Monday, November 26, 2012
Teaching for Change
As I have found in many of the studies linked to intergroup contact theory in children, the classroom has proved to be a major hub for experiment and effect to take place. In terms of forming biases, classroom environments can have a major impact on the positive or negative relationships between ingroups and outgroups. Often times when I encounter or witness blatant discrimination and stereotyping, I tend to step off my high horse and reassure myself that the reason that a bigot lives by stereotype is likely because of a lack of proper education and instruction. Ultimately, I say that the fault is in upbringing and the school systems. Teaching for Change is a non-profit organization that takes this exact source for discrimination and aims to reduce prejudice by implementing social justice in the classroom. On their website, they quote Beyond Heroes and Holidays: "We believe that multicultural education should help students, parents, teachers, and administrators understand and relate to the histories, cultures and languages of people different from themselves." Through donation and fundraising, Teaching for Change is able to offer workshops and courses in teaching, projects with parents, and produce publications like Beyond Heroes and Holidays. Teaching for Change has faced many successes, including awards from the D.C. Humanities Council and the National Association for Multicultural Education.