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.
The Teaching Center defines stereotype threats as: “Stereotype
threat is a phenomenon in which a person’s concern about confirming a
negative stereotype can lead that person to underperform on a challenging
assessment or test” (The teaching center, 2019). A stereotype is an idea of belief
that is internalized based on a person’s identifier (s). This can lead to anxieties
and underperformance in school based on how a child feels they are supposed to
perform. Students will behave in the way they feel that society expects them
Steel conducted numerous studies exploring this idea of
stereotype threat. He tested it on women and people of color. At the end of
both he came to the overarching consensus that, “they can feel the stereotype
threat; they can feel under pressure not to confirm the stereotype for fear
that they will be judged or treated in terms of it” (Steele,2010).
In order to fight these stereotype threats teachers can
implement strategies into their daily classroom environment. Promoting growth
mindset, a sense of belonging and teamwork and highlighting the importance of
diversity will prevent the growth of stereotype threats.
In 2019 students are exposed and have access to thousands of people every second of every day. Just 10 years ago this was not the case. Social media has changed the world of teaching from as young as 3rdgrade and only escalates as children get older. Bullying no longer takes places in the hallway or the gym, it is behind the dim blue light of an iPhone screen that children are destroying each other. Due to this anonymity of social media children can be tearing down a student right in front of adults and we can be missing it. This is why it is so crucial to teach digital citizenship. Children today need to understand that the need to be a compassionate good human being does not disappear when they log in. The social media wave came on fast and maybe without the intention of the impact it had, “But it has become glaringly apparent that the companies never quite understood the negative consequences of that influence nor what to do about it — and that they cannot put the genie back in the bottle” (Sheera Frenkel, 2018). Sites such as Twitter and Facebook give anyone a platform to share whatever they like. While there are some guidelines and rules put in place by this media companies it is difficult to police the millions of posts that go out each day. In regards to Twitter, “only 38 percent of hate speech on its site was flagged by its internal systems”(Sheera Frenkel, 2018). 38% is not enough, but instead of creating more technology to take it down, should we be teaching people not to post it? Once a post has gone up it can get thousands of like, shares and comments in seconds this is beauty and curse of social media. This means that even if 10,000 more people are looking for the posts, as Frenkel says, it’s always too late. It only takes 1 click to send it to thousands of viewers and the hate is already spread. This is the climate of the world today and the change begins in our classrooms, “Digital Citizenship is an ongoing lesson that needs to be addressed every year with every student. Social media is not going away, and blocking websites in schools or telling students they cannot use phones is not a realistic solution” (The teaching factor, 2018).
THE TEACHING FACTOR, November 7th2018.
Sheera Frenkel, M. I. (2018). On Instagram, 11,696 Examples of How Hate Thrives on Social Media. The New York Times .