How to Build a More Equitable Learning Environment
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It was April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The nation was reeling, and many couldn’t help but wonder what this loss would mean for the future of race relations and civil rights in the United States. Meanwhile, in a rural, nearly all-white town in Iowa, elementary school teacher Jane Elliott made a decision. She’d talked to her students about discrimination, but now she knew it was time to make it real for them.
Although the term social–emotional learning didn’t exist in the 1960s, Jane Elliott’s work is a rich example of how to help students understand the experiences and feelings of others.
Use these tactics to build a more equitable culture in your classrooms, workplaces, homes and beyond.
1. Prioritizing Safe Learning with a Supportive Learning Environment
Create a positive, safe, and supportive environment that will allow people to thrive mentally, emotionally, socially, and academically. Learn how to help people self-identify and self-manage their emotions, develop social awareness, collaborate, and interact positively with others.
2. Teach and Practice Kindness
Learn about the biological roots of kindness, the personal and social benefits it creates, and how to help people be empathetic, honest, and trustworthy.
3. Cultivating Youth Activists and Change Agents in the World
Learn strategies for teaching young people about their relationship with their local and global communities, how they can have an active role in creating change, and projects they can use to raise awareness for a variety of topics, including human rights, environmentalism, and hunger.
Cited from Wiley's Advancement Courses
Discover these titles from Wiley authors to continue your own learning journey.
Allies and Advocates: Creating an Inclusive and Equitable Culture
By Amber Cabral
Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics and Impact
By Derald Wing Sue
Building for Everyone: Expand your Market with Design Practices from Google’s Product Inclusion Team
By Annie-Jean Baptiste
Undercurrents: Channeling Outrage to Spark Practical Activism
By Steve Davis
Follow these black thought leaders on their social channels for a daily dose of inspiration.
Tamara Moore, @ifpencilscouldtalk
Tamara is a fourth-grade teacher and LGBTQ+ advocate. Don’t miss out on her classroom activities and her favorite picture books that she reads to her students. In addition to Instagram, she curates playlists on Spotify.
Esther Odekunle, PhD @science.uncovered
Esther Is a neurobiologist an antibody engineer, who's research focuses on identifying and removing risks from antibodies to improve their developments in medication. On top of this, she uses her platform to promote the visibility of diverse professionals In STEM.
Patrick Harris, @presidentpat
A true hero in the struggle of transitioning to digital learning, Patrick teaches seventh and eighth grade in Detroit. He also owns a Good Trouble Media, a company that seeks to make equitable schooling and high-quality education an international priority.
Dr. Erin L Thomas, @ErinLThomasPhD
Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Upwork, Dr. Erin Thomas often uses her Twitter platform to share valuable DEI best practices and advice.
Alyssa Gray-Tyghter, @alyssagtyghter
Alyssa Gray-Tyghter is a middle school teacher and PhD candidate who espouses the value of social justice in her classroom. You can find her wisdom in many places, but a good place to start is listening to her podcast, Teachers Like Us.
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We hope this collection encourages you to ask questions, broaden your understanding with new perspectives, and engage with social equity. These resources provide historical and geographic context, as well as contemporary insights.
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