All Together Now: Thriving in a Multicultural Society
Topics: culture, equity, intercultural communication, social- and environmental justice, institutional discrimination
Disciplines: global/regional studies, character/civic education, sociology, psychology, language arts, leadership development
Career Connections: Intercultural skills are essential for all careers, but highlighted in law, diplomacy, business, health care, relief work, public policy, public service, and education.
Audience: grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, higher ed, adult ed
Level I programs introduce new ways of reframing content and instruction through a lens of diversity and equity. Participants envision and define possibilities for change as they experience approaches they can replicate in their own classes. A typical package includes:
Example: An educational institution is seeking ways to improve equity and student achievement through instruction on race, class, gender and other aspects of human diversity. In a two-day workshop, Creative Change engages teachers in hands-on activities that explore foundational issues such as biases, stereotypes, and the difference between individual prejudice and institutionalized “isms.” Educators review sample curricula and resources, and evaluate ways the approaches can be integrated into existing instruction to meet achievement goals.
Our Plan the Change programs provide 3-6 months of strategic planning to help institutions define goals, strategies, evaluation, and a timeline. The work is guided by our Instruction Change framework, a needs assessment tool that examines institutional culture, curriculum, professional development, and other factors affecting the successful integration of sustainability.
Example: After collecting data on faculty impressions and interests, Creative Change meets with the leadership team to develop a plan for integrating sustainability into the curriculum in ways that support existing initiatives.
Level III programs provide professional development, curriculum licensing and ongoing support focused on revising curriculum, courses and programs. Spread over a year or more, a typical package includes:
Example: After completing Levels I and II, the same institution works with Creative Change to map out a year-long initiative focused on integrating diversity, equity, and related topics into core units. The initiative unfolds over a calendar year in three steps: A) on-site professional development, B) instructional redesign, and C) evaluation and communication.
Workshops begin by immersing teachers in content knowledge and research-based pedagogical strategies. To model effective approaches, the sessions engage staff in hands-on activities they can replicate with their students, followed by thoughtful analysis and discussion. Approaches include:
Through these activities, educators define insertion points for integrating these issues into instruction. Staff then evaluates their existing units or courses and set goals for reshaping them. A biology teacher explores the social construct of race and the historic use of “science” (eugenics, etc.) to justify inequality. A world history teacher creates a new unit on discrimination and human rights, starting with an exploration of personal biases and then broadening to an analysis of institutional discrimination in history. The staff reviews strategies for facilitating student-led projects that promote equity in the school or community.
The PD now shifts to the on-the-ground work of redesigning the units based on the goals set. Creative Change’s approach to instructional design provides educators with a process and framework for planning units that start with students’ experiences, build an integrated knowledge base, and culminate in meaningful civic engagement. In-depth workshop materials and multimedia curriculum resources support teachers as they
As faculty continue their work in a learning community approach, Creative Change provides on-going planning support through phone, email, and in-person meetings. Support strategies include unit planning, developing assessments, and evaluation support. For example, Creative Change helps a teacher team develop specialized assessment tools to ensure the project meets achievement goals.
By the end of the year, the educators’ efforts have evaluated the impacts of its work and wants to replicate the approaches in other areas of the curriculum. To support this, Creative Change compiles pictures, reports, presentations and other documentation in order to communicate results to the district- or organizational leadership team and provide models for replication. Based on the success of the work, the collaboration with Creative Change grows to other departments or schools through a Level IV program.
Level IV programs enable schools and districts to deepen instructional change by building internal capacity to institutionalize successful approaches. Clients gain training, resources and strategic planning assistance focused on preparing an internal team to lead, evaluate, and sustain instructional change. These packages, spread over two or more years, typically include