Diversity is a buzzword and commonly discussed topic in edtech twitter chats, educational conferences, and PD sessions around the world. At this point, we should be going beyond surface-level diversity chats and should instead be having deeper conversations about how we can create diverse and inclusive educational spaces where educators are equitable in their mindsets and practices and are willing to gain the skills they need to embody and live out the idea that all kids can learn.
These conversations are important because bias can creep into our lives in too many ways—through the media, our communities, our families, our friends, and our experiences. How do we move beyond these biases? How do we identify our own biases and address them in a healthy way? It starts with you as an individual, with an understanding that you need to decenter yourself—ego aside—and reflect. There are many resources available to help us begin this very personal work, but we can begin simply by reflecting on these questions: How does my own social location (race, class, gender, religion) shape my mindset about teaching and learning, the students I am serving, and the practices I act out? What more do I need to learn about the things I don’t know related to culture, power, and difference?
Where can I learn that material? How can I be a more critically conscious educator? When we create diverse and inclusive spaces we allow others to gain so much. Learning from each other is what makes us grow. How do you look internally and unpack your own implicit or overt biases?
Patricia J. Brown (@msEdtechie) is a Technology Specialist for Ladue (MO) School District and was an Honorable Mention Winner in the 2017 Tech & Learning Leader of the Year contest.