The preliminary idea for the final project will encompass the impact of race/ethnicity on child and/or adolescent development inclusive of how race and ethnicity play a pivotal and social role in development. While race refers to the physical characteristics of an individual, ethnicity encompasses the cultural aspects (i.e. language and traditions) that formulate the identity from which an individual will view themselves and the world around them (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2010). Thus, an attempt to address the impact of race and ethnicity on the development of a child requires addressing aspects of racism, discrimination, and the absence of diversity within education as it has long since played an integral role in both the educational and psychological development of children.
Potential Environments for Dissemination
There are three potential environments which will be targeted for dissemination of the learning and insights gained from the further exploration of the fore mention and described topic: a formal letter addressed to the superintendent of the school district, a school authorized notice to parents/guardians within the school district (the option of a notice was selected as it has the ability to reach all parents including those with limitations regarding access to technology), and in the form of professional development for teachers and colleagues. All strategies are interrelated and would first be initiated through a formal discussion with building administrator (principal). Informal discussions during team meetings regarding the small number of students relative to the topic and therefore more likely subject to race and ethnicity having an impact upon their development, often present the premise of generalizations, inadvertent, and advertent biases.
Strategies for Dissemination
Consideration to better formulate racial and ethnic competency must be given to the building administrator who will need to be made privy to and approve the intended plan for dissemination prior to actual distribution. Upon approval, the formal memo as well as a notice to the parents would be drafted and presented to the district’s superintendent. Thereafter, it is likely that the superintendent will distribute an approved notice addressed to parents/guardians and disseminate amongst building administrators for further dissemination to students (to be taken home). Most significant to the dissemination of learning and insights gained will be achieved through mandated professional development for all classroom and special area teachers. The information will be shared through a Power Point presentation followed by a short video presentation on race/ethnicity and its impact upon child development. The concept of a mandated professional development will not only provide the platform for racial and ethnic competency, it will also develop a sense of accountability for all staff members.
Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and
ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
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