Final Reflection

Although I have taken a diversity course during undergrad, which offered a lot on changing my perspective as a whole, this course offered more on diversity in the context of education. Given my prior knowledge it was easier connect with the course content. The biggest takeaway I had from the course was the impact of political decisions on educational institutions and how heavily decisions are influenced by dominate groups. Before, I was aware of the politics within the education system, however, I was unaware of the bias which soiled the system. Starting as a new teacher, I have come into this profession with the mindset of creating equal opportunities for all my students, spreading awareness of social justice issues, and creating a classroom environment which is responsive to the needs of individual students. It is disheartening to know that many institutions struggle with diversity issues, still today. Additionally, I was unaware that social justice standards existed. Although the world in which we live is not a perfect one, I am glad I have the tools to teach my students about social justice issues, so that they can make a difference.

Thank you for a lovely semester!

Alexis DeRitis

EDUC 577 Final Reflection

My biggest takeaway from this course about diversity in education that I did not realize prior to the course is that although some topics can be awkward and hard to discuss it is important to not just ignore them. I really took to heart the idea of the microaggressions and other social justice issues that may be happening within a classroom that a teacher needs to be aware of. There are small things that get said or small actions that happen that may not seem like a big deal but to the person it is happening against it is a really big deal.

I also found that it is important to educate students who may be in the majority even if there is not a lot of local diversity. These students who are involved in many social activities with other people and schools as well as who participate in social media need to understand that their actions have consequences and even if they are not around a diverse population they should be aware of the things they say and how to be good global citizens.

It is important to include technology when teaching students how to navigate in their educational world. They will need to learn how to appropriately use technology through working on projects, posting online and researching/looking things up. They should be aware when their actions are not right and they should be aware when others’ actions are not right.  This will make students more aware of their actions and the actions of those around them. They will become advocates for themselves and others and be aware of social justice in this world.

Social Justice Lesson Plan (sorry apparently I didn’t post it with the tags)

Social Justice Lesson Plan

Contextual information: A picture is worth 1000 words.

Grade level: 8th

Subject: English or Social Studies

Lesson time length: 80 mins

Characteristics of the class: (multi-age or grade level, developmental level, etc.)

20 students

3 ELL

7 IEP/504

Social Justice Standards (Teaching Tolerance): (Check all that apply)

Identity

_X_1. Students will develop positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society.

_X__2. Students will develop language and historical and cultural knowledge that affirm and accurately describe their membership in multiple identity groups.

___3. Students will recognize that people’s multiple identities interact and create unique and complex individuals.

___4. Students will express pride, confidence and healthy self-esteem without denying the value and dignity of other people.

_X__5. Students will recognize traits of the dominant culture, their home culture and other cultures and understand how they negotiate their own identity in multiple spaces.

Diversity

_X__6. Students will express comfort with people who are both similar to and different from them and engage respectfully with all people.

_X__7. Students will develop language and knowledge to accurately and respectfully describe how people (including themselves) are both similar to and different from each other and others in their identity groups.

___ 8. Students will respectfully express curiosity about the history and lived experiences of others and will exchange ideas and beliefs in an open-minded way.

_X__9. Students will respond to diversity by building empathy, respect, understanding and connection.

___10. Students will examine diversity in social, cultural, political and historical contexts rather than in ways that are superficial or oversimplified.

Justice

_X__11. Students will recognize stereotypes and relate to people as individuals rather than representatives of groups.

___12. Students will recognize unfairness on the individual level (e.g., biased speech) and injustice at the institutional or systemic level (e.g., discrimination).

___13. Students will analyze the harmful impact of bias and injustice on the world, historically and today.

_X__14. Students will recognize that power and privilege influence relationships on interpersonal, intergroup and institutional levels and consider how they have been affected by those dynamics.

_X__15. Students will identify figures, groups, events and a variety of strategies and philosophies relevant to the history of social justice around the world.

 

Action

_X__16. Students will express empathy when people are excluded or mistreated because of their identities and concern when they themselves experience bias.

_X__17. Students will recognize their own responsibility to stand up to exclusion, prejudice and injustice.

_X__18. Students will speak up with courage and respect when they or someone else has been hurt or wronged by bias.

_X__19. Students will make principled decisions about when and how to take a stand against bias and injustice in their everyday lives and will do so despite negative peer or group pressure.

_X__20. Students will plan and carry out collective action against bias and injustice in the world and will evaluate what strategies are most effective.

 

X Empowered learner- Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.   Computational thinker-  Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.
  Digital citizen-  Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. X Creative communicator-  Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
  Knowledge constructor- Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

 

X Global collaborator- Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.
X Innovative designer- Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.    

 ISTE Standards for Students (click all that apply)

 

 

Purpose/Rationale: Everyday life is filled with photos. From the news, to school textbooks, to social media we are always getting our fill of photos. Historically, there are photos that have gone down in history and have a whole story behind them. There are moments that get captured that can be hard to look at. There is hate and bias from classrooms to grocery stores.

The important thing for students is to look at a situation, try to empathize and understand the emotions of the photo, and decide other ways the situation could have been handled.

 

Materials and Technology Tools:

Worksheet, iPads, (costumes) if they want. Printer

 

Objectives:

Students will be able to analyze a photo for the emotions that are going on.

Students will be able to understand the history behind a photo and the time period to which it takes place.

Students will be able to create a new situation in order to replace the original.

 

Instructional Procedures: (please remember to integrate technology tools)

Introductory Activity: (20 mins)- We will begin by discussing emotions. Students will look through different emojis and try to guess what the emotion is. Then we will switch to photos and try to guess what the emotions are. The students will then work in a small group. One student will try to portray an emotion. Their group mates will try to guess what the emotion is and they will take turns.

Explain to students that emotions can be easy or hard to read based on body language. It is important for social situations to read an emotion and react/act accordingly. Explain the directions to the students:

They will work in a group of 4 students. They will analyze a photograph from history. They need to fill in the worksheet which asks them to try to explain the situation, explain the emotions of the people in the photo, and try to decipher what time period it is from.

Second, they need to discuss how they would change the situation. Empathize with the people in the photo and discuss how they could make it a positive experience.

Lastly, they will use their iPads to recreate the photo using their new situation. They will share the old and new photos with the class and explain.

Developing Activity: (40 mins)- We will go over an example of what their project should look like and how to go about it.

EXAMPLE:

The students will discuss the emotion of this photo and how it could have been changed based on changing the behavior of the people in the photo.

The students will then break into their groups (premade) and be given their photo. They should then start their discussion. The students need to make sure they fill out their worksheet. I will have a timer on the board so they know how much time they have to have their final photo. Students will have access to clothing/ accessories they can use for their photos if they would like. They need to print out their photos when they are done.

 

Concluding Activity: (20 mins)- Students will come up one group at a time and explain and show their two photos.

 

Assessments:

The students will get a grade based on their worksheet and their photo. This will be a group grade.

 

 

Feedback from peers:

My peers stated that I should add in more detailed directions so that anyone could teach this lesson. I tried to add in as much as I could in order to allow the lesson to be taught by someone other than myself. Another feedback stated to include the characteristics of the class which I lacked the first time around. Also trying to find not only historical photos but photos of something local that may relate to them in order to draw them in and gain personalization in the projects.

 

Reflection:

Address the following:

  1. What did you do to insure that you had met your objectives in this lesson?

I reviewed the students’ photos and worksheets as well as gave them a grade for their work within their group. I monitored their group work by walking around and asking prompting questions in order to get the students to really think about the situation they are looking at.

 

  1. What were some of the strengths in the lesson?

The strengths of the lesson were truly in the communication aspect and in understanding empathy. The students needed to get their point across and collaborate with each other about a situation that may be uncomfortable. It lets them brainstorm about their own situations and how to handle them.

 

  1. What are some things that could be improved in this lesson?

I wish I would have found more recent photos. Most of the photos were from history and the students didn’t relate as well and I wish I would have found ones that reflected more of their current social lifestyles.

Andrew Levinton – EDUC 577 Final Reflection

This course has been a wonderful experience in discussing the personal perspectives people have in the realm of social justice. Although I have always lived my life as an educator who takes the issue of diversity in mind, this is the first time I have been exposed to the social justice standards and had a chance to learn how to implement them in my school today. It was valuable to learn about this concept as it helped me think about my past years in school and how the demographic has varied, as well as formed the culture in those districts.
One of the biggest takeaways that I took from this course is the concept of identity and how it shapes all of us. Students who have different backgrounds or personal aspects have opportunities to contribute to the classroom to promote the issue of social justice. It is when we learn to accept teachers, students, and citizens for their culture, ethnicity, social, as well as gender and economic aspects of their identity that we learn to instill a culture that is more welcoming and can progress the community as a whole. It was fun to use the voicethread activity to learn about everyone’s individual background and how people view their own identities because I now have a sense to look at my students who share traits with my peers in their lens.
I will take the experiences I have learned in this course and use them to get to know my students better and create a more comforting environment in my classroom as well as my school. I look forward to both progressing, as well as teaching my students to become these citizens of social justice and teaching them the importance of being a positive contributor in the role of diversity.

Thank you so much for a wonderful semester!

Andrew

#finalreflection #577

Final Reflection- Ashley Wannermeyer

This has been my favorite ed tech class so far because I was able to take a lot of what I have learned and embed it right into my curriculum and gained knowledge of others in an educational setting. It was beneficial to explore different aspects of education and how different groups have had to make their own way in education, and still struggle. It was also beneficial to take a deeper look at stereotypes, stereotype threats and gave everyone another perspective of what it is like in our education system today.

My biggest take away from this class is the cultural component. I updated a lot of my cultural activities that I would do with a Global and Gourmet foods class. This year I really focused on the differences between culture, race and ethnicity. My students were very into the idea of knowing the difference as they would have their own debates in class. In the past I would just focus on the food aspect of their lives but was able to tie all ideas together to create one project that they all loved!

I never was really into the politics of education but now I can understand where we have come from and where we are going. It is important to realize that the school board is the biggest influence on the educational system. A lot of minority groups have had to advocate for themselves and push hard for change. Some are resistant to it and that can be human nature but it is important to integrate all students and have every student feel included. Schools are accepting, but forget about how that student may feel in a class where they do not know English, or they do not have recognition for their ethnicity, culture and holidays celebrated. This just has to do with keeping all educators diverse and knowledgeable about what may be going on with our students. For the first year since I have been at my school (4 years) they sent out a notice about ramadan and the effects it will have on our students and to understand they may not be cranky with you it is the fact they are hungry, tired and thirsty. This is just one example of how we can help our students be the best they can. Acknowledgement is huge and empathy means a lot to our students.

Thank you all for a great semester! Best of luck to everyone.

Ashley Wannermeyer

#577

Education 577 – final reflection

Throughout this course we, as a group of educators explored and discussed the multifaceted concept that is diversity in the classroom. Diversity and the important role it plays in the 21st century classroom is often topic people avoid talking about. The discomfort that is associated with diversity, race and socio economic class is the major reason we should be talking about it. This course has taught me that these are the conversations we need to be having and they should start in the classroom. Children are the people to start with when starting change. They are the ones who will listen and who still want to I’m prove the world they are going to live in.

 “Whether it is a matter of can’t or won’t, the truth is that we simply do not get along” (Johnson, 2018, pg. 1). All the way back in discussion 1 titled “we are in trouble” we discussed the societal issues that exist between people. In this Johnson quote he states that we as the human race, are not getting along. We are not being tolerant or understanding of each other. There are fights and violence over the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. It is 2019 and this should no longer be the case. The policies in place to protect students are also not being held firm and in public schools discrimination still exists. Discussion amongst us has taught me that we have to be agents of change. That educators have access to the next generation of people who will be changing the world and we have to take advantage of that.

Teach your students about privilege, talk about hate and celebrate differences.

Thank you for a great semester everyone!

– Aimee Albano

EDUC 577 Final Reflection

I used to think of diversity in a very narrow myopic context as simply applying to race/ethnicity. This course has opened my eyes to just how far-reaching the word diversity can be and that it impacts all facets of life and how we as individuals identify ourselves.

The biggest takeaway from this course, for me, was really learning about and focusing on inherent biases in curriculum formation and student assessments. I always knew in the back of my mind that a grade’s curriculum had to have some bias because of who develops it but never gave it much thought: it was more out of sight out of mind. As classrooms across the country, including mine, become more diverse it is very important to be aware of how a student’s identity, upbringing and possibly even language barrier can impact his/her learning experience. Formulating lessons that students can better relate to and actively engage with other students creates a better learning environment. Additionally, the course gave me a better appreciation for how federal, state and local governments really do impact schools, teachers and students. Whether it be about levels of funding, curriculum or policies concerning school voucher programs, elections of politicians at all levels really impact education.

I particularly liked the assignment that utilized the cartoon generator. That is technology I definitely intend to utilize in my classroom as I think it is an excellent way to express thoughts and allows the students to have fun with each other either through reading the comic strips out loud to the class or by working as a team to develop a cartoon.

Overall, this course gave me a better awareness and appreciation for the privileges I have had in my life (growing up a middle-class white female) and how there are many others who did not share in this privilege. In fact, many experienced just the opposite in the form of inherent bias in school curriculum or, even worse, overt discrimination. It is my duty as a teacher to be mindful of this and how it informs how I teach and interact with my students. I am thankful for the perspectives this course offered and the awareness it raised in me.

Corey Battersby