Category Archives: Teaching Strategies

Multicultural education expert joins ASU’s ‘Inside the Academy’

Multicultural education expert joins ASU’s ‘Inside the Academy’

Posted: November 26, 2014
portrait of James A. Banks

James A. Banks

Recognized globally as the “father of multicultural education,” James A. Banks is the latest esteemed scholar to be interviewed for Arizona State University’s “Inside the Academy.”

The free, open-source online archive of conversations with America’s “best of the best” education luminaries was created by Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, associate professor in ASU’sMary Lou Fulton Teachers College. The Banks video interview delves deep into the influential educator’s career-long quest for social justice in K-12 classrooms, first in the U.S. and now worldwide.

Growing up in segregated rural Arkansas, Banks explained that he comes from “a long pedigree of farmers and Southerners” and even worked picking cotton as a child. One of his most poignant memories was as a first grader walking five miles to school, with other African-American schoolmates joining him along the way.

“I remember that the white kids would pass us riding in school buses that splattered mud on us,” Banks recalled.

Later on in high school, Banks said he started seeing fellow students who were “as bright as I (was) or brighter” falling by the wayside. It triggered a recurring dream for him, in which he created a school in the South where African-American students could thrive.

“I developed a real strong commitment to make it possible for kids who were black and poor to be successful,” he said.

Today, Banks serves as the Kerry and Linda Killinger Professor of Diversity Studies and director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington in Seattle. A past president of the American Educational Research Association, Banks is perhaps best known for co-editing the groundbreaking, “Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education,” with his wife and colleague, Cherry A. McGee Banks. This seminal work is one of a total of 100 journal articles, 60 book chapters and 20 books he has authored or co-edited.

It was Banks’ doctoral dissertation – an extensive content analysis of how African-Americans were portrayed in the nation’s K-12 textbooks – that launched his scholarly quest to study multicultural issues. He said his thesis found the textbooks generally restricted mention of African-Americans to slavery, depicting all slaves as “happy,” and three famous figures – Booker T. Washington, educator; George Washington Carver, scientist; and Marian Anderson, contralto singer.

Being at the forefront of multicultural research, Banks set a career trajectory that opened space for a new generation of scholars. It also led him to develop the widely recognized five dimensions of multicultural education, including content integration, knowledge construction, equity pedagogy, prejudice reduction and empowering school culture. This conceptual framework is intended to help teachers of all disciplines understand that “multicultural” needs to span all aspects of K-12 education, not simply content.

Banks said his determination to work for social justice in education has been a powerful motivator for him personally and professionally. He added that his efforts also continue to expand to encompass additional minority and ethnic groups in the United States and around the world.

“I always tell my graduate students to study something they have a passion about,” he said. “That is what keeps you going.”

Written by Judy Crawford

Media contact:

Lisa Lucas,
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College


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Intensive Institutes – NAME 24th International ANNUAL Conference in Tucson AZ – Nov. 5 – 9, 2014

NAME 24th International ANNUAL Conference in Tucson AZ – Nov. 5 – 9, 2014

NAME’s annual Intensive Institutes offer extended focus on particularly critical issues and opportunities to work with noted NAME activists. The institutes are scheduled so that participants do NOT miss the general sessions. Additional fees and pre-registration are required.
Institutes can be “added-on” to existing registration through the on-line registration process. Space is limited.  go to

Fees for institutes:
•  NAME the Change Sessions: $25 for members/ $49 for non-members
•  Afternoon Institutes: $49 for members/ $69 for non-members


Weds, Nov. 5 – 2pm to 5pm
W1. Developing a Multicultural Education Course – Higher Education

This new interactive Intensive Institute is designed specifically for faculty who teach or wish to teach courses in multicultural education. The presenter has taught multicultural education for almost twenty years in workshop settings, traditional classroom settings, blended courses, and online courses. Join in discussions about resistant students, mono-cultural and mono-lingual students, balancing theory and practice, the struggles of online teaching and more. Content includes review of sample course syllabi, use of simulations, video, assignments and assessment.
Presenter:  William A. Howe, Past-President of NAME, CT Department of Education and University of Connecticut, Albertus Magnus College and Quinnipiac University.
Fee: $49 for members/ $69 for non-members



Sat Nov 8 Afternoon – 2 – 4:50pm
S12. Developing a Multicultural Curriculum– PK-12 and Community Settings

Since 1995, more than 4,000 people have taken this nationally recognized program to learn how to create a multicultural curriculum.  Content will cover fundamental theory, definitions, goals, objectives and models.  Participants will learn a method for creating lesson plans that are multicultural.  Learning outcomes include how to prepare all students for a diverse workforce and a global economy; and how to increase student achievement through culturally responsive teaching.
Presenter:  William A. Howe, Past-President of NAME, CT Department of Education; University of Connecticut, Albertus Magnus College and Quinnipiac University

Fee: $49 for members/ $69 for non-members



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Jane Elliott on the Oprah Winfrey Show (1992), Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Exercise

Published on Apr 15, 2014

This Excerpt from 1992 episode with teacher Jane Elliott’s showed “The Oprah Winfrey Show” at its best. The Iowa schoolteacher speaks after applied her famous blue-eyes-vs.-brown-eyes experiment to the show’s studio audience, separating the people on the basis of eye pigment and giving one group preferential treatment over the other; by the time the show started, the resentment fostered by this brief period of inequality spilled over into visible, simmering hostility. As a statement about the roots of racism, Elliott’s exercise was powerful stuff — the fact that it was initially designed to impart the lesson for grade-school children didn’t dim its impact on the show’s adult viewers.

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Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion

Published on May 3, 2013

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids.” Her response: “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.'” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.



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New Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on Resource Equity

From: U.S. Department of Education
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2014 9:56 AM
Subject: New Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on Resource Equity

Dear Colleague:

Today, the U.S. Department of Education, through its Office for Civil Rights (OCR), released guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter to ensure that students have equal access to educational resources. The guidance provides detailed and concrete information to educators on the standards established by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The guidance is one part of President Obama’s larger equity agenda and takes into account the ongoing efforts of states, school districts, and schools to improve equity. All students—regardless of race, color, national origin, or zip code—deserve a high-quality education that includes resources such as academic and extracurricular programs, strong teaching, technology and instructional materials, and safe school facilities.

The guidance is directed to all federal fund recipients that oversee or operate elementary and secondary education programs, including state and local superintendents, school board members, principals, and other education officials. It will help educators, parents, students, and advocates understand how OCR addresses resource equity in our nation’s schools. Today’s guidance builds upon the resource equity guidance issued by the Department in 2001.

  • To read the new Dear Colleague Letter and related materials (including a Resource Equity Fact Sheet, today’s press release, and a list of available technical assistance), please click here.
  • La página de datos sobre recursos de equidad y el comunicado de prensa están disponibles en español aqui.

Please share this information widely with your members, affiliates, and networks.

Thank you,

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education


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Multicultural Curriculum Transformation and Research Institute

Texas State Univ at SAn Marcos MC Institute
For the third year in a row now I have been honored to be the closing keynote speaker at the Annual Multicultural Curriculum Transformation and Research Institute held at Texas State University at San Marcos. The institute highlights multicultural curriculum transformation theory and practice. It focuses on best practices for broadening and enriching the curriculum by re-envisioning goals, content, teaching strategies, assessment, and classroom interactions with a multicultural lens. Representative faculty from all of the colleges have now attended and have given the experience high marks. This one-week session has had high success in engaging faculty from all disciplines. The institute was created by Dr. Sandra Mayo and is now headed by Dr. Audwin Anderson.

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The Anti-Defamation League publishes incredibly useful and professional educational materials. This unit on Microagressions is particularly helpful.


“Microaggression” is a term that was coined in the 1970s and more recently used by Derald Wing Sue, a
Columbia University professor, to describe the “brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral or
environmental indignities—whether intentional or unintentional—which communicate hostile,
derogatory, or negative slights and insults to people from marginalized groups.” This lesson provides an
opportunity for students to explore what microaggressions are, how they have experienced them and what
can be done to counteract them.

Grade Level: grades 9–12
Common Core Anchor Standards: Reading, Writing, Language
Learning Objectives:
? Students will learn what microaggressions are and how they occur in our everyday lives
? Students will reflect on ways they have experienced microaggressions in their lives
? Students will explore ways to counteract microaggressions on an individual and society level
? Students will articulate (in writing) whether they believe it is useful or not to define and identify

Material: Microaggressions Definition; Microaggressions in Everyday Life video at (2010, 4½ mins. Derald Wing Sue); Visualizing Microaggressions
Photos 1–6; Underlying Assumptions of Microaggressions Chart; “Acts of Aggression” (StarTribune, December
10, 2007,; Persuasive Essay Organizer; projector/screen


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*** New Journal *** Journal of Family Diversity in Education


I am pleased and honored to have been asked to join the Editorial Board of the new Journal of Family Diversity in Education. Congratulations to the editors Monica Miller Marsh (Kent State University) and Tammy Turner-Vorbeck, (Purdue University).



The Journal of Family Diversity in Education is the journal of the Family Diversity Education Council and is hosted at Kent State University. In order to enact the mission of the FDEC to generate, share, and disseminate knowledge related to issues of family diversity and equity in family-school-community relationships, this journal represents a formal, rigorous exchange of the new ideas, pedagogy, and curriculum of this field.

The Journal of Family Diversity in Education (JFDE) is the culmination of those whose work is attempting to shine light upon and oppose limited, hegemonic conceptions of families, particularly in the domain of family-school-community partnerships.

Over the last several decades, a body of research has emerged that focuses on home-school-community relationships, yet much of that work is built upon the premise that the term “family” has a common meaning.  For scholars and practitioners who are working to analyze, critique, and redefine notions of family and the resultant implications for those partnerships, there are very few outlets for publication.

The JFDE provides a forum for researchers and professionals who are working alongside the vastly different forms of family that exist in schools today to renegotiate the very relationships within family-school-community partnerships.  This, in turn, will positively impact and transform curricula, pedagogy, and policy.

Here in the JFDE, we seek interdisciplinary scholarship that extends the dialogue around issues of family diversity and equity in family-school-community partnerships.  We view this journal as a space where the voices of educators, counselors, social workers, policymakers, parents and custodial family members, and advocates for children will be in conversation to work toward more inclusive curricula and schooling.

We are pleased to offer a fully refereed, online journal that welcomes diverse and creative theoretical approaches.  We are fortunate to have an expert journal Editorial Board invested in guiding and shaping the quality and content of the scholarship of this journal.

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