Diversity Goes to School

As students and teachers return to the classroom, educators in elementary and high schools confront a range of issues in their efforts to provide effective lessons in a safe and comfortable environment: How do you reach students who speak little or no English? How do you prevent bullying? How do you assure gender equity? How do you handle bias against Muslims as we commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks?

Educating in an era of increasing diversity makes it crucial that all teachers understand the issues and options. Diversebooks.net offers many books that present important insights and a variety of views on topics. Here we highlight a few of them:

Bilingual Shakespeare, by Alex Fellowes, $25.20, List Price: $28, Trentham Books, November 2001, ISBN 9781858562476, pp. 140.

In a book targeted for teachers of English in secondary schools, especially those whose students are learning English as a second language, the author draws from decades of his experiences teaching students about Shakespeare. He shows how teachers can draw on the universal themes of the master’s work to engage and instruct a wide variety of students. The book outlines a bilingual approach to learning and performing Shakespeare to help expand students’ knowledge of English and to engage them through active participation.

Confronting Islamophobia in Educational Practice, by Barry Van Driel, $27.90 (List Price: $31, Trentham Books, December 2004, ISBN 9781858563404, pp. 160.

Contributing writers from the United States, Europe, Australia and Israel discuss educational practice surrounding the issues of increasing hostility toward Islamic people. The writers tell how schools, teachers, and students around the world are confronting this issue. The book also offers a theoretical and historical framework for understanding the fear of Islamic people and beliefs.

The Gender-Responsive School, by Catherine Atthill and Jyotsna Jha, $21.60 (List Price: $24), Commonwealth Secretariat, July 2009, ISBN 9781849290043, pp. 272.

Based on trials with teachers in a variety of countries and from a range of cultures, this book presents activities and ideas for determining when gender issues are at work and how to combat them. Teachers will gain tools to help promote gender equity in schools and change attitudes about gender roles beyond school.

 

Generating Genius, by Tony Sewell, by $29.25, (List Price: $32.51), Trentham Books, August 2009, ISBN 9781858563688, pp. 160.

The author shares the lessons learned from a project in which black British and Jamaican young men attended summer schools at universities. Drawing on research from schools in Jamaica and Samoa, the project applied a number of strategies, including setting rigorous academic demands. (The black 12-year-olds did work usually required of those six years ahead of them.) Students also enjoyed a supportive, caring environment and stimulating athletic and cultural activities, all in the interest of bringing out their genius and teaching them to thrive in spite of racism and other barriers.

Improving Services to Black and Ethnic Minority Children and Their Families, by Mano Candappa, $14.36, (List Price: $15.95) Institute of Education, April 2004, ISBN 9780854736867. pp. 53.

A study in July 2000 indicated that local governments in the United Kingdom had not put in place sufficient services to assist ethnic minority children and their families. In response, the U.K. Department of Health/Social Services Inspectorate set up four demonstration projects to develop models to address the issues and invited the Thomas Coram Research Unit to chronicle the experiences. This book presents its case studies of the projects and conclusions to guide future policies and practice. Policymakers elsewhere might find the British examples instructive.

Racist Incidents and Bullying in Schools, by Robin Richardson and Berenice Miles, $25.20 (List Price: $28), Trentham Books, November 2008, ISBN 9781858564289, pp. 148.

This book describes projects and initiatives at national, local and institutional levels intended to address incidents of bullying stemming from bias for racial, cultural and religious reasons. It is intended for policy makers, managers and teachers in primary and secondary schools, as well as law-enforcement officials. It offers insights on how and why such incidents occur and what educators can do about them.