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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Preparing for Diversity: Resources for Teachers

How can teachers effectively engage with students from diverse backgrounds? It's a question many teachers face at the beginning of the school year, and of course there isn't one prescribed solution.

If you're looking for answers, start first with How Teachers Can Prepare to Work with Culturally Diverse Students and Their Families, an article from the Family Research Project at Harvard University. Highlighting research from leading diversity education leaders, the article touches on tips and strategies teachers can use in the classroom. Of all the responses, researchers agree that communication plays an integral role, but there’s also insight into preparation, connecting with students and building relationships with families.

It's just one of many great resources online that will help educators prepare for diverse classrooms. Here's a few others that will get you started in welcoming students, as well as approaching the subjects of race, gender equality and bullying in class.

  • Resources for Leveraging Diversity in the Classroom: The University of California at Berkeley’s Multicultural Education Program offers a valuable list of resources for teachers. There’s plenty of research and articles from program staff, as well as links to outside resources on e-tools page.
  • Resources for Multicultural Classrooms from Teaching Tolerance: A project of The Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance’s classroom resource page offers free lesson plans teaching race and ethnicity, gender equality and sexual orientation. The plans offer printables, links to open resources and other useful lesson tools.
  • Awareness Activities from EdChange.org: The EdChange-produced Multicultural Pavilion hosts many resources for educators, but their awareness activity list provides educators with a host of ideas and activities to introduce diversity into class discussions. There are primers on strategy and preparation, as well as useful resources for breaking the ice and encouraging students to explore their own unique histories and backgrounds.
  • Lesson Plans and Resources for Multiculturalism and Diversity: Scholastic produced this resource for teachers, and along with some engaging lesson plans, there’s also a list of professional articles and resources sure to help educators in diverse schools.
  • Teacher Resources for Multicultural Schools from RaceBridges for Schools: Inclusion, creating welcoming environments and diversity lesson plans featured here. Inclusion is the key, though, as RaceBridges’ mission to unite people from diverse backgrounds.
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