In The Classroom
Cultural Competency in the Curriculum
Cultural competency is an essential 21st-century skill and central to our efforts to facilitate diversity and inclusion. To promote cultural competency in schools, Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has developed its Anti-Bias Framework (ABF), a set of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes for educators. The framework is divided into four domains: identity, diversity, justice, and action. Archer faculty and administrators have embarked on a year-long analysis of our curriculum, noting strengths and areas of improvement across the four domains.
Discussing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Classroom
Here are a few examples of the innovative way in which our faculty incorporates questions about diversity into the Archer curriculum.
History 9: Understanding the Contemporary World
Unit: Gender and Sexuality
- How does gender inequality manifest itself in today’s society?
- How does expectations of masculinity affect men in today’s society?
- What is the history of the Gay Rights Movement?
Unit: Race as a Social Construct
- How is race a social construct?
- What does privilege look like in today’s society?
- How have groups historically been discriminated against in America?
- How have racial policies been institutionalized?
English 10: Exploring Western Identity
English 10 explores global perspectives from a variety of viewpoints. Students see how Western ideologies resonate within texts, and then flip that figurative coin to also examine the effects of Western ideologies themselves, both on members of Western cultures and on those considered ‘other,’ or ‘foreign,’ to a Western perspective. In consequence, the class explores not only how Western cultures have defined value systems over time, but also how those value constructs have affected global identities. Questions asked in this class include:
- How does our understanding of a particular time period's hierarchical structures (class, race, gender) enhance our critical evaluation?
- How does the potential reality of socially constructed identity affect our ethical beliefs?
English 11: Literature of the American Self
- What does it mean to be American?
- How do other identities (gender, socioeconomic class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, family, religion, geography, etc.) impact or intersect with a person’s identity as an American?
- What are “American values”? To what extent has the United States lived up to its ideals?
- What is the “American Dream”? What affects a person’s perception of and ability to attain the Dream? What happens when someone comes to believe s/he cannot attain it?
- What role does immigration play in the re-imagining of America or the self over time? How much should a person retain his/her ethnic or national heritage after coming to America, and how much should s/he embrace “being American”?
- How should we resolve the tension between freedom of speech and respectful discourse?
- Días de Los Muertos (Days of the Dead): The class discusses different customs and traditions around death, mourning, and celebrating one’s life in Spanish-speaking countries as compared with the customs and traditions in students’ families in the United States.
- Immigration in the United States