Just getting underway, the 2017–18 school year looks to be one filled with difficult classroom conversations about current events. After the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend, educators on social media have started using #CharlottesvilleCurriculum to share resources on how to have conversations with students about racism, inequity, and more. For decades, ASCD authors and contributors have addressed these tough topics, and we’ve compiled a list of available ASCD resources to help educators effectively discuss racism and hatred in the classroom.
Classrooms today educate increasingly diverse students who live in a globalized and interconnected world. To ensure our children are prepared to thrive in this environment, we must deliver each of them the high-quality education they deserve―one that focuses on the whole child and ensures access to high-quality teachers, provides use of high-quality learning tools and professional development for their educators, and establishes safe and supportive learning environments.
Inclusion, diversity, culture, equity—what do you think when you hear these words and how do you define these concepts? Depending on your background, these words may take on various meanings. When you discuss these topics, do you feel happiness, fear, joy, or confusion? Perhaps you think, here we go again or haven’t we gotten past this by now? When I hear these words, I think, what are we doing to make these words become more than just words on paper?
When it comes to parents, students, or any stakeholder in the school community, engagement is something that schools need to constantly work on. Whether it’s making sure marginalized populations such as LGBT students are included in the school dialogue or reaching out to parents using the flipped leadership method, engaging the school community is a never-ending job.
Although I know education begins at home and have heard endlessly all the rest of the ad hominem attacks on parenting, I think we educators need to pause and personally reflect on the ways in which we perpetuate the systems of inequity that facilitate these circumstances. What follows is a list of three things all educators can do to facilitate the process of realizing education equity within our classrooms and schools.
In recent years, we’ve seen turmoil in the United States that could rival that of the civil rights era. Issues of social justice are ever present in today’s conversations, and classroom conversations are no exception. So as we think about civic education, let’s ask ourselves what our true intentions are. If a once-every-four-years vote is the extent of our civic knowledge, our efforts might fall flat. Maybe we truly do need to rethink what it means to be civically powerful, and empower our students accordingly.
In schools, I’ve noticed false assumptions about children of color, which all relate more to how the teachers feel about the quality of their teaching than the quality of their students’ learning. Here are the five myths that bother me the most.
Educational Leadership Magazine
A St. Louis elementary school helps students think about difficult events just outside their door.
A look at the policies that have led to segregated neighborhoods—and why we need to teach students about racial history.
The message in this school is clear: Cultures are welcome and cultural differences are worth embracing.
Does a more peaceful world begin with education?
Learning to have honest discussions about race, class, and equity is vital to our students’ development.
Here’s what to do when discussions on race and equity issues stall.
Vitriol and violence connected to race are running high. K–12 classrooms are where we must start to build an equitable, nonracist society.
Based on recent research focused on these successes, William Parrett and Kathleen Budge, authors of the award-winning ASCD book Turning High-Poverty Schools into High-Performing Schools, will share a framework for collaborative action in classrooms and schools. Practical strategies and specific examples will “jump-start” your thinking about what it takes to disrupt poverty’s adverse effects on learning to help your students succeed.
In this engaging webinar, you’ll learn from licensed mental health therapist Kristin Souers and veteran school principal Pete Hall, coauthors of Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom, about how to care for yourself, recharge when you need it most, and be on your A-game for your valuable and vulnerable students. Strategies such as “Stay Out of Oz” and “Doors and Windows” will prep you to tackle a 28-day self-care challenge, allowing you to refresh your mental energy and be at your best, every moment of every day.
Although the movement for standards and accountability has largely succeeded in bringing greater attention to disparities in student achievement, surprisingly little attention has been given to what it takes to create conditions in schools that will make achievement for all students more likely. Missing from much of the policy debate related to achievement is how to place equity at the center of education reform and how that, in turn, supports the most effective teaching in schools.
Join us as we look at the pivotal levers of school culture, including school climate, trust, and communication.
The need to help students do high-quality research begins with teaching students how to distinguish between fake news, bias, truth, and credible sources.
Join us as we discuss practical ways school leaders can better manage individual resistance to change.
Every educator has a role to play in creating educational equity. What specifically can educators do?
Creating a school climate that supports all children from all backgrounds and orientations requires intentionality. Where should school leaders begin?
Pedro jumps headfirst into the deep end of the issues that determine whether all kids are reached, inspired, and taught.
Imagine a school with a diverse student body where every student feels safe and valued, and all students—regardless of race, culture, home language, sexual orientation, gender identity, academic history, and individual challenges—have the opportunity to succeed with challenging classes, projects, and activities. In this school, teachers notice and meet students’ individual instructional needs and foster a harmonious and supportive environment—and students feel empowered to learn, to grow, and to pursue their dreams. Built on the authors’ own experiences and those of hundreds of educators throughout the United States, this book is filled with examples of policy initiatives and practices that support crucial standards of equity and high-quality, inclusive learning experiences.
How can we ensure that all students, regardless of cultural background or socioeconomic status, are granted equitable opportunities to succeed in the classroom and beyond? In Keeping It Real and Relevant: Building Authentic Relationships in Your Diverse Classroom, author and veteran educator Ignacio Lopez offers hard-won lessons that educators at all levels can apply to teaching, assessing, counseling, and designing interventions for learners from all walks of life. These insights are all rooted in the same core principle: building deep and meaningful relationships with students is the key driver of their success.
Excellence Through Equity is an inspiring look at how real-world educators are creating schools where all students are able to thrive. In these schools, educators understand that equity is not about treating all children the same. They are deeply committed to ensuring that each student receives what he or she individually needs to develop his or her full potential—and succeed.
By confronting biases, unjust suspensions, and stigmas, schools and districts are changing the narrative for students of color.
More than 46 million children in the United States are affected by trauma each year. Learn how to identify the signs of trauma and break the silence that can surround students’ suffering.
Pivoting from the “dead white men” lessons of the past to a more culturally responsive approach to teaching history gives students a bridge between the present and their own (sometimes hidden) histories.
What’s real? What’s not? With fake news on the rise, students must learn to vet what they read—from as early as 1st grade. In this article, experts share practical tips for teaching and scaffolding news literacy skills.
What makes a student more likely to intervene when they see someone being bullied or harassed? Knowledge and skills. Here’s how to create a culture of “upstanders” in your school and classroom.
To clear the way for honest conversations about race in schools, educators must first examine their own hidden biases and perceptions.
Have you ever asked a student, “How’s your mom and dad?” only to discover they’re being raised by a single parent? Learn how to be inclusive of all families, from the language you use to the programs you offer.
The Globally Competent Learning Continuum (GCLC)
This is a tool that allows teachers to self-reflect on the dispositions, knowledge, and skills to help them dive into difficult conversations around bigotry of any and all kinds, create a classroom environment where each student regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, etc. feels welcome, comfortable, and able to express themselves, and provide learning opportunities for students to understand and take action on issues of inequity that they face and that they witness in their communities.
- Empathy and Valuing Multiple Perspectives
- Commitment to Promoting Equity Worldwide
- Create a Classroom Environment That Values Diversity and Global Engagement
- Understanding of Global Conditions and Current Events
- Experiential Understanding of Multiple Cultures
Join the conversation online and share your own resources by using hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculum.