Standard 6 Essay
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  • 1. DIVERSITY I. Defining Diversity Diversity is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as: “the condition of being diverse; especially in the inclusion of ‘diverse’ people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization…an instance of being diverse.” (2009) This work will examine the principles and approaches of diversity learned to assist with working on future issues and similar characteristics and will relate the information required for understanding diversity II. School Leaders and Diversity The school leader understands the critical nature of diversity and equitable treatment in a democratic society. (Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards, 2009) A school administrator is an educational leader who promotes the success of all students by collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources. (Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards, 2009) Diversity in the school community is beneficial in creating a learning environment that is safe and supportive and that prepares students to become members of society. Diversity means that all individuals receive fair treatment and that they are allotted respect and dignity.
  • 2. III. Characteristics of Diversity Diversity is characterized by consideration that is given to the learning experience for all individuals and is an element that enriches the learning experience and the school. School leaders know that diversity is to be valued and shows this through demonstration of “appreciation for and sensitivity to diversity in the school community. (Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards, 2009) IV. Comprehending Diversity Diversity is not so much something that is ‘created’ but instead is something that already exists that the school and its leaders provide an appropriate response to. Diversity means that all learners are provided with the same chance for success and academic achievement. Diversity exists because different individuals exist in terms of their race or ethnicity and the school leader holds a great responsibility to ensure that provisions of learning are equitable and just for all students across all races, ethnicities and regardless of the learner’s socioeconomic background or the learner’s first language. Additionally, included in the element of diversity is that of students with special needs and students with learning disabilities. The provisions for learning for these students should be sufficient to ensure equity in the learning process and in classroom participation. When school leadership values diversity and demonstrates the value of diversity the school is more likely to be characterized by diversity in the classroom.
  • 3. IV. Modeling Respect for Diversity Harris (2006) states in the work entitled: “BRAVO Principals” published by Education World that school principals “model respect for diversity when they engage their faculties in addressing issues of identity so that children have successful role models that represent all ethnic groups. Diversity can be integrated across the curriculum by encouraging faculty to seek out guest speakers who represent different ethnicities and to incorporate literature by authors of Hispanic, African American, American Indian, Middle Eastern, and other origins. Another way to ensure a curriculum that reflects the student body is to involve faculty in evaluating texts; do they include a broad range of historic events, not just those that are Eurocentric?” (Harris, 2006) According to Harris (2006) that which is often the root cause in situations involving bullying or harassment of peers at school is “a lack of appreciation for diversity.” Harris states that principals who “take a stand and advocate for all students build relationships with our quot;differentquot; students and make them feel part of the school community. At the same time they take a giant step toward establishing a school atmosphere that reduces bullying and values diversity.” (2006) The work of Sanchez, Thornton, and Usinger (2008) entitled: “Promoting Diversity in Public Education Leadership’ identifies an existing ‘gap’ between “skills and knowledge developed by principal preparation programs and the skills and knowledge needed by leaders…” Sanchez, Thornton and Usinger additionally state “In combination with specific components to preparation programs, there are general skills and knowledge that education leaders need.” (2008)
  • 4. Bibliography Diversity (2009) Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online. Available at: http://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/diversity Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards (2009) Educational Leadership. Online available at: http://www.uni.edu/coe/elcpe/edleadership/professionaldevelopment/isllc_standard s.shtml Harris, Sandra (2006) BRAVO Principals Celebrate Diversity. Education World. Online available at: http://www.education- world.com/a_admin/columnists/BRAVO/BRAVO008.shtml Sanchez, Jafeth, Thornton, Bill and Usinger, Janet (2008) Promoting Diversity in Public Education Leadership. Connexionational Council of Professors of Educational Administration on Dec 4, 2008 12:03 pm US/Central.