Today’s students are a mosaic of races, ethnicities, religions, sexual preferences, and cultures. To teach them, you have to reach them. According to Parker Palmer, author and founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal, “relational trust” between teacher and student, and teacher and parent, is significant in raising student performance. It’s a shared desire to help children grow up in a way that will give them a chance at good lives.
In September 2009, Teaching Tolerance launched the Teaching Diverse Students Initiative (TDSi) with a set of online teaching resources designed to help teachers narrow educational disparities by improving the school environment for students of color. The focus? How educators can improve their professional skills, understandings, and dispositions that are especially relevant to race and the ethnicity of their students. Within that focus, TDSi also emphasizes strategies that have the potential to reduce bias and prejudice.
This smart, hit-the-nail-on-the-head set of professional development tools is interactive and multimedia. The emphasis is on collaborative learning with your colleagues, aspiring teacher candidates, or school and district administrators. Tools can be used together or separately.
Teaching Tolerance collaborated with professional organizations, prominent scholars, and expert educators to develop, test, and carry out the initiative. The entire teaching kit, research-and-theory-based, is online and free.
Teaching Diverse Students Initiative (TDSi) Resources
Understanding the Influence of Race
This teaching tool aims to prepare educators for the needs of racially and ethnically diverse learners by examining the realities of race as a lived experience. Articles and videos explore the influence of race, from racial identity to bias, and examine the persistence of racial preference and prejudice.
Common Beliefs Survey
VISIT: Common Beliefs Survey
This survey presents conventional teacher wisdom about teaching diverse student populations. You’ll be asked to indicate the degree to which you agree with these commonly held beliefs. You’ll have the opportunity to explain your views before examining expert commentary and research related to the effects of acting on conventional wisdom. Take a chance to reflect on your teaching and learn something new.
VISIT: Learning Resources
Check out Learning Resources, which offers articles, videos, stories, and lesson plans on topics such as leadership and school culture, stereotypes, student-teacher relations, and more.
You’ll find a constellation of learning tools and resources on the TDSi home page, including a primer on culturally relevant pedagogy and a survey to gauge the learning environment of ethnically diverse schools.
The Power of Words Teaching Kit
VISIT: Power of Words Teaching Kit
Mulatto. Xenophobia. Wuss. Paki. Shylock. Words are powerful. They also can provide a snapshot of a country’s cultural mindset. In these eight language arts lesson plans, your students will become more familiar with the origins and impacts of words used to label and classify ethnic groups, women, and sexual minorities. For grades 9+. Can be adapted for lower grades and across subject areas.
Teaching Tolerance magazine Spring 2010: The New Segregation
READ: Spring 2010 magazine
The Spring 2010 issue from Teaching Tolerance asks a mighty question: Are we weaving together common threads or unraveling integration? Check out the stunning array of curricula, stories, and teacher resources that explore the complex issue of what segregation looks like today.
VISIT: Mix It Up
Feast on this menu of activities—from Mix It Up At Lunch Day to Stay in the Mix with Music—and see what model Mix It Up Schools are up to. Better yet, commit your school to achieving this designation by embracing and practicing respect and inclusiveness.
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