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Diversity at IMSA: Opportunities and Challenges around Race

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  • Contested findings: studies are poorly done, intuitions differ, interpretations of findings differ Union soldiers: more diversity  less loyalty Communities: more diversity  less trust, voting, volunteerism, charity, school funding, census response rates
  • How do we achieve cognitive diversity? Does it correspond to identity diversity? How do we make it function well?
  • WHO ARE YOU… REALLY? Another important dimension of this: develop, educate, train… but 1) you’re not working w/clean slates in re racial attitudes and predispositions; 2) we have multiple selves, some better and some worse. Challenge is to develop and invoke that better self, those better selves.
  • Race, ethnicity, gender. age, weight…
  • Non-precocity as self-fulfilling prophecy Different opportunity costs of non-recognition as precocious for differently situated children Precocious children have greater long-term potential than ordinary children Brilliant mathematicians and scientists are “born,” rather than “made” The benefits of rewarding precocity far outweigh its (opportunity) costs “ Merit” is a function of what children have done

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  • 1. Diversity at IMSA: Opportunities and Challenges around Race Andrew Grant-Thomas, Deputy Director Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy February 13, 2009
  • 2. Diversity at IMSA: Five Challenges and Opportunities
    • Assembling a multicultural community
    • Educating members about the value of multicultural education
    • Realizing the benefits of cultural diversity
    • Integrating lessons and insights across diverse disciplines
    • Developing and invoking the best of our (diverse) possible selves
  • 3. Diversity at IMSA: Five Challenges and Opportunities
    • Assembling a multicultural community
    • Educating members about the value of multicultural education
    • Realizing the benefits of cultural diversity
    • Integrating lessons and insights across diverse disciplines
    • Developing and invoking the best of our (diverse) possible selves
  • 4. I. Realizing the Benefits of Cultural Diversity
  • 5. In Your Words…
      • “ Appreciation, affirmation, inclusion” – so all can contribute
      • “ Appreciation, affirmation, inclusion” – so all can enjoy
      • “ Diversity in community inspires discovery and creativity”
      • “ Diverse perspectives enrich understanding”
      • “ Build the capacity of IMSA faculty and staff to meet the needs…”
  • 6. Benefits of Racial Diversity in Education: All Students
    • More tolerant and inclusive viewpoints
    • Reduced intergroup prejudice
    • Improved intercultural competence
    • Enhanced critical thinking and integrative complexity
    • More creativity and intellectual confidence
    • Higher levels of parental involvement
    • More productive workplace relationships with other-race people
    • Less residential segregation
    • Source: Brief of 553 Social Scientists, Parents Involved
  • 7. Benefits of Racial Diversity in Education: Nonwhite Students
    • Modest positive achievement gains for black and Latino students (no negative impact on test scores of white students)
    • Higher-quality resources (funding, class size, rigorous coursework, teachers)
    • More qualified teachers and less teacher turnover
    • Higher HS graduation rates
    • Richer social and professional networks
    • Higher income for African Americans
    • Source: Brief of 553 Social Scientists, Parents Involved
  • 8. The Logic of Diversity Diversity of Identity, Beliefs, Experiences Diverse Perspectives Better Outcomes Source: Scott Page, “A Logic of Diversity II” (available online)
  • 9. Diversity or Ability: A Test
    • Group 1: Best 20 individual problem-solvers
    • Group 2: Random 20 problem-solvers
    • Have each group work collectively - when one person gets stuck, another group member tries to find a further improvement. Group stops when no one can find a better solution.
  • 10. Toolbox View ABD EZ AHK FD Alpha Group Diverse Group ADE BCD ABC BCD ACD BCD AEG IL
  • 11. Multidisciplinary View Econ Soc Math Hist Alpha Group Diverse Group Econ Econ Econ Econ Econ Econ Polisci Bio
  • 12. View Five Jim Phelps vs. MI Task Force
  • 13. DIVERSITY TRUMPS ABILITY
    • “ Most of the time” the diverse group outperforms the group of the “most talented” individuals by a substantial margin.
    • See Lu Hong and Scott Page, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2002)
  • 14. Our World Grows Increasingly Complex
  • 15. Subprime Mortgage Securitization
  • 16. II. Our Best Selves: Insights from Cognitive Science
  • 17.
      • “ No one’s path in life is predetermined”
      • “ Each person has the potential to change and to bring about change”
      • “ Liberate the genius and goodness of all children”
      • Ability to assume, and examine world from, multiple perspectives
      • “ Dimensions of being: individuals, learners, community members, citizens, leaders”
    In Your Words…
  • 18. Our Minds Work in Curious Ways The Kanizsa Triangle
  • 19. SPINNING GIRL
  • 20.
    • What colors are the following lines of text?
      • Vqeb peow ytro
      • Cvur zxyq brrm
      • Vhrn wwte zytn
      • Xoc jbni oew mne
      • Zre ytu vee mkp
  • 21.
    • What colors are the following lines of text?
      • Red
      • Blue
      • Black
      • Green
      • Brown
  • 22.
    • What colors are the following lines of text?
      • Sky
      • Grass
      • Dirt
      • Coal
      • Stop sign
  • 23.
    • What colors are the following lines of text?
      • Dirt
      • Sunshine
      • Sky
      • Grass
      • Stop sign
  • 24.
    • What colors are the following lines of text?
      • Green
      • Blue
      • Brown
      • Red
      • Black
  • 25.  
  • 26. Implicit Association Test http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/08/19/
  • 27. What Would You Do?
  • 28. Implicit Racial Bias: Behaviors
    • Split-second police decisions about when and what to shoot
    • Sentencing decisions for defendants convicted of felonies
    • Comfort level and body language in interracial interactions
    • Use of stereotypes to interpret ambiguous behavior
    • Source: Dasgupta 2008
  • 29. Racial Identity  Social Status
  • 30. Racial Identity  Social Status
  • 31. Reducing Implicit Bias
    • Increasing exposure to positive models
    • Working together in a structured environment to solve shared problems
    • Teaching explicitly egalitarian views
    • Practicing unbiased behaviors
    • Learning to differentiate other-race faces (facial recognition training)
    • Source: Dasgupta 2008
  • 32.
    • III. Assembling a
    • Multicultural Community
  • 33.
      • “ race, ethnicity, geographic origins, gender, social class, religion, age, sexual orientation… regional cultures, beliefs, ideas, and visions…”
      • “ Every student in the State of Illinois… highly talented and interested in mathematics and science, should have an opportunity to benefit from IMSA’s programs and services”
      • “ Historically underrepresented populations in math, science, and technology” (elementary and middle school, high school students, faculty and staff); gifted… talented…high ability/high potential
    In Your Words…
  • 34.  
  • 35. Black and Latino Children are Greatly Overrepresented in the Poorest School Districts
  • 36. Black and Latino Students in Chicago Public High Schools Less often Use Computers at Home (2005)
  • 37. Mapping Black Male “Opportunity” in Metro Chicago
    • Opportunity Indicators
    • crime rates
    • property values
    • homeownership rates
    • vacant properties
    • adult poverty rates
    • child poverty rates
    • population change
    • Opportunity Indicators (cont)
    • unemployment
    • median household income
    • public assistance
    • reading and math scores
    • % low income students
    • high school graduation rates
    • high school dropout rates
  • 38.  
  • 39. Young white males (0-14) are 7 times more likely than young black males to live in high-opportunity areas
  • 40. IMSA Admissions Criteria
    • Illinois students enrolled in the equivalent of a 9th-grade program
    • Demonstrated interest and talent in mathematics and science
    • Grades
    • Teacher evaluations
    • SAT Reasoning test score
    • Personal essays
    • Leadership and co-curricular activities
  • 41. SAT Math Scores Rise Incrementally with Family Income Source: http://www.fairtest.org/fairtests-reaction-release-2007-sat-scores
  • 42. Rethinking Admissions? Four Possible Considerations
    • Strivers
    • Beauty School or Military?
    • Democratic Merit
    • Expanding Opportunity for All
  • 43. IMSA Beliefs
    • Everyone is a mystery with unknown and unknowable limits.
    • All people have equal intrinsic worth.
    • Personal success is internally defined.
    • A person’s potential is most fully actualized through physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual harmony.
    • No one’s path in life is predetermined.
    • All people have choices and are responsible for their actions.
    • Human progress depends on personal growth.
    • Everyone can lead.
    • Meaning is constructed by the learner.
    • Learning never ends.
    • The ability to discern and create connections is the essence of knowing.
    • Belonging to a community requires commitment to the common good.
    • Indifference diminishes individuals and communities.
    • Trust and respect are vital for any relationship to thrive.
    • Diversity in community inspires discovery and creativity.
    • Diverse perspectives enrich understanding.
    • We are all stewards of our planet.
    • Great leaps forward require bold ideas and actions.
    • Change is natural and necessary for greatness.
  • 44. www.KirwanInstitute.org