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


7 IEP/504

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


_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.


_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.


_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.



_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



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.


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.



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.



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.

Combating Stereotype Threats

In the article “Reducing Stereotype Threats” on the teaching center website, stereotype threats are defined as, “a phenomenon in which a person’s concern about confirming a negative stereotype can lead that person to under perform on a challenging assessment or test.” What this means is a bias that has been imprinted onto a group of individuals will be confirmed due to over thinking about that given stereotype.

Steele investigated this concept of stereotype threat in studies showing that groups can feel so much pressure when they are performing on an assessment. They tend to perform negatively due to the pressure they feel on how the results with judge them.

The impact that stereotype threats have in the classroom is simple, it allows a group of students to perform poorly due to a bias that they don’t have control over. This idea of stereotype threats is truly a way for a student to psych themselves out on a major assessment they know they need to do well on. As educators, we need to combat this idea of stereotype threats because we want all students to feel a sense of belonging all while performing and achieving the best way that they can.  

In order to combat these stereotype threats there are strategies that can be integrated into everyday classroom life. The highlight of all these strategies is inclusion of diversity. It is important that all students feel valued for who they are no matter what their background. This will show them that as an individual they can succeed to the best of their ability.

Link for Inforgraphic:


“Empirically Validated Strategies to Reduce Stereotype Threat”.

“Reducing Stereotype Threat.”

Steele, Claude. (2010). Whistling Vivaldi: and other clues to how stereotypes affect us. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.


Final Reflection

The field experience for this course was different than any other field experience I have had. The ability to collaborate with not only the students within my own class but with ones from another school added a whole new level of perspective. The platform of blogging is an exciting way to communicate within the newer realms of technology. I truly enjoyed being able to discuss information with students who had different viewpoints and as well were at different levels academically.

Collaboration is the key to any type of discussion and being a part of the LGBTQI discussion group was truly eye opening. Being in a classroom means that I encounter LGBTQI issues quite often. It was extremely beneficial to hear other teachers’ viewpoints from their own classrooms and experiences they had encountered. Working in the LGBTQI group proved difficult in the beginning for me. To be completely honest I was not well versed in terminology as well as information. I found myself looking a lot of things up in order to figure out how to appropriately write in the group. I never wanted to seem uneducated about the topic we were working with. The other issue that I ran into was my ability to make objectives toward that community when I felt that I myself did not know enough about the topics.

When our group met it was usually through texting or Google Docs. Texting made it easy to constantly stay in touch within group chat mode in order to make sure everyone was on track and completing the assignment on time. The google doc was our way of ensuring that all of the content we needed to provide was all together. Thankfully so many of the group members were very understanding and some equally as busy as I was. It was great collaborating through text and google docs in order to ensure that we all were able to complete the assignment without needing to talk at the exact same time every day. I could add part after work and then another member could add something first thing in the morning. It was extremely valuable having these other members and teachers include their input because it made me more well versed in the material. Every person put in a great amount of effort and I was able to collaborate well because they were always readily available.

One thing I took away from the group project was how many teachers and professionals are not well versed in information about the LGBTQI community. I know for a fact that I did not know enough information and it proved that I was not the only one. I hope that with my knowledge that my group has shared with me and I have learned from these past four weeks that I can implement a community of inclusion within my classroom and within my life.

-Catherine Niebuhr

Social Justice Through Technology

Social justice is something we preach to our students on a daily basis through anti-bullying and other tactics. However, with the increased use of technology and social media it is important for us as teachers to explain to students how to use technology appropriately in order to interact with the world in a socially just manner. Within the standards from the ISTE; students are expected to collaborate, communicate, think, design, construct, and be aware of rights and responsibilities within using technology.


Technology can help us reach our social justice goals through allowing students to interact with a more diverse population and be more aware of the world around them. Technology has given all of the world access to opinions, judgements, information, and people they would not normally be able to involve themselves with on a daily basis. One thing that students begin to learn when they are in schools that will teach them social justice skills is healthy debate. In the society we live in, where people can post their opinions and ideas everywhere, it is so important for the students to understand how to debate. This is the best way for students to exchange ideas in a socially just manner. “Teach them to handle these debates with grace, calmly stating their points rather than attacking the person who disagrees with them. An effective social justice advocate knows how to use facts to support their points” (Lynch, 2018). The best thing about teaching students these skills is that it will work not only through technology but also within their daily lives growing into adults. It is a skill they will need in order to communicate to others in the world; whether in their future jobs or just a dinner with family and friends.


Another aspect of technology that students can use to become more aware of social justice is being responsible technology users. This means that the students learn how to navigate internet and what sites they should or should not be using. Students can learn that what they are looking at online effects not just themselves but others around them. “Students can locate and verify reliable sources of information” (Digital Literacy, 2018). Students will need to be taught how to do research and decide how to backup their opinions with reliable sources. The students need to know what websites are not appropriate or do not display the right information they need to get their point across.




IS ISTE Standards for STUDENTS. (2018). Retrieved from

Lynch, M. (2018, July 17). How to Teach Kids Social Justice in the Digital Age. Retrieved from     

Digital Literacy. (2017). Teaching Tolerance. Retrieved 12 September 2018, from