My biggest take away from this course occurred
during the first few weeks of the semester around personal
experiences. The Johnson text, Privilege,
Power and Difference forced me to think in a way about myself and my teaching
I have not previously done. It opened up my eyes to a completely different
point of view which allowed me to consider other positions besides that of a
white, middle-class female. Hearing others’ experiences in the class, also got me
reflecting more on my life and how fortunate I am. They often shared things that made me think
differently about past experiences. These discussions have allowed me to
embrace diversity and meet the needs of students.
The photo essay we had to complete also allowed me
to see my district in a different light. Learning about policy and social
justice standards this semester allowed me to see that my district is not strong
in this area. After speaking with my curriculum director, I know this will be
an area of focus for the upcoming school year. My participation in the class
will allow me to bring more to the discussion moving forward on how we can be a
more culturally responsive district and address these standards.
Teaching elementary school, I know the importance
of starting these conversations around differences, stereotypes, and culture at
a young age. I will continue to develop
a culture that is respectful and open to discussions in my classroom so we can meet the needs of all students.
I appreciate all the hard work of everyone in the class and their ability to be open and forthcoming about diversity. Thank you to all for a great semester.
Attached you will find my updated social justice lesson plan.
It has been a pleasure working with you all this semester.
Here is my social justice photo essay
Stereotype threat is
when a person finds him/herself in a predicament of identity. When in this
situation, the performance could confirm a bad view of the group.
According to Steele, “This term captured the idea of a situational
predicament as a contingency of their group identity, a real threat of judgment
or treatment in the person’s environment that went beyond any limitations
within.” (2010, p. 59-60).
Steele came upon this
when trying to understand why some groups of people under-performed on
tests. Stereotype threat created the reality that not all classrooms or
experiences are the same for everybody. Different people have different ways of
interpreting experience and come with different goals and preoccupations. These
impact the outcome of a test because even when we are unaware of the stereotype
threat it can significantly affect our intellectual functioning. (Steele, 2010,
p.61). The bottom line is our social identities shape who we are, what we do,
and how well we do it. (Steele, 2010, p. 62).
Steele referenced several individuals who conducted research to see how we could combat stereotype threat in the classroom. They looked at such things as studying in groups, the feedback people received, putting a value on diversity, and growth mindset. Making simple conscious changes in the classroom can have a lasting impact on minority students. Carol Dweck’s work with growth mindset has been a focus in my classroom for the last couple of years. It’s great to realize the work we do around a growth mindset will help with the achievement gaps for minority students.
Link to infographic:
“Empirically Validated Strategies to
Reduce Stereotype Threat”. https://ed.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/interventionshandout.pdf
“Reducing Stereotype Threat.” https://teachingcenter.wustl.edu/resources/inclusive-teaching-learning/reducing-stereotype-threat/
Steele, Claude. (2010). Whistling Vivaldi: and other clues to how stereotypes affect us. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.