Connecting Curriculum to Diversity and Unity
Discovering Proficiencies for Teaching and Learning in a Multicultural Society
What do we know about education and diversity and how do we know it? This two-part question guides our work in the SE Metro III Graduate Learning Community to connect the preparation of in-service teachers with multicultural proficiencies for teaching and learning in our multicultural society. Using the meaningful initiatives generated in the model of Dr. James Banks, Diversity Within Unity provides the framework for engaging school practitioners in their mastery of NBPTS Standards.
In order to best serve future graduate students in our program as well as inservice and practicing teachers worldwide, we offer instructional modules on-line for review.
The framework used in the SE Metro III Graduate Learning Community uses principles produced by the Multicultural Education Consensus Panel, sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington and the Common Destiny Alliance at the University of Maryland.
The findings of the Multicultural Education Consensus Panel describe ways in which educational practice related to diversity can be improved to help educational practitioners increase academic achievement and advance intergroup skills.
This model is adopted in the SE Metro Learning Community Master Teacher Program for student development in the following areas:
Principle 1: Professional development programs should help teachers understand the complex characteristics of ethnic groups within U.S. society and the ways in which race, ethnicity, language, and social class interact to influence student behavior.
Principle 2: Schools should ensure that all students have equitable opportunities to learn and to meet high standards.
Principle 3: The curriculum should help students understand that knowledge is socially constructed and reflects researchers╣ personal experiences as well as the social, political, and economic contexts in which they live and work.
Principle 4: Schools should provide all students with opportunities to participate in extra and co-curricular activities that develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that increase academic achievement and foster positive interracial relationships.
Principle 5: Schools should create or make salient superordinate crosscutting group memberships in order to improve intergroup relations.
Principle 6: Students should learn about stereotyping and other related biases that have negative effects on racial and ethnic relations.
Principle 7: Students should learn about the values shared by virtually all cultural groups (e.g., justice, equality, freedom, peace, compassion, and charity).
Principle 8: Teachers should help students acquire the social skills needed to interact effectively with students from other racial, ethnic, cultural, and language groups.
Principle 9: Schools should provide opportunities for students from different racial, ethnic, cultural, and language groups to interact socially under conditions designed to reduce fear and anxiety.
School Governance, Organization, and Equity
Principle 10: A school's organizational strategies should ensure that decision-making is widely shared and that members of the school community learn collaborative skills and dispositions in order to create a caring environment for students.
Principle 11: Leaders should develop strategies that ensure that all public schools, regardless of their locations, are funded equitably.
Principle 12: Teachers should use multiple culturally sensitive techniques to assess complex cognitive and social skills.