In preparation for this discussion, you completed the Diversity Worksheet, including your own characteristics and what your “position” within those characteristics implies for your work. Based on what you learned about diversity in this unit and your own work in the Diversity Worksheet, address these prompts:
Think about the individuals you teach. In general, how similarly do you think your diversity characteristics compare to them collectively (as a class)? Based on what you have learned about diversity, how do you think those similarities or differences affect the work you do?
Suppose you asked your students to complete the middle column, How You Identify Yourself in Relation to Each Group. Can you think of one or more individuals you teach who would have significantly different answers than you? How do you think that impacts your interactions with them? How do you think they view those differences?
This discussion asks you to form some opinions based on your knowledge of your students. It does not ask you to actually have your students complete the worksheet. If you work with very young students or with students who for any other reason might not be able to complete the middle column, base your opinions on what information you have about your students. If you do not think you have enough information to do so, ask your instructor for guidance.
Reflect on how you completed the two columns in the template. What “big ideas” or “aha” moments did you have related to how your own diversity characteristics apply to your work?
CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES
When creating inclusive learning environments, all educators face a challenge or two. For this discussion, you will identify some challenges you have encountered and strategies you have used.
First, describe the educational setting in which you work. What is your role? What diversity do you experience there?
Identify at least two key issues or challenges you have experienced in working with students from diverse backgrounds. Why do you suppose those issues occurred?
Describe the strategies you have used to address the challenges you have experienced. Why did you choose those strategies? How effective were they? Would you address the challenges differently, knowing what you know now?
Early in this unit, interview two education professionals on inclusive learning environments and valuing diversity. Ideally, this would be educators from different educational settings, different grade/age levels, et cetera. This interview will inform your work on the second discussion in this unit and the assignment due in Unit 4. In your interviews, investigate the following:
How the educators describe the current state of inclusivity and diversity in their setting.
Strategies the educators use for creating inclusive learning environments.
Strategies the educators use for demonstrating respect toward and valuing students from diverse backgrounds.
Other issues related to the topics of inclusivity and diversity that are of interest to you.
Be sure to prepare your interview questions in advance.
REPORT ON YOUR INTERVIEW
During this unit, you interviewed two education professionals on inclusivity and diversity in educational settings. Report on what you learned from these interviews.
How did the educators describe the current state of diversity and inclusivity in their educational settings?
What strategies did they indicate they use to create inclusive learning environments?
What strategies did they indicate they use to show they value and respect diversity in their settings?
Describe your experience conducting the interviews. Were there things that surprised you? Did you have any “aha” moments?
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