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Diversity Action Plan Paper

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Diversity Action Plan Paper
My Current Understanding of Diversity
My current understanding of diversity in the school setting has been augmented by many
experiences. Most notably, the voices of students in my classroom, the school hallway, or
featured on a panel of speakers represent diversitynot the data. Percentages and statistics do
not have voices or tell personal stories. Data may indicate the composition of differences in a
school or district. However, my developing mental model of diversity is defined by
individuality. Diversity is about all of usbut it is really about one person at a time.
In terms of my beliefs about integrating and reflecting cultural differences in the school
communityI often think of the “window/mirror” analogy (Marzano, 2003). I believe that
students should be able to look through a ‘window’ and have new cultural experiences while
seeing a reflection of themselves ‘mirrored’ in the school environment. While there has been
marked improvement in cultural tolerance in schoolswe need to move beyond sufferance. We
must integrate and affirm cultural identities, and associations. Cultural identity is no less an in-
road to classroom engagement than a student’s personal interests are (Moule, 2009). We must
remember that teachers carry most of the responsibility when it comes to the daily messages that
define cultural acceptance in school.
My experiences with students whose culture is divergent from my own have increasingly
varied in terms of race/ethnicityless so in terms of achievement. Most of my student contact
has included those identified for special education services. I have little experience with students
enrolled in only general education courses or differentiated classes for the high ability learner.
My class rosters also reflect fewer femalesa fact representative of the verified student

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population in general. Most of my high school students qualify for free/reduced lunch and many
have experienced homelessness. My needed areas of additional information about diverse
constituencies cannot be fulfilled with readings alone. An enriched personal framework for
diversity is best provided by experiences. Planned goals and activities for growth are described
in my action plan.
“White Privilege” (McIntosh, 1988) is a diversity paradigm that I do not know well. I
know it but I do not know it well because, according to researcher Peggy McIntosh (1988),
whites are taught not to recognize it. Like many others of European descent, my ‘White
Privilege’ was formed early and included hidden assumptions. Steps to become more
accountable have included education, honest reflection, better listening, and respectful dialogue.
Doane College speakers, including Jeff Johnston (Avenue Scholars) and Lisa Utterback
(Principal-Miller Park Elementary, Omaha Public Schools), helped expand my understanding of
the “Achievement Gap” in education as an “Opportunity Gap” predicted by family income, the
indicators of poverty, and fewer learning experiences for children of low-income.
My Home School Description
My home school is Lincoln Northeast High School (Lincoln, Nebraska)Home of the
Rockets! The following profile information presents a demographic and qualitative portrait of a
neighborhood high school founded in 1941 that has known a rich, multi-generational history.
LNE is truly linked to its surrounding community. LNE is often associated with the Bethany and
Havelock neighborhoods, working-class families, and has become increasingly diverse.
According to the Nebraska Department of Education’s most recent published report (2010-2011)

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Diversity Action Plan Paper My Current Understanding of Diversity My current understanding of diversity in the school setting has been augmented by many experiences. Most notably, the voices of students in my classroom, the school hallway, or featured on a panel of speakers represent diversity—not the data. Percentages and statistics do not have voices or tell personal stories. Data may indicate the composition of differences in a school or district. However, my developing mental model of diversity is defined by individuality. Diversity is about all of us—but it is really about one person at a time. In terms of my beliefs about integrating and reflecting cultural differences in the school community—I often think of the “window/mirror” analogy (Marzano, 2003). I believe that students should be able to look through a ‘window’ and have new cultural experiences while seeing a reflection of themselves ‘mirrored’ in the school environment. While there has been marked improvement in cultural tolerance in schools—we need to move beyond sufferance. We must integrate and affirm cultural identities, and associations. Cultural identity is no less an inroad to classroom engagement than a student’s personal interests are (Moule, 2009). We must remember that teachers carry most of the responsibility when it comes to the daily messages that define cultural acceptance in school. My experiences with students whose culture is divergent from my own have increasingly varied ...
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