Social Awareness Activity
Rationale: Laying the groundwork for egalitarian and bully-free schools starts by developing positive attitudes toward people who are different. What’s the secret to positive attitude development? A big part of it is making sure students have access to positive, non-stereotypical depictions of people with a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities, and family structures.
With this in mind, create a classroom activity, which focuses on teaching students to understand and respect that we are all different. Your activity should incorporate the diverse histories and cultural and familial experiences of your students for developing their understanding of biases toward individual differences. It should also address the needs of diverse learners in the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework: 1) multiple strategies for students to access information, 2) multiple strategies for students to express their understandings, and 3) multiple strategies to stimulate student interest and motivation for learning. This social awareness activity can focus on making your students aware of ableism, racism, sexism, homophobia etc.
Submit in writing:
Description of the classroom activity. Use Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework when developing the activity. At the end of the description, list the learning goals and rationales for using the activity with your 3rd grade class: What will your students learn? Why is it important for your students to learn these goals?
Discussion of the importance of knowing your students (e.g., academic and/or social strengths and weaknesses) along with diverse students’ and their family’s background (e.g., histories, experiences and representations) when planning and adjusting instruction for all students. Include specific examples that demonstrate your understanding of the roots of prejudice and the development of biased frames of reference. Support your discussion with at least two sources from research literature that relate to the history of prejudice within education.
Discussion of the importance of engaging students in activities that promote social awareness and how skills related to social awareness foster a safe classroom environment where teaching and learning can take place. Support your discussion with at least two sources from research literature that relate to research and theory regarding social awareness.
Discussion of your own frames of reference (e.g., culture, gender, language, abilities, ways of knowing) and the potential biases in these frames. How do these biases impact your opinions and behavior in your daily life?
Discussion of the relationship of privilege and power in schools, and the impact of these concepts on educators’ expectations for and relationships with students and families from diverse populations. In addition to the general discussion, mention your own frames of reference and their potential impact on your expectations for and relationships with diverse students and their families.Support your discussion with at least two sources from research literature that relate to research regarding privilege and power in schools.
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