Sources & Resources on Multicultural Education

This is my virtual file cabinet of articles, videos and other resources I have found useful in my teaching. I hope you find this site helpful.

Training & Consultation Reviews

Bill Howe has been an educator for 35 years in the U.S. and Canada and has given over 400 workshops, lectures and keynotes on diversity, multicultural education and organizational development. He is a regular presenter at state and national conferences, has appeared on both radio and television on diversity issues. Over the past fifteen years, he has trained over 14,000 educators in multicultural education.

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Why this Website?

Teaching may not be the oldest profession, but probably the most noble.

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Icy Smith Half Spoon of Rice Three Years and Eight Months



Congratulations to Icy Smith of East West Discovery Press for being chosen this year as the winner of the MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S PUBLICATION AWARD (2014) from the National Association for Multicultural Education
Ms. Smith was recognized for two remarkable publications “Three Years and Eight Months” and “Half Spoon of Rice.” 

The award presentation will take place during the 24th Annual International NAME Conference in Tucson, Arizona from November 5–9, 2014.  On Saturday, November 8th, the award will be presented at the Award’s Banquet starting at 6:30 pm.  

For more information please go to

East West Discovery Press will be exhibiting at the NAME Conference.



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30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

One day, in front 36 riotous sophomores, I clutched my chest and dropped to my knees like Sergeant Elias at the end of Platoon. Instantly, dead silence and open mouths replaced classroom Armageddon. Standing up like nothing had happened, I said, “Thanks for your attention — let’s talk about love poems.”

I never used that stunt again. After all, should a real emergency occur, it would be better if students call 911 rather than post my motionless body on YouTube. I’ve thought this through.

Most teachers use silencing methods, such as flicking the lights, ringing a call bell (see Teacher Tipster’s charming video on the subject), raising two fingers, saying “Attention, class,” or using Harry Wong’s Give Me 5 — a command for students to:

  1. Focus their eyes on the speaker
  2. Be quiet
  3. Be still
  4. Empty their hands
  5. Listen.

There is also the “three fingers” version, which stands for stop, look, and listen. Fortunately, none of these involve medical hoaxes.

Lesser known techniques are described below and categorized by grade bands:   read more

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White Privilege Explained In 3 Easy (ish) Steps

White Privilege Explained In 3 Easy (ish) Steps



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Though people dumped on Bill O’Reilly for not understanding white privilege, the truth is most white people don’t understand it. I know I didn’t — until it was thoroughly explained to me in a full semester graduate school course. Here’s a short, info-packed explanation.

1) Examine The Word Privilege

common misperception: privilege = rich

actual meaning in this context: material, psychological, and convenience advantages

Refocus the conversation by examining a few other ‘privileged’ American social statuses, such as…

Able-bodied privilege. Able-bodied people have the privilege of:

  • getting around pretty easily by walking, driving, or taking public transportation
  • not always having to call ahead to find out if the location has ramps and/or elevators
  • not having to worry about being pitied, not hired, not invited because of their body

Sexual-orientation privilege. Straight people have the privilege of:

  • being open about who they love, date, or marry with out fear of harassment
  • marrying who they love
  • sharing tax breaks, health insurance, and other job benefits as a family
  • not worrying about being ridiculed, not hired, not invited because of who they love

Class privilege. Middle and upper-middle class people have the privilege of:

  • living in a neighborhood with access to adequate public education and other resources
  • leveraging income and assets to produce more income and assets
  • participating in clubs and activities that build social networks that increase access to goods, services, and more social networks

2) Examine The Word White

common misperception: white is a natural, biological term

actual meaning in this context: a legal term created in 1681 to describe a group of people from assorted European countries

Provide a quick education on the term’s history.

  • White is a legal term first inserted into Maryland Law in 1681 and still recognized today.
  • The term white was invented in the years after the 1676 Bacon’s Rebellion as wealthy plantation owners feared impending demands for rights from the racially mixed and politically united masses.
  • In an effort to retain control, the colonial elite first attempted the term Christian (whoops, people can convert) and sufficiently British-like(whoops, a little vague) before settling on the term white.
  • Over the years, decades, and centuries the construction of racial categories and inherent human value came to feel like a natural order.
  • Over the years, decades, and centuries white achievement came to be understood as evidence of superior morals, intelligence, and work ethic as opposed to white-favored laws, policies, and practices.
  • Since the term white became attached to rights and resources, every group new to America has fought to be white. The winners? Irish, Italian, Jewish, Russian, German, and other ‘white ethnics’ who now fall into the racial assignment: white. Who were the deciders? The Christian, British-like, white folks already in power.

To learn more about the legal history of the term white, read Birth of a White Nation, by Jacqueline Battalora

To learn more about the conceptual ideas about whiteness, read The History of White People, by Dr. Nell Irwin Painter

3) Now …. Examine White Privilege

common misperception: white privilege is limited to slavery and Jim Crow Laws

how it actually works: white privilege is the ongoing pattern of material, psychological, and convenience advantages conferred to individuals able to be perceived, both legally and practically, as white

In America, white people are more likely to:

  • have had parents and/or grandparents who were able to live in white-designated towns and neighborhoods that provided access to social networks and adequate public education later used for gainful employment
  • have lived and continue to live in white-dominated towns and neighborhoods that provide access to social networks and adequate public education later used for gainful employment
  • have had parents and/or grandparents whose retirements were funded by the social security program, a program that advantaged white people by excluding domestic and agricultural workers, disproportionately people of color
  • be free of financially supporting their family elders
  • have had parents and/or grandparents who received mid 20th century GI Bill benefits – low-interest mortgages and free Higher Ed tuition. (96% of black GIs were unable to access the bill’s benefits)
  • have ancestors who came to America and, despite initial discrimination, were ultimately able to become labeled white
  • have a sense that government institutions and agencies provide fair and equal treatment and will protect their rights and safety
  • be enjoying the compounded material, psycological, and convenience advantages of all of the above
  • be able to get through each day without being followed or questioned or worse by security or police
  • be able to live, work, and study in communities where their race is the race of the people in power
  • be able to study the history of their racial group in schools throughout the school year
  • be perceived by their teachers (majority white) as capable of high academic achievement and good behavior
  • be able to watch films and TV shows that depict members of their racial group in a positive light
  • be believed
  • be hired
  • be promoted
  • suffer fewer stress diseases
  • live longer
  • believe that achievement is based mostly on individual merit

I have stumbled and struggled to understand white privilege. You can read all about my cringeworthy journey in Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race.

OMG – I Get It! Now What?

Great! You get it. That’s huge. There’s lots to learn once the paradigm shift occurs. Unfortunately, there’s nothing white people can do to get rid of their privilege until America’s institutions use their power to dismantle our old inequitable systems and structures. But hey, people run those, right? So, educate yourself, learn to talk about it – which can be shockingly tongue-tying at first — then, use your accumulating wisdom and skill to engage other white people who may also appreciate some clarity on the issue.

Take The Challenge

If you’re really fired up, take the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge!



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‘Dear White Academics …’



“Wow, you’re so articulate.”

“Are you the cleaning lady?”

“Do you have a Ph.D.?”

“James? What’s your real Asian name?”

You’ve heard (or heard of) statements like these. Students and scholars call them “microaggressions”—casual, everyday comments and questions that might not rise to the level of a verbal altercation or a physical beatdown, but are rooted in stereotyping and racially-biased assumptions nevertheless.

Some microaggressions are obvious. But it can take a well-tuned ear to perceive the subtleties and nuances in others. The people delivering coded comments might actually intend them as compliments, not realizing that they are holding on to stereotypes that are invisible to them.

Added over time, these slights and jabs—at scholars of color’s appearance, intelligence, scholarly work, and their mere presence on campus—can take an emotional and physical toll. Some underrepresented scholars have told me they’re exhausted from being battle-rammed in interactions with hiring committees, with students in the classroom, and in department meetings with fellow faculty members.

The greatest microaggression, some say, is that they feel unable to express their displeasure. That’s because they don’t want to be perceived as “angry” people of color who constantly play “the race card.” A few others say they’ve learned not to get angry or paranoid: Microaggressions, they say, reflect the flaws of the people dishing them out. Better to invest their time and energy on working on things they can change.

These issues are explored in a new film called Dear White People, out in wide release today, which takes a satirical look at how four black students at a fictitious Ivy League college navigate stereotypes and racial slights. The film comes with a companion book, Dear White People: A Guide to Inter-Racial Harmony in ‘Post-Racial’ America—a tongue-in-cheek guide designed to help white people learn what is and isn’t appropriate to say or do when interacting with black peers. For example: Don’t touch a black person’s hair without permission. Don’t dress up in blackface for a Halloween party. Don’t date a black person just to satisfy a racial fetish. Things like that.

Inspired by the film and the book, I was curious about what other microaggressions real graduate students and professors from different ethnic and racial backgrounds experience. So I reached out to a few dozen folks who were eager to share examples of comments they’ve heard in academic settings.

Here they are. Consider this our own manual to academic microaggressions—a half-funny, half-helpful guide to how some comments might unintentionally come across. And remember: These came from the scholars themselves, so don’t kill the messenger.

The Microaggression Translation Chart for Academics

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Conversations with the Authors

NAME 2014 Conference Theme for the 24th International Conference –

 Hilton Golf & Tennis Resort  •  Tucson AZ  –  Nov. 5 – 9, 2014

Dismantling Fronteras through Multicultural Education: Con Comunidad, Cariño y Coraje


This popular component of annual NAME Conferences offers opportunities to interact with some our leading scholars in these informal sessions. These sessions run during the concurrent session blocks.

This year, we are proud to include the following scholars:

Rethinking Schools editor, Wayne Au, will talk about his book, Rethinking Multicultural Education: Teaching for Racial and Cultural Justice (2nd Edition, Rethinking Schools Publication). This new and expanded edition collects the best articles dealing with race and culture in the classroom that have appeared in Rethinking Schools magazine. Moving beyond a simplistic focus on heroes and holidays, and foods and festivals, Rethinking Multicultural Education demonstrates a powerful vision of anti-racist, social justice education. Practical, rich in story, and analytically sharp, Rethinking Multicultural Education reclaims multicultural education as part of a larger struggle for justice and against racism, colonization, and cultural oppression—in schools and society. Au is also professor at University of Washington–Bothell. Conversation: FRIDAY 5:00-5:50pm


Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Michigan State University, will discuss her book, Teachers Without Borders?: The Hidden Consequences of International Teachers in U.S. Schools (Teachers College Press, 2013). This book explores the intersections of multicultural and global education, teachers’ lives in a neoliberal world, and culturally relevant pedagogy for urban youth. Teachers Without Borders? is the story of four Indian teachers who came to the United States in the face of tremendous personal and professional odds to teach in urban schools. Bringing their experiences to life, this ground-breaking empirical study examines an essential question: If international teachers face daily exploitation, a lack of personal and professional support, and a lack of pedagogical and cultural preparation, are they able to give urban students the high-quality multicultural education they need and deserve?  Conversation: SATURDAY 11:00-11:50pm


Paul Gorski’s professional and spiritual passions lie in building movements and engaging in processes for creating equitable and just organizations, schools, and communities. In addition to serving as associate professorship at Loyola University, where he helped found and run an undergraduate program in Social Justice, he is founder of www., a coalition of educators and activists providing professional development on educational equity, creating free resources for fellow educators and activists, and modeling a commitment to moving beyond celebrating the joys of diversity and toward educational equity in schools and communities.

Gorski’s new publications, Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap (Teachers College Press, 2013), equips educators with the knowledge and practical strategies they need to bolster the learning and engagement of students in poverty. In a collegial and narrative tone the author draws from decades of research to deconstruct popular myths, misconceptions, and educational practices that undercut the achievement of low-income students before carefully describing the challenges that students in poverty face and the resiliencies they and their families draw upon. Most importantly, this book provides specific, evidence-based strategies for teaching youth by creating equitable, bias-free learning environments.
Conversation: SATURDAY 10-:00-10:50am


Long-time NAME scholar, Gary Howard is a powerful and effective voice in systemic equity reform. His writings and seminars confronting the most difficult issues of race and privilege in modern education have transformed teacher mindsets and improved outcomes for diverse students in America and abroad. In this conversation Howard will introduce his new book: We Can’t Lead Where We Won’t Go: An Educator’s Guide to Equity (SAGE: Corwin publication). It features 33 teacher-tested professional development strategies designed to promote equity-centered school reform. The session will include a premier showing of school-based videos that accompany the book.

This guide is the cornerstone of a new set of professional development materials developed to address today’s educational inequities. Eschewing the punitive tone that often characterizes this dialogue in favor of a focus on the healing process, it includes:

  • Activities for educators to examine both their overt and hidden attitudes toward race, class, gender, sexual identity, and other dimensions of difference
  • Prompts for interacting with a companion set of insightful videos hosted by Howard
  • Techniques for peer observation that foster self-sustaining growth for every teacher
  • Seven Principles For Culturally Responsive Teaching that can be applied in any school
  • Over 9 hours of video footage of Gary Howard introducing and facilitating the program
    Conversation: THURSDAY 2:00-2:50pm


William A. Howe, Past-President of NAME, is the Education Consultant for Multicultural Education at the Connecticut State Department of Education. In 2006 he was named the G. Pritchy Smith Multicultural Educator of the Year at the Annual NAME Conference in Phoenix, AZ.  He is also an adjunct professor of education at the University of Connecticut, Albertus Magnus College and Quinnipiac University. He is the Connecticut State Title IX Coordinator and Chair of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.  In addition to numerous articles, he was a coauthor of the Handbook for Achieving Gender Equity through Education, 2nd Edition. He has been an educator for over 35 years in the U.S. and Canada and has made seven trips to China and one to South Africa to study multicultural education.  In 2007 he made his first trip to Israel to study the Holocaust. Conversation: FRIDAY 4:00-4:50pm

Penelope L. Lisi, Editor of Multicultural Perspectives, the official scholarly publication of NAME. is Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Central Connecticut State University. Her scholarship work focuses on leadership for social justice, leadership for teaching and learning, and leadership in international school settings. She has made more than 20 trips to Iceland to investigate educational leadership in an environment of school change.  Penny has delivered more than 45 peer-reviewed papers at conferences in the United States, England, Finland, Portugal, Hungary, Switzerland, Jamaica, and Iceland. She is an adjunct faculty in the Global Education Program through the College of New Jersey and has taught summer courses since 2005 in Palma de Mallorca. With long-time collaborator Bill Howe, they will discuss their first text together is Becoming a Multicultural Educator: Developing Awareness, Gaining Skills, and Taking Action. Conversation: FRIDAY 4:00-4:50pm


Virginia Lea is Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Stout and Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State University. She will be discussing her new publication, Constructing Critical Consciousness: Narratives that Unmask Hegemony, and Ideas for Creating Greater Equity in Education. New York: Peter Lang (2014). The book contributes insights into the dynamic socio-economic, political, and cultural mechanisms that make up the processes we call hegemony in the modern neo-liberal state, especially as these processes impact K-12 and higher education. Hegemonic narratives and processes, like race and whiteness, persuade us to agree to certain dominant ideas, values and beliefs that have the consequence of reproducing asymmetrical power relationships. Indeed, we come to internalize these ideas, values and beliefs to such an extent that we see them as “normal,” or “common sense.” Hegemony convinces those of us who benefit from dominant institutional and cultural arrangements and those of us who are oppressed by them that these arrangements are “natural.” In fact, although many people are actively engaged in social justice work, as a result of hegemony, some, who are disadvantaged by the status quo, are active in defending it. The book exposes some of the challenges, barriers, and struggles encountered in challenging hegemony. It shares research studies and reflective narratives, analyzed through a critical multicultural lens, that unmask the ways in which hegemonic processes operate often under the guise of progressive language. It also offers ideas for interrupting the tenacity of hegemonic processes in teacher and K-12 education. Conversation: THURSDAY 3:00-3:50pm


Venus Evans Winter’s Re(Teaching Trayvon): Education for Racial Justice and Human Freedom is an edited text that compiles critical activist scholars who push us beyond the murderous context of anti-Black violence towards critical educational solutions (published October 2014). In this Conversation, the editor (Dr. Evans-Winters from Illinois State University, and one author (NAME Regional Director, Chris Knaus), will discuss the larger media implications rooted in racism and global violence, as well as the role of schools in perpetuating and justifying the killing of our youth. They center a critical race informed approach to school transformation as a solution to state-sanctioned violence, and remind audiences that the onslaught against Black bodies will not stop until we dramatically transform schools and societal structures. This cannot happen through academia or scholarship alone. Conversation: SATURDAY 2:00-2:50pm


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The National Teachers Hall of Fame

The mission of The National Teachers Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor exceptional career teachers, encourage excellence in teaching, and preserve the rich heritage of the teaching profession in the United States.

The vision of The National Teachers Hall of Fame is to be a prominent national organization that enhances the public’s awareness of the vital role of education in society by working collaboratively with national education organizations and building linkages with other national teacher recognition programs. The Hall of Fame will recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of exceptional career teachers, preserve their careers in museum and virtual formats, and utilize their skills and experiences to elevate teacher quality and student learning through integrated programming.

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The Whiteness Project

POV Interactive Shorts are a new digital series allowing audiences to engage with documentaries on a deeper level using new technologies and new paradigms in storytelling. Find out more »

Whiteness Project: Inside the White Caucasian Box is the first installment of a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their ethnicity. Director and Producer Whitney Dow discusses the making of this collection of 24 interviews filmed in Buffalo, NY in July 2014.


view at ……

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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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Douchebag: The White Racial Slur We’ve All Been Waiting For




by Michael Mark Cohen

“The white folks had sure brought their white to work with them that morning.”Chester Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go.

On Shouting White Racial Slurs in Public

I am a white, middle class male professor at a big, public university, and every year I get up in front of a hundred and fifty to two hundred undergraduates in a class on the history of race in America and I ask them to shout white racial slurs at me.

The results are usually disappointing.














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