense that what they think, say, and do counts for
|to have or regard or treat as part of the whole
syn: embrace, involve
|BENEFITS OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION FOR ALL LEARNERS
+ learning about and celebrating differences
+ improved communication with parents and other family members
+ strategies, accommodations, adaptations, and differentiated instruction benefit all teachers and learners
+ collaboration (teachers who work together solve more problems than when they work alone)
+ new friendships, social acceptance
+ preparation for the "real world," normalization, improved social and academic development
+ improved emotional development and increased motivation
+ experiencing diversity and meeting community expectations
+ learning that diversity exists and is positive
+ greater success as adults
+ more positive attitudes and interaction with others
+ enriching instructional methods/activities/materials, effective use of resources
+ improved academic performance (documented improved performance on standardized tests)
+ support staff involvement
+ developed teaching skills, differentiated instruction
+ new perspectives on teaching and learning
+ teachers' sense of accomplishment in supporting all students to achieve their potential
+ family involvement
+ actively supporting civil rights, protections, and entitlements of all learners
+ improved quality of education
|Supporting Social Justice
In his foreword to Transforming Teacher Education for Social Justice, Murrell (2016)
expresses reasons for caring teachers in the United States to be concerned:
+ children of color "are disproportionately expelled, suspended, adjudicated as
criminals" and overrepresented in special education
+ over half of children are "touched by violence, crime, abuse, and psychological
+ over 70% are "exposed to at least one victimization event in the past year"
+ the traumatizing effects of police brutality
"(W)e, as educational professionals, should be concerned with how our children are
faring emotionally and spiritually, as well as scholastically."
"Our responsibility as caring adults is to steward young people toward their full
development as they grapple with their own developmental tasks toward full
personhood in a complex world."
Zygmunt and Clark (2016) encourage teachers to practice culturally responsive methods and to "personify the
moral conviction required to work toward social justice." When teachers promote human and civil rights for all
people, "they are modeling for the children with whom they work that inequity can be addressed and that, with
determination, change can be accomplished." The outcome is that our students will be uplifted, inspired, and bring
hope to the challenges they face.
Teachers who promote social justice ensure that (1) "all students have access to materials and experiences that are
culturally affirming" and (2) "learning is relevant and engaging based on students' lived experience." Zygmunt and
Clark remind us that promoting social justice requires "wisdom and grace."
In their chapter, Becoming A Community Teacher, the authors quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote in 1958,
"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable ... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice,
suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals ... There is no time for
apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action."
|Culturally Responsive Teaching
Biases, prejudices, stereotypes, and low expectations for students who are culturally different significantly reduce
and impair a teacher's effectiveness as an instructor, facilitator, and classroom manager. Culturally responsive
teaching acknowledges the principle that we cannot be satisfied with a school that treats only some of its students
well. All ethnic cultures and languages are valued in the culturally responsive classroom.
Multicultural education reflects sensitivity to individual differences while respecting
students' memberships in groups. It increases teachers' consciousness about the
wide range of family experiences associated with cultural heritage, a source of
pride that is essential to identity.
|The Case Against Punishment
Punishment is defined as inflicting physical, emotional, and psychological pain or discomfort intended to embarrass,
cause distress, humiliate, or shame. It is typically unrelated to the offense. Resulting initial suppression of
inappropriate behavior is interpreted as punishment "working." When the behavior returns at a greater intensity, it's
often blamed on the child rather than a poor choice of intervention.
A disproportionate number of students who are marginalized are punished in our schools. Children of color and
students with disabilities are especially targeted by corporal punishment.
The following list reflects decades of research findings from the fields of education; special education; psychology;
sociology; medicine, including psychiatry; educational psychology; and social psychology.
+ often provides students with a model of violence
+ sends the message that violence is the way to solve problems
+ is based on a "might makes right" approach in which power of size and strength prevails
+ is judgemental
+ often does not specify what the child can do that is acceptable
+ does not affect the positive consequences that are maintaining the inappropriate behavior
+ outcomes are often temporary unless control is gained over positive reinforcers maintaining behavior
+ elicits emotional behavior which interferes with learning
+ is sometimes reinforcing (a student acts out to annoy the teacher and be admired by classmates)
+ outcomes are unpredictable
+ produces dangerous side effects*
+ doesn't teach children to judge between right and wrong (instead, it teaches that authority figures are in control)
+ gives adults a sense of power, control, revenge, and relief while not addressing the causes
+ is not a serious deterrent (punished students tend to be "repeaters")
+ generates guilt, defiance, resentment, hatred, damaged relationships, revenge fantasies, and revenge
+ promotes compliance to avoid punishment rather than from agreement, respect, ethics, conscience, or logic
+ does not promote independent thinking and judgment
+ does not nurture empathy
+ does not promote positive self-concept
+ does not encourage or enhance independence
+ does not inspire self-advocacy
+ is often delivered with far more intensity and emotional display than when teachers are expressing approval
+ does not encourage an internal locus of control (rather, it's an external control force)
+ does not "work"
* side effects: teacher may become aversive; child may strike back at teacher, other students, and objects;
vandalism; behavior suppressed only in the presence of the punisher; may reinforce inappropriate behavior; may
produce intense fears and anxiety; can lead to neurotic behavior; fighting back in resistance; truancy; dropping out)
|Banned in 31 states, corporal punishment in schools is permitted in 19 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho,
Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.
|Why do we hit kids to teach kids that hitting kids is wrong?
|(2017 University of Missouri Study)
Alternatives to punishment include
+ natural, logical consequences
+ behavior management principles and strategies based on applied behavior analysis
+ effective communication
+ restorative justice
|Alternatives to Punishment
|Natural, Logical Consequences
Natural, logical consequences are not punishment. They are about "making things right," undoing the offense, and
providing consequence that are directly related to the offense.
Examples: What would be natural, logical consequences for:
+ destruction of property?
+ stealing lunch money?
+ using hurtful language?
+ disrespecting a peer or teacher?
|Behavior Management Principles and Strategies
Behavior management principles and strategies are based on laws that govern human behavior, discovered by the
field of psychology. They are nonjudgmental, nonviolent alternatives to punishment and external control.
Strategies to increase appropriate behavior and decrease inappropriate behavior include:
+ systematic plan for district-wide, school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS)
+ arranging antecedent events that are favorable, positive, inviting, welcoming, supportive (creating the climate)
+ rules, structure (predictable routines and a supportive environment)
+ providing appropriate learning activities and task analysis (teacher ownership for student success)
+ positive expectations (must be effectively and successfully communicated to the learner)
+ modeling (taking advantage of the natural tendency for students to seek approval and imitate others)
+ positive reinforcement (reward by providing desired outcomes)
+ negative reinforcement (reward by removing undesired/aversive outcomes - not a euphemism for punishment)
+ logical consequences
+ individual and group mentoring and counseling
+ extinction (ignoring inappropriate behavior that is not disruptive or harmful)
Establishing and Maintaining Trust
+ unconditional acceptance and respect for students and their families
+ appropriate verbal/nonverbal responses; match words with actions
+ avoid differential treatment of learners while understanding that certain accommodations are needed by some,
but not others
+ let students see you as a "real person"
Sending Clear Signals
+ be specific
+ match verbal and nonverbal messages
+ observe and take into account student reactions
+ give learners undivided attention
+ maintain eye contact
+ wait for complete messages
+ decode messages carefully
+ express understanding and empathy
Like natural and logical consequences, restorative justice makes things right. By requiring students to restore how
things were before an offense, we are giving them the opportunity to learn, rather than imposing punishment.
For example, community service as a consequence provides positive, life-changing, impelling, and engaging
experiences for learners.
Restorative justice is an alternative to
how educators have responded to
inappropriate behaviors in the past.
It's more likely to build bridges rather
than barriers when students are
"disciplined" because it appeals to
Punishment often results in students
feeling unfairly treated. Restorative
justice treats them fairly.
When teachers resist this approach in
favor of punishing students, we may
well ask them, "How is that working for
you?" because research involving
evidence-based practice clearly
indicates that punishment is
|Why, What, and How We Advocate
|Verb: AD-vo-kate - publicly recommend or support
Synonyms: recommend, prescribe, advise, urge
Noun: AD-vo-kit - a person who publicly supports
or recommends a particular cause or policy
Synonyms: champion, upholder, supporter, backer, promoter
proponent, exponent, spokesperson, campaigner, fighter,
crusader, apostle, booster, flag-bearer
What defining words and synonyms above do not describe a
+ provide information about - or instruction in - subjects or skills
+ cause others to learn and understand by example and
+ encourage others to accept facts and principles
+ stimulate thinking
+ cause others to be inclined - or less inclined - to behave in a
Origin of the word teacher: old English taecan, to show, present, point out; of Germanic origin, related to token; from
an Indo-European root shared by Greek deiknunai, to show and deigma, sample.
Teachers advocate for students, families, colleagues, quality schools, the teaching profession, the local community,
the world community, protections, rights, entitlements, principles, and fair, equitable treatment of people.
|"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world." - Malala Yousafzai
+ social justice
+ creating communities of learners
+ culturally responsive teaching
+ kindness, respect, and generosity
+ accepting/embracing/celebrating our differences
+ belief in individual dignity
+ we are members of one family - the human family
+ acknowledging the contributions of all cultures
+ people first language
+ family involvement
+ team collaboration among service providers
+ community involvement; networking
+ nurturing empathy
+ promoting positive self-concept
+ enhancing independence
+ inspiring self-advocacy
+ positive behavioral interventiions and supports
+ restorative justice
How we advocate for social justice will be affected by our individual styles of communication and expressions of
caring. "Be yourself" and stay within your personal "comfort zone." Above all, let children and families see you as
"a real person."
Find your own way of saying to those who are unjust: "The higher you build your barriers, the taller I will become"
|"Risk more than others think is safe.
Care more than others think is wise.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible."
"Wasted is the mind that won't take a stand."
|+ Award-winning six-hour documentary series on the civil rights movement
+ Illuminates the struggle for equality and social justice
+ Landmark events of 1954-1965 teach essential lessons about leadership and justice
"If you are reading this and you are white, seeing
people like you in mass media probably isn't
something you think about often. Every day, the
culture reflects not only you but nearly infinite
versions of you - executives, poets, garbage
collectors, soldiers, nurses and so on. The world
shows you that your possibilities are boundless.
Now, after a brief respite, you again have a
"Those of us who are not white have considerably
more trouble not only finding representation of
ourselves in mass media and other arenas of public
life, but also finding representation that indicates
that our humanity is multifaceted. Relating to
characters onscreen is necessary not merely for us
to feel seen and understood, but also for others who
need to see and understand us. When it doesn't
happen, we are all the poorer for it."
TIME | February 19, 2018
|What country is this? What year is it?
|Inspiring Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
|4 Benefits of Inclusive Classrooms
|"(A)bout 60% of the total U.S. population identifies as white, while about 12% identifies as Black, 18% as
Hispanic, 5.6% as Asian and less than 1% as American Indian/Alaska Native, according to data from the
U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey." (Jamie Ducharme, TIME, January 18, 2021)
"Two decades ago, analysis of the human genome established that all human beings are 99.9% the
same. 'Race is a social construct, not a scientific one,' said J. Craig Venter, the geneticist who ran
Celera Genomics when the mapping was completed in 2000. 'We all evolved in the past 100,000 years
from the small number of tribes that migrated out of Africa and colonized the world.'" (Isabel Wilkerson,
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, 2020)