A school culture that promotes diversity in the classroom teaches students something that’s important: how to live and work in a society where every individual is unique. Diversity in the classroom teaches students to appreciate different perspectives and draw stronger conclusions. Challenging students to consider different perspectives can also teach them how to interact with their peers on a social level, and equip them with skills they’ll use for the rest of their life.
*********If it’s difficult to change your existing curriculum, use the opportunity to ask students why different perspectives aren’t included and challenge them to apply critical thinking skills.
- Shut down discrimination whenever you hear it. Speak out against slurs and derogatory comments.
- Use language that promotes positivity and doesn’t reinforce existing stereotypes (for example, the phrase “boys will be boys” shouldn’t be used to justify sexism or aggression) .
- Respond effectively to inappropriate comments or actions. Take infractions seriously and inform parents when necessary.
- Encourage students to include all of their peers if you see division forming along racial or economic lines.
- Remove existing markers of inequality in your school. (For example, make sure students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch programs aren’t singled out and made to feel different.)
- Printables: https://www.teachervision.com/subjects/social-studies-history/culture-diversity
- Activities: http://www.sbhihelp.org/files/Diversity88Ways.pd
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