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Self-Awareness: Classroom Resources

Topics: Classroom Learning | Classroom Practices

Classroom Learning

Gender Equity in the Classroom
This article discusses gender bias in schools. It highlights the ways that educators can begin to recognize and address how gender is described, discussed, and promoted in classroom settings. Considerations for reviewing curriculum and representation are provided. Educators may choose to use this resource as a tool to develop a better understanding of how bias impacts gender outcomes.

Culturally Responsive Teaching Mindsets: Examples and Non Examples
The Center for Collaborative Education developed a one-page quick reference to describe culturally responsive teaching components. Each component is defined along with an example and non-example. The content was adapted from Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings. Educators may use this tool as a means of reframing and refocusing their current delivery methods to align to culturally responsive practices.

Teaching Tolerance - Let's Talk About Race

Educators play a crucial role in helping students talk openly about the historical roots and contemporary manifestations of social inequality and discrimination. Learning how to communicate about topics like privilege, police violence, economic inequality and mass incarceration requires practice, and facilitating critical conversations with students demands courage and skill. This guide offers classroom-ready strategies that can be used to plan discussions and to facilitate these conversations with your students.

Video: CASEL Equity and SEL - What Educators Need to Know and Do
Equity in education requires a physically and emotionally safe and positive school climate for all students. Building strong social and emotional competencies, for both teachers and students, can play a key role in ensuring education equity.

Classroom Practices

Civil Discourse in the Classroom
Civil Discourse in the Classroom is a tool based on lessons tested in diverse classrooms across the United States and proven effective with a wide range of students and topics. This resource will introduce educators to basic tools for teaching civil discourse. It is not subject-specific; on the contrary, the tools of argumentation and discussion lend themselves to any subject in any classroom. Although it is primarily designed for young adolescents, the curriculum can be adapted for students of any age. Using these lessons, students will be able to turn their unsubstantiated opinions into reasoned arguments. They also will learn how to effectively challenge an opposing argument with a step-by-step process for refutation. These tools lay the groundwork for productive, reasoned and lively discussions on a variety of topics. They also will give students "training wheels" for learning how to have reasoned arguments outside the classroom.

Tip Sheet: Talking to Kids about Racial Stereotypes
This tool was developed to support adults in discussing racial stereotypes with young people. In the introduction to the tool, it indicates that "racial stereotypes abound on television, and children's programming is no exception. Stereotypes are reinforced in children's cartoons, films and TV shows. Spotting these stereotypes is often difficult for children. How can educators help children understand these images for what they are - oversimplified, generalizations?

Critical Media Project
Critical Media Project (CMP) is a free media literacy web resource for educators and students (ages 8-21) that enhances young people's critical thinking and empathy and builds on their capacities to advocate for change around questions of identity. CMP has a two-fold mission: (1) To raise critical awareness and provide the tools to decode media representations of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socio-economic class, religion, age, and disability, and develop an understanding as to how these identities intersect and (2) to encourage and offer guidance for students to tell their own stories, create their own representations, and uphold their status as active and engaged participants in society.

LGBT-inclusive Curriculum
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) research shows that LGBTQ students who attend schools with curriculum that is inclusive of LGBTQ people, history, and events experience a better school climate and improved academic outcomes. Curriculum serves as a mirror when it reflects individuals and their experiences back to themselves. At the same time, curriculum serves as a window when it introduces and provides the opportunity to understand the experiences and perspectives of those who possess different identities. An inclusive curriculum should be balanced and include diverse windows and mirrors for every student. Having LGBTQ-inclusive mirrors and windows in school curriculum can help create a more positive environment and healthy self-awareness for LGBTQ students, while raising the awareness of everyone.

Fostering Civil Discourse

This resource is a guide for classroom conversations. The ideas and tools are designed to help prepare classrooms and students to practice civil discourse, an essential skill for effective civic participation. The tool covers the following topics: (1) Start with Yourself (2) Develop a Reflective Classroom Community (3) Create a Classroom Contract (4) Provide Opportunities for Student Reflection (5) Establish a Safe Space for Sensitive Topics, and (6) Implement Effective Teaching Strategies.

Deficit thinking in schools is a social justice issue. Here's why we need to do better. (
This tool offers ways to consider how to reframe and rephrase commonly expressed statements that reflect deficit thinking. Whether it is focused on students, families, or communities, the way educators view others ultimately impacts their perceptions, expectations and actions.

Let's Talk! Discussing Race, Racism and Other Difficult Topics with Students
This tool from Teaching Tolerance allows the user to utilize this graphic organizer to think ahead about how to create emotional safety in the classroom. The suggested strategies are general; use your knowledge of yourself, your students and your classroom culture to create a specific and personalized plan.