TEACHING DIVERSITY

News

How do you teach teachers to teach diversity in the classroom?
That’s the question explored and answered by M. Gail Hickey,
professor of educational studies at Indiana University–Purdue
University Fort Wayne (IPFW), and Brian K. Lanahan, assistant professor
of social studies education at the College of Charleston, in their
latest book, ‘Even the Janitor is White’: Exploring Multicultural
Education in Small Colleges and Universities, published this summer by
Peter Lang Publishing. This is Hickey’s 24th book, and is intended for
use in teacher education courses dealing with diversity in K–12
schools. Twenty-two of her books are in the Scott Foresman K–6 Social
Studies Series with accompanying teachers’ guides.

In describing the reasons for putting this book together, Hickey said,
“The National Center for Educational Statistics says more than 42
percent of U.S. school-aged children are minorities; more than 20
percent speak a language other than English; many K–12 students’
families struggle financially, and a larger percentage than ever before
claim non-Protestant religious affiliation. On the other hand, more than
75 percent of U.S. K–12 teachers are white, with the majority being
female, middle class, and Protestant. White Judeo-Christian middle class
teachers' worldviews are likely to be very different from the worldviews
held by a majority of their students. Conflicts are likely to occur
between mainstream U.S. school culture and the cultural frameworks
honored in many students' homes.”

Hickey’s book presents 13 university-tested examples for teaching
teachers about cultural diversity. She regularly explores cultural
diversity in her classes and in her research and said the title refers
to some educators' resistance to discussing diversity issues. “One
teacher said there was no need to discuss diversity because there was no
diversity at their school.