YES! Recommends: Teaching Diverse Students Initiative

How can teachers effectively teach diverse students when they struggle with their own understandings of race?
Teaching Tolerance-Teaching Diverse Students Initiative

Teaching Tolerance Illustration 1

Illustration © Vincent Nguyen / Shannon Associates

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 Tolerance Illustration 2

Illustration © Vincent Nguyen / Shannon Associates

Teaching Diverse Students Initiative (TDSi) Resources

Teaching Diverse Students Initiative Logo

Understanding the Influence of Race

VISIT: 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.

YES! Archive



Learning Resources

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.

YES! Archive



Want 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.

Other Teaching Tolerance Resources

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 Issue 37 Cover

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.


Teaching Tolerance Mix-It-Up-Day flier

Image courtesy of Teaching Tolerance.

Mix It Up: Building Inclusive School Communities

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.


Teaching Tolerance Enews

SIGN UP: Teaching Tolerance newsletter

Stay up on the latest in anti-bias education. Sign up today!