NCSD2015: Workshop A5

Relevance and Rigor: Teaching Tolerance’s Literacy-based Curriculum, Perspectives for a Diverse America

Perspectives for a Diverse America, a comprehensive, literacy-based K-12 curriculum, provides students the opportunity to engage deeply with meaningful texts, allowing them to read, discuss, write about, and critique ideas from four unique anti-bias perspectives: identity, diversity, justice, and action. The Perspectives anthology provides students with windows into others’ realities as well as mirrors that reflect their experiences and underscore the interconnectedness of our personal, familial, and community identities.

In this workshop, participants will tour Perspectives for a Diverse America’s multi-media, multi-genre online anthology of rigorous anti-bias texts that meet the text complexity demands of the Common Core state standards. Using a flexible web-based and interactive learning plan, teachers will learn how to assemble plans using meaningful and rigorous texts, strategies, and tasks that include options for differentiation and authentic assessment. The facilitator will demonstrate how to use Perspectives’ Anti-bias Framework to effectively match content and strategies that empower students and teachers to engage in a new kind of literacy experience–one that includes prejudice reduction and collective action. The session will highlight research and best practices that underscore the importance of culturally responsive content and meaningful literacy experiences for all students.


  • Sara WichtSenior Manager of Teaching and Learning, Teaching Tolerance



This interactive workshop started with participants sorting Teaching Tolerance’s Anti-bias Framework, a set of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes divided into four-domains—identity, diversity, justice and action. We looked at how the framework facilitates work related to both prejudice reduction and collective action and provides the first ever set of social-emotional learning standards for the classroom. The group shared ways to integrate the standards within their school community, including as part of school discipline conversations. We then looked  Dr. Jane Gangi’s research which identifies author and character identities in K-3 texts found in the Common Core’s Appendix B. Dr. Gangi’s data study reveals the lack of representation of diverse perspectives in those texts. Conversation about windows and mirrors and the importance of providing students with curricular experiences that reflect their lived experiences followed. Finally, we engaged in an activity using texts from Teaching Tolerance’s curriculum, Perspectives for a Diverse America, to apply the theory of windows and mirrors and to illustrate the diverse texts—all aligned to the Anti-bias Framework—available. Participants became very excited brainstorming ways to implement Perspectives when we ran out of time.

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