Monday, 14 April 2014

Teaching to Diversity by Jennifer Katz

All of our staff in Inclusive Learning received a copy of this book by Jennifer Katz: Teaching to Diversity.  In order for our staff to understand what many teachers in the district have been studying, I thought it would be to our advantage to host a book discussion.  So tomorrow, staff who wish to take part will meet over a meal to discuss the first three chapters of the book.  Staff who are unable to take part are invited to add discussion to this blog.

Chapter 1: Diversity in Education
1. Katz gives a definition of diversity on page 3.  What resonates for you regarding her definition?  Is there more you would add to the definition?
2. Katz discusses emotional learning beginning on page five.  What are the components of emotional learning?
3. What does she mean by social inclusion/exclusion?
4. What does she mean by academic inclusion/ exclusion?
5. Why are these terms important for our students? classrooms?
6. Did anything else stand out for you in this chapter?

Chapter 2: Framework for Teaching to Diversity
1. What are the components of Universal Design for Learning? (see page 14-15).  Is there anything you would add or take away?
2. Katz talks about the 7 Ramps to learning?  What is meant by a Ramp?  (see page 17-19) How are these important to diversity?
3. Katz refers to Multiple Intelligences?  Do you agree these are important?  What about recent controversies stating it is unnecessary to "teach to the intelligences"?  see here and here and here
4. The 3 Block system is listed on page 25.  Comment on this system.

Chapter 3: Social and Emotional Learning
1. There are a series of lessons promoted on pages 35-45.  What do you think of these lessons?
2. "When soul enters the classroom, fear drops away" page 49.  What does this quote speak to?
3. Katz talks about "democratic classrooms."  From her description on page 53, do you think this is possible in the classroom?
4. What are the pros and cons of social emotional learning from your perspective?

Next month we will read Chapters 4, 5, and 6.

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