Hawley, Willis D.
Designing Schools and Instruction that Use Student Diversity to Enhance Learning for All Students
University of Maryland
Examines how schools and students can benefit from diversity.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Presented at Harvard Civil Rights Project's Colorlines Conference October 2004
- Paper identifies school level policies and practices that would make diverse schools and classrooms more effective than other schools. The author refers to opportunities to learn with and from people of different races and ethnicities as DLOs (Diverse Learning Opportunities). The article synthesizes and draws on existing theoretical literature and studies to demonstrate that ethnic and racial diversity in elementary and secondary schools is a valued resource and of benefit to all students.
- Actions to improve intergroup relations, hold student diversity an opportunity for learning, reduce problem behavior, and improve academic performance include:
- Articulating relevant values and goals and modeling appropriate behaviors.
- Facilitating teacher and student learning in a way that enhances inter-cultural proficiency.
- Organizing instruction that maximizes the opportunities of students of all races and ethnicities to learn with and from one another.
- Monitoring information about student achievement, student discipline, and the composition of both informal and formal learning settings, including extra curricular activities, in order to identify programs and practices that might need improvement in order to maximize the benefits of student diversity.
- While respecting and nurturing students' cultural identities, focus on shared values and creating or drawing attention to groups and activities that cut across race and ethnic "lines".
- Make efforts to improve race and ethnic relations integral to the overall mission of the school to enhance student learning.
- Address issue of intergroup conflict immediately and openly and, in general, promote discussions of potentially conflictual issues.
- Continually sensitize the school community to importance of positive intergroup interactions by drawing attention to such issues and rewarding positive practices and discouraging negative ones.
Academic Achievement, Classroom Composition, Diversity, Heterogeneous Grouping
Literature Review, Policy Analysis
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Previously published studies on Diverse Learning Opportunities (DLO) by: Aboud & Levy (2000) Braddock & Eitle (2004) Pettigrew (2004) Schofield (2004) Stephan & Stephan (2004)