“The problem of racism in the United States is the responsibility of us all, most especially the responsibility of those of us who are white, and absolutely the responsibility of every one of this nation’s educators” (G. Pritchy Smith, 1998).
Institutions. The values that underpin the College of Saint Benedict (CSB) and Saint John’s University (SJU) provide an ethical imperative to conscientiously and comprehensively address diversity. As liberal arts institutions, our joint 1998-2000 college catalogue reads that CSB/SJU exist to help ensure the “preservation of human culture[s], to deepen human understanding and interdependence, and to prepare students for fully integrated lives of thought, action and love.” As Benedictine institutions, we are committed to “the cultivation of the love of God, neighbor and self through the art of listening, worship and balanced, humane living.” Another central Benedictine value to which we are committed is the “recognition of individual worth.” These liberal arts and Benedictine values are not simply compatible with diversity initiatives; they demand them.
There is also a very practical imperative that propels CSB and SJU forward to act on their joint commitment to diversity. The percentage of ethnic and racial minorities in the United States is increasing. Current national demographics reveal that about 30% of the nation’s school-age population is non-white. By the year 2020, the non-white school-age population is predicted to top 50%. Moreover, the number of school-aged children living in poverty is expected to increase substantially from the current rate of 20%. Colleges, secondary and elementary schools (as well as all other major social institutions) must prepare deliberately for these anticipated changes. CSB and SJU must help ensure that their graduates are prepared to live peacefully and productively in our increasingly pluralistic world.
Education Department. Commitment to diversity is an integral part of the Education Department’s philosophy and model. The department philosophy statement identifies a number of values that inform teachers’ decisions. Two of those values are particularly germane to its perspective on diversity. One is our desire to promote humane interaction. The second is our belief that all children, without exception, are capable of experiencing academic success. The Education Department is deeply committed to these values with its diversity plan.
As its Teacher as Decision-Maker model would indicate, the Education Department’s goal is to prepare candidates who are equipped to make effective and responsible decisions on behalf of their students’ learning and development. According to James A. Banks (p. 34), “[t]he key goal of the multicultural curriculum should be to help students develop decision-making...skills.” He explains that effective and responsible decision-making requires higher level thinking and knowledge, clarification of related values, and informed action choices. A perusal of the Teacher as Decision Maker model confirms that those components form the backbone of the Education Department’s model. The model is intended as a guide to ensure that our candidates have the necessary professional preparation to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to succeed.
The diversity plan that we describe below, then, emerges naturally from our status as liberal arts institutions, from our shared Benedictine values, from the Education Department’s deeply held convictions about all learners, from the department’s decision-making model, and from the practical necessity imposed by rapidly changing demographics.
The Education Department recognizes that the challenge of addressing diversity is a rather daunting one. There are no quick fixes for tasks of this dimension and importance. The department recognizes, too, that the challenges may be compounded by its history. Our colleges are largely white institutions that attract largely white populations. Moreover, they have been steeped in a liberal arts tradition that for centuries was dominated by white-male thought. The department will, therefore, undoubtedly struggle with the challenge to re-make itself in the years ahead. And, as Peggy McIntosh suggests in the description of her diversity paradigm, our department will have to invent much of this as it moves forward. However, the department is not deterred from this challenge. The plan laid out in this document is not pure invention, as much has been borrowed from the works of James A. Banks, Peggy McIntosh, and others. The writings of these courageous ground breakers have helped us articulate our plan’s purposes and processes.
From a fairly early age, we tend to intuitively know how to “act like a teacher” (Stigler and Hiebart, 1999).” As children, we internalize the script for the teacher role. And because that role is learned early and reinforced so systematically by our experiences throughout the K-12 system, it is quite resistant to change. The script, moreover, is especially resistant to piecemeal reform efforts (Stigler and Hiebart,1999). Changing the way we schedule courses over the school day or week, for example, is unlikely, by itself, to result in meaningful or sustained change. Instead, the familiar teacher script will tend to be played out in the new time frame.
Meaningful educational change requires broad systemic change. Such change challenges not only the timing or the style of instruction, but it also questions underlying assumptions teachers make about teaching, learning, learners, and communities. Hiebart and Stigler (1999) describe systemic change as wholesale change in the culture of education. Other writers, (e.g., Banks, 1991; McIntosh, 1990; Sleeter and Grant, 1994) insist that the scope of educational change must go beyond that to include efforts to modify the broader culture of which the school culture is a part.
Whatever view we subscribe to, it is evident that sweeping educational change is not easily accomplished. Nor can it be compressed into short periods of time. Change can realistically only be achieved in a step-wise fashion and with earnest dedicated effort. The diversity plan that follows should be understood to be only the first of three major implementation phases designed to occur over a minimum of five or more years. Phases two and three will be elaborated on at a later date.
Some of the components of the plan have already been implemented, others are in progress, and some are new initiatives.
I. Implementation of Phase One is the most substantive of the three implementation phases that form our diversity plan. Six goals contribute to this phase.
Goal 1. Give a diversity focus to the earliest experiences that candidates have in our curriculum.
The Education Department committed itself to the concept of a “foundations block” before the development of this plan. Discussions in 2000 focused on the configuration of this “block” of courses and experiences and logistical problems associated with implementation. A pilot foundations block is planned for fall 2001.
Goal 2. Address some current diversity shortcomings related to clinical experiences with diverse learners.
The Education Department has spent the last year looking for clinical sites that would offer our candidates exposure to a diverse student population. Implementation of the clinical options approach begins fall, 2000; the urban minority clinical experience will be piloted fall, 2001.
Goal 3. Identify a process for increasing the ratio of minority faculty, staff and students in the Education Department.
This is an on-going effort. The Education Department is examining new ways to approach this challenge.
Goal 4. Ensure that teacher candidates have exposure to models of pluralistic thinking throughout the curriculum.
This effort is already strong in many parts of our teacher preparation program. The Education Department simply needs to insure that the effort is intentionally incorporated in all major aspects of programs.
Goal 5. Develop faculty knowledge base about minorities.
This component of the plan began in 2003. It extends informal efforts by several individual faculty members to become more knowledgeable about ethnic and racial minorities.
Goal 6. Focus on a broad range of pedagogies that ensure that all learners have the opportunity to learn.
Education Department faculty conscientiously use and teach a broad array of pedagogies. The challenge remains for us to systematically relate that array to what we are learning about diverse learners.
II. Implementation of Phase Two of our diversity plan will specifically address methods courses as well as some upper division foundations courses.
The goal for this second phase is to examine our own teaching with respect to use of pluralistic models in the “second tier” of our licensure programs to ensure that there are no gaps in our attempts to deal with diversity issues. A tentative proposal to explore the possibility of a domestic study abroad semester falls within this goal.
III. Implementation of Phase Three of our diversity plan will deal with the experiences that synthesize curricular learning, including our Core Curriculum Senior Seminar (Education 390, “Human Relations,” 4 credits), “Issues in Education” (Education 359, 2 credits), elementary and secondary level student teaching (Education 361, 362, 363; 16 credits), and any mentoring and assessment experiences the department provides for recent graduates of its programs. As we implement this third phase, we will also begin planning for a renewed diversity plan to guide our work as we approach the next decade.
The goal of this last phase is to monitor our efforts to ensure that the characteristics and needs of diverse learners are addressed in all the necessary places in our curriculum using reasonable methods that reflect our mission and conceptual framework.
Banks, James (1991). Teaching Strategies for Ethnic Studies.Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. Academic Catalog: 1998-2000.
Hiebart, James and James Stigler (1999). The Teaching Gap. NY: Free Press.
McIntosh, Peggy (1990). Interactive Phases of Curricular and Personal Re-Vision with Regard to Race. Wellesley, MA: Center for Research on Women.
Sleeter, C. E., and C.A. Grant (1994). Making Choices for Multicultural Education: Five Approaches to Race, Class and Gender. NY: Merrill.
Smith, G. Pritchy (1998). Who shall have the moral courage to heal racism in America? Multicultural Education, pp. 4-10.
CSB / SJU EDUCATION DEPARTMENT DIVERSITY PLAN:
IMPLEMENTATION: PHASE ONE
GOAL #1: DEVELOP DIVERSITY FOCUS IN THE EARLY FOUNDATIONS BLOCK
Description of the Foundations Block:
The intent of the proposed foundations block plan is to address the program needs to integrate multicultural education into all phases of our programs. The modified plan offered here is a pilot program for ELEMENTARY EDUCATION students only. It will require considerably more time to address the complications attendant upon a SECONDARY EDUCATION plan. The plan described below will be implemented with one cohort (i.e., one group of 18-25 elementary education candidates/applicants) during fall semester of 2001. If successful, the pilot will be expanded to include all or most elementary candidates, and a parallel plan for secondary education candidates could be similarly piloted.
The plan, whose components are described below, is based on a teacher education program at The University of North Texas [The Teacher Educator - Ball State University, 32(1), summer, 1996].
CONFIGURATION OF THE BLOCK (16 credits):
- Ed 105 Mainstreaming the Exceptional Child (2)
- Ed 107 Introduction to Teaching and Learning (2)
- Ed 205 Multicultural Educational Foundations (2) *
- Ed 200 The Developing Person (4)
- Ed 215 Literature for Children and Adolescents (4)
- Ed 212 Pre-admissions Clinical Experience (2).
(*The two credits of multicultural education foundations can be appended to or integrated into Ed 107, or it can be given its own number. The addition of two credits for that course might be recovered from Theatre 260 since there has been some very early talk of eliminating that course as a requirement for all elementary candidates).
Because this is a full 16-credit block, Education Department faculty have the freedom to schedule clinical experiences and classes very flexibly. In addition, the academic courses in the block share the clinical.
Education candidates will have exposure to foundations of multicultural education at the outset of their program. Currently, the preponderance of the multicultural content is reserved for senior seminar at the end of the program.
#2. Education candidates have a set of shared experiences (survey, plunge, 1-week clinical in the same or similar setting(s)), and shared opportunities for reflection. This will help develop a real “learning community” and it might have a larger ripple effect than the “parallel options” approach that is described beginning on page 3 below. The options approach is an alternative for those candidates who are unable to participate in the Foundations Block.
#3.Theoretical content in the foundations block courses is more systematically related to clinical experiences. The theory-into-practice connection is therefore more clearly established.
1. After basic introductions to the courses, candidates are given an instrument to assess their attitudes toward urban minority education.
2. Early in the semester, perhaps as early as the first week/weekend, candidates participate in an urban plunge. This plunge will take place over a three-five day period. (If possible, this experience could occur prior to the beginning of the semester.)
a. One day of service in an urban classroom
b. One day of exposure to the neighborhood/community, its resources, institutions, “hanging out” in local diners or lunch counters to get to know the people
c. One day of service in a community center.
3. Candidates return to campus to process their plunge experience, to reflect on the results of their attitude survey, and to study the multicultural education foundations
4. Later in the semester, candidates do a one-week full-day clinical experience in a diversity-rich urban classroom. In addition to providing assistance in those classrooms, candidates complete a classroom demographic profile (see Davidman and Davidman, Teaching with a Multicultural Perspective, 1994, pp. 62-3 for example).
5. Candidates complete a reflection on the one-week urban clinical experience. The reflection is formally recorded in the transcript of clinical experiences. (See appendix #1)
6.Other clinical requirements associated with courses in the foundations block can be met using local schools. This will also help establish and maintain relationships with our partner schools.
GOAL #2: INCREASE CLINICAL EXPERIENCES IN CLASSROOMS WITH DIVERSE POPULATIONS
Current Pre-Admission Clinical Experiences:
The January Term will be eliminated from the academic calendar beginning academic year 2001-2002. In the past, the Education Department used the January Term to schedule the three-week, full-days pre-admission clinical experience. During that clinical experience, candidates observed in classrooms, assisted teachers with instructional preparation, helped with record-keeping, kept developmental journals, read to and with students, did remedial work with individual students or small groups of students, gave tests and quizzes, arranged bulletin boards, etc. Some candidates who showed a readiness to do so also provided small group and whole class instruction.
Some of our candidates had the opportunity to do a second January term clinical experience in a setting that offered more exposure to diverse student populations. Those settings included Red Lake Indian Reservation; St. Augustine High School (all black) in New Orleans; Cathedral of Saint Louis King of France Elementary School (large minority and ESL population) in New Orleans; & a variety of virtually all-black schools in Nassau, Bahamas; All Nations Magnet School (St. Paul), as well as others. However, only a small percentage of candidates had time in their 4-year plans to complete a second January Term clinical experience.
Current Post-Admissions Clinical Experiences:
Once admitted to the program, Elementary Education candidates typically have 9 or 10 course-related clinical experiences. For obvious reasons, those clinical experiences are in area schools. (See Attachment #1 for a charted summary of current clinical experience sites) The exposure candidates have with minority students is constrained by the largely white (94%) population of Central Minnesota. Thus, although candidates have many clinical opportunities (requirements), it has not been possible in the past to ensure that they have the exposure to diverse student populations that will adequately prepare them for current urban classroom teaching or for classrooms of the future. Secondary education candidates have fewer clinical experiences than elementary education candidates because they have fewer methods courses. Therefore, the January Term clinical experience has been especially important for them. Once again, however, only a few candidates, either elementary or secondary, find time in their 4-year plans to complete a second clinical experience with minority students.
Identified gaps in our current clinical experiences:
1. The central Minnesota area offers limited opportunities to work with minorities with the exception of children from low income families and children with exceptional needs
2. As of January 2002, the January Term clinical experience opportunities will be eliminated.
3. Although virtually all elementary candidates have several clinical experiences, a more systematic way of ensuring that all candidates have experience with a broader range of student differences must be implemented.
4. Secondary Education candidates and K-12 candidates (music, art, and modern classical languages) have fewer total clinical experiences built into their programs. Thus, their opportunities for clinical experiences need to be expanded and carefully built into program requirements.
5. A streamlined instrument for recording /documenting clinical experiences is currently lacking.
Objective #1: Develop a systematic plan whereby the department program courses ensure exposure to varied clinical experiences and diverse student populations.
1. Implement the foundations block plan (Goal #1).
2. Continue work on the proposal for a domestic study abroad semester in New Orleans or a comparable area. This may allow for another urban minority clinical exposure for candidates. It might also allow for faculty exchange opportunities between the CSB/SJU Education Department and the education
department at an institution of higher education in the New Orleans area.
3. Complete and implement the Clinical Options Plan. This plan describes ways that candidates can meet all required clinical experiences.It is designed to work either in conjunction with the foundations block or in lieu of it for candidates who are unable to participate in the foundations block.
The Parallel Clinical Options Plan for Meeting Clinical Experience Requirements
A. All Education candidates will have at least one opportunity to work with children who are culturally or racially different from themselves. (Minimum: 15 hours)Options: Foundations Block (proposed); Fast Forward Mentor; Upward Bound; Boys and Girls Club, Courageous Kids mentor, America Reads, South Side of St. Cloud; Migrant Worker School; Semester Interim at Red Lake, Bahamas, or New Orleans or Twin Cities schools with large minority populations. Experiences at the St. Cloud Southside Site of Boys and Girls Club might also meet that requirement as might experiences obtained as a camp counselor or a park and recreation program provider or other similar experiences with diverse populations. Another option to explore for this category is the establishment of a “homework club” for children who are housed at the Battered Women’s Shelter or local homeless shelters.
B. All Education candidates will have at least one opportunity to work with children who have special educational needs including physical, sensory or mental impairments; gifted/talented; learning disabilities; emotional and behavioral problems. (Minimum: 15 hours) Options: local schools with high special needs populations; developmental day centers; Children’s Home, Homeless Shelters, etc.
C. All Education candidates will have at least one opportunity to work with children whose first language is not English or Standard American English.(15 hours) Options: Fast Forward Mentor; Migrant Worker Schools; local ESL programs; Foundations Block in Twin Cities schools with large ESL populations.D. All Education candidates will have at least one opportunity to work in an urban educational setting. (Minimum: 15 hours)
Options: Foundations block, semester interim or spring break in Twin Cities, in Chicago (e.g., Amate House, Su Casa), in New Orleans, or other similar approved experiences.
E. All Education candidates have at least one opportunity to work in a classroom setting to gain an all-day, every day perspective of teaching. (Minimum: 25 hours) Options: Foundations block, local schools, semester interim, spring break, summer school for children who failed the basic standards tests, etc.
F. All Education candidates will have at least one opportunity to work with each of the age groups for which they will be certified. Elementary Education candidates must have experience with primary, intermediate and middle level students. The middle level experience must be in the candidates’ area of academic specialization. Secondary students must have experience with intermediate, middle, and secondary level students in their discipline.
1. The required hours for each category below are only suggested. The Education Department faculty will determine and evaluate those figures annually.
2. It is important to clarify that many of the required hours would be acquired in the context of individual courses.
3. The Clinical Options Plan will require allocation of additional institutional resources. Those resources will make it possible for candidates to complete an abbreviated (i.e., one-two week) clinical experience during the semester interim (between Christmas break and the beginning of spring semester), summer remedial programs, summer remedial programs, summer migrant school programs, or even during spring break.
4. Service trips, service work at Pendla Primary School (Port Elizabeth, South Africa program), service associated with Nicaragua/Costa Rica program), etc. might meet one or more of the requirements.
5. Experiences that pre-date admission to the Education Department might also be admissible if they satisfy the criteria.
6. Some campus programs with whom we will collaborating may need a commitment that exceeds the minimum number of required hours that we have listed for each clinical experience category. America Reads, for example, asks for a minimum of a one-semester commitment; Fast Forward, Upward Bound and Courageous Kids ask for a 2-semester commitment. Those programs may also require commitments beyond the minimum hours during their summer program offerings.
7. For each of the categories listed, candidates should have experiences that require them to
. Identify and design appropriate instruction (development, learning styles, performance modes, strengths and needs) (MSEPT 7.F);
· Know how and where to access services or resources to meet needs; use information about students’ experience (culture, family, community) as basis for connecting instruction (MSEPT 3.H; 3.O; 10.J);
· Develop a respectful learning community climate; (MSEPT 3.Q; 5.C)
· Teach from multiple perspectives;(MSEPT 1.E) and
· Recognize and deal with discrimination, prejudices and instructional or personal racism and sexism. (MSEPT 3.D)
Objective #2: Build on existing campus programs and sites (e.g., Fast Forward, Courageous Kids, Upward Bound), and explore options for off-campus opportunities such as Amate House, a young adult volunteer program from the Archdiocese of Chicago; Su Casa Catholic Worker House in Chicago; campus service trips that might involve our candidates in work with minority populations in educational settings; and Summer Schools for Migrant Children.
1. Increase the number of Education candidates who tutor/mentor in the Fast Forward, Upward Bound and Courageous Kids Programs by making such options more visible to candidates early on in their programs. (See Appendix #2 for descriptions of these programs).
2.Continue discussions with Fast Forward and Upward Bound directors to explore opportunities for candidates to assist with instruction in their summer programs.
3. Continue discussion with Fast Forward on the possibility of developing a three-way tutoring model that would include a Fast Forward student, a candidate, and a younger Latino child. The Fast Forward participant would tutor a younger Latino child under the guidance of the education candidate tutor. That would allow the program (Fast Forward) to expand tutoring services to a larger number of Latino children as well as to encourage Fast Forward students to explore teaching as a possible career.
4. Continue discussions with the Advisor for Domestic Minority Students to arrange for candidates to assist with academic tutoring. This would seem especially appropriate for secondary education minors.
5. Establish relationships with summer school programs for migrant workers. The candidates would spend one to two weeks working as an instructional aide.
6. Work with local school districts to discuss the possibility of candidates being instructional aides for the remedial programs that will be necessitated as elementary and secondary students fail the basis standards tests.
7. Discuss with St. Paul schools how candidates can be involved in assisting schools that have been placed on probation because of poor student performance on standardized tests.
8. Identify housing possibilities in the Twin Cities so that rotating groups of 20-30 candidates (enrolled in the Foundations block, preferably) might be housed in the vicinity of schools with diverse populations. Candidates would serve as instructional aides in those settings for 1 -2 weeks at a stretch. Note: The only feasible time would be during the semester interim.
9. Continue to pursue information about the feasibility of placing candidates in inner-city Chicago schools for 1-2 week periods either during semester interim or spring break (or possibly at other times). Connections to be made include Amate House and Su Casa.
10. Continue to develop the plan for a domestic study abroad program with a school (e.g. near New Orleans) with a diverse student population. The program might be constructed so that candidates take their courses from an Education Department in a primarily black college while working in a racially diverse elementary, middle or senior high school in the area. The program might also develop into an exchange program whereby candidates of color from the partner Education Department would study on our campuses for a semester while CSB/SJU candidates studied there. This plan might also include an exchange of faculty between the collaborating education departments.
Objective #3: Continue to develop formal partnerships with schools that can provide education candidates exposure to diverse student populations and training in providing appropriate opportunities for all learners.
(Please see the Partnership Plan for a full treatment of this topic. Activities below are specifically related to diversity matters.)
1. Clarify which position in the department has primary responsibility for development of professional partnerships.
2. Review the literature on partnerships as well as the NCATE standard addressing partnerships to ensure a clear understanding of the concept.
3. Begin exploration of off-site clinical experience schools and other settings to address needs for candidates for exposure to diverse student populations. Examples: Foundations block urban clinical, interim clinical, spring break clinical, summer school program clinicals (e.g., migrant, Upward Bound, Fast Forward, remedial programs).
4. Make initial contacts with area principals and superintendents to identify level of interest in developing partnerships.
5. Meet with key district administrators to discuss the possibility of exploring partnerships.
6. Develop a list of important factors to consider for determining level of partnership. Factors might include geography, department needs, school interest level, opportunities offered by each school, opportunities for our candidates to be exposed to diverse student populations.
7. Develop a target plan based on the above factors and determine which schools to pursue as one of the following:
Full Partnership Schools receiving extensive use (e.g., St. Joseph Lab School; Kennedy Elementary School) Mid-Level Partnership Schools used for one or more methods classes or for the Foundations Block clinical (e.g., Sartell Middle School, John XXIII)
Occasional Use School Partnerships where a handful of students may be placed each year (e.g., Foley, Sauk Center)
8. Meet regularly with teachers, grade level or subject matter coordinators/chairs at target schools to formalize the process and start implementation.
Discuss reciprocal needs and work toward alignment of needs.
9. Implement partnerships with on-going reflection (formative assessment).
10. Share diversity plans with target schools.
11. Provide services for full partnership schools. (e.g., site improvement needs identification for South conducted by Dave L. and Ed S. during spring, 2000.
12. Conduct annual reflection/summative assessment and response/revision.
13. Begin process followed with South Jr. High and St. Joseph Lab School in 1999-2000 with Kennedy Elementary, Sartell Middle School and Twin Cities schools for Foundations Block clinical experience (2000-2001). Meet with teachers and coordinators.
Objective #4: Refine the process by which clinical experiences with diverse student populations are documented.
1. Develop an electronic form on which candidates record all clinical experiences - describing nature and duration of experiences as well as the demographics of the student population served. See “Transcript of Clinical Experiences” (Attachment #1).
2. Identify a process whereby individual candidates provide documentation from the classroom teacher or other supervisory personnel to ensure that the reported experience did in fact occur. This form should also afford supervisory personnel the opportunity to evaluate the student candidate.
3. Establish check points in the program to facilitate sharing and documentation of student reflections on the experiences reported. For example, the plan may have three major programmatic checkpoints for clinical experiences. The first is during the foundations block. The second one is during a course that all students (elementary as well as secondary) take midway through their program. The last one is during the final reflections in the student teaching experience. (See Attachment #1)
GOAL # 3: INCREASE DIVERSITY AMONG FACULTY AND STUDENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT
In a February, 1999, the Director of Institutional Planning and Research published a document entitled “The Diversity Challenge at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.” In it he described CSB and SJU as well as Minnesota demographics with their implications for our two institutions. Those implications are addressed in the institutions’ joint strategic plan for 2000-2003. A third document (in draft form) called “Institutional Statement on Diversity” identifies specific steps to be taken to address diversity aspects of the strategic plan. One of the specific steps, to improve multi-cultural recruitment and retention, is particularly relevant for this part of the Education Department’s diversity plan. (See Appendix # 3 for the full text of the Strategic Plan, the Institutional Planning and Research document, and the Institutional Statement on Diversity).
Minority student enrollment. Fall, 1998, data for six private colleges located in Greater Minnesota (outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area) showed minority enrollment essentially unchanged since 1990. The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University enrolled 3.4% minority students in 1990 and that number remained essentially unchanged as of Fall, 1998. Meanwhile, however, all Minnesota private colleges taken together increased their percentage of minority students to 7.4%. The increase has occurred primarily at private schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University’s minority enrollments are among the lowest for private colleges outside the metropolitan area.
The diversity found in Minnesota tends to be centered in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The most recent census data (1990) indicated that Minneapolis was 78% white , and St. Paul 82% white while Central Minnesota was 97% white. Some of these figures have changed in the intervening 10 years. For the 1997-98 school year, non-white students comprised 15% of total public school enrollment in Minnesota and 22% of public school enrollment in the Twin Cities Metro area. Central Minnesota public school enrollment figures for minorities, however, lag far behind at approximately 6%.
Over the next 10 years, the number of Minnesota high school graduates is expected to grow by 15%. By 2008, students of color will make up nearly 18% of all high school graduates in the state compared to 8% in 1995 and 4% in 1985. Although Central Minnesota is among the least diverse regions in the state, minority enrollments in the area’s public schools are expected to increase. Kandiyohi County (in Central Minnesota) has seen a 50% increase of Hispanic children under age 20 since 1990. Children of color now comprise 11% of young people in that county. This is the highest ratio of minority students in the Central Minnesota region.
CSB and SJU admittedly do not only draw their enrollments from Minnesota. Yet, the two institutions have not, in the last 10 years, succeeded in increasing the number of minority students on their campuses. The CSB/SJU Education Department has had the same disappointing results. It is obvious that different strategies must be implemented to attract more students to CSB/SJU in general and to the Education Department in particular.
Faculty/Staff Persons of Color:
CSB: The total number of full-time employees during fall, 1999, is 423. Of those, 96% are white, 1.18% are Hispanic, fewer than 1% are black, 1.42% are Asian-Pacific Islander, and fewer than 1% are American Indian-Alaskan Native.
SJU: Demographic data on the SJU campus are similar. Out of a total of 412 full-time faculty and staff, 97% are white, .5% are black, 1% are Hispanic, and 1.7% are Asian Pacific Islander.
The CSB/SJU Education Department currently employs one person of color, a full-time administrative staff member, and two faculty members of color who teach support courses for the secondary education minor. While the department’s percentage of minority faculty-staff appears better than the institutions’, it is still very likely that the majority of our students can complete their Education program without ever having sustained encounters with a faculty/staff person of color. This is especially true for the Elementary Education candidates since the faculty-staff of color are assigned to work with candidates who are in the secondary education or K-12 education programs.
In a February, 1999, document entitled “The Diversity Challenge at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University,” prepared by our Director of Institutional Planning and Research described campus as well as Minnesota demographics with their implications for our two institutions. Those implications are addressed in the institutions’ joint strategic plan for 2000-2003.
Two goals in the strategic plan are particularly relevant for the Education Department’s diversity plan: to develop a common understanding of diversity goals and priorities and to improve multi-cultural recruitment and retention. (See Appendix # 3 for the full text of the Strategic Plan and the Institutional Planning and Research Document.)
Objective #1: Support the institutional plan by increasing the number of minority students who apply to and succeed in Education Department programs.
1. Increase enrollment of American students of color and international student enrollment to 18% of total undergraduate enrollment.
2. Support the Admissions Office outreach efforts to minorities.
3. Continue to develop collaborations with the Fast Forward and Upward Bound programs and provide opportunities for Hispanic and low-income students to attend classes and other Education Department functions.
4. Invite the Fast Forward Program to utilize Education Department facilities and resources such as the Curriculum Library and the Roehl Room (children’s literature collection).
5. Work with Fast Forward and Upward Bound to develop a program whereby their program participants tutor younger children as a way to encourage participants to consider teaching as a career. This may be done under the tutelage of Education Department candidate/mentors.
6. Work with the campus advisors for international students and domestic students of color to provide academic tutoring and social support for their clientele.
7. Invite directors of Fast Forward, Upward Bound, America Reads, Courageous Kids, and campus advisors for international and domestic students of color to participate in TEAC (Teacher Education Advisory Council) and provide insight as to how to attract students from minority groups and help them succeed in education department programs.
8. Examine department admissions testing and other admissions and retention criteria to ensure that they do not militate against success for students from minority racial or cultural/linguistic groups and/or from first-generation college students.
9. Develop programmatic options that would help students who attend 2-year post-secondary institutions to transition into the Education Department’s four-year programs without being left out of student cohorts who start their post-secondary experiences at CSB/SJU.
10. Explore ways to attract potential education candidates from the Southeast Asian Community in the St. Cloud area.
11. Develop a Department of Education brochure that can be distributed at Admissions Office functions.
12. Approach the Development Office to see if they can find a donor to fund an annual scholarship for a minority candidate.
Objective #2: Support the institutional plan to increase the rate of minority hiring and retention of faculty and staff.
During academic year 1999-2000, CSB/SJU dedicated the academic faculty workshop at the beginning of the year to concerns about diversity. Out of that workshop, a commission on diversity was developed. The commission was charged with the responsibility of drafting a diversity statement, or corollary, to the institutional mission statements. The statement is intended to be a “set of guiding principles, based in both Catholic and liberal arts traditions, from which we can work – setting goals, allocating funds, and making other kinds of curricular, co-curricular, and budgetary decisions which will help us make CSB/SJU the kinds of communities we want them to be.” (See Appendix 3 for a full draft of the newly- minted diversity mission statement for the two institutions.) It is especially important to address weaknesses in minority hiring because faculty and staff are more likely to have longevity at an institution than are students. In addition, students of color may be more likely to persist through their four-year programs if they have a greater number of faculty of color with whom to identify.
Activities:1. The Diversity Commission sets as its goal for the institutions to annually recruit and retain three faculty of under-represented groups in tenure track positions.
2. The Diversity Commission specifies that each vice president/dean area will develop and implement a plan for recruiting and retaining staff from under-represented groups. The Education Department will aggressively search for qualified minority candidates should any new staff positions arise.
GOAL #4: ENSURE MORE PLURALISTIC THINKING
A review of the literature on models of educational diversity indicates that approaches which ignore the necessity for a major shift in thinking about self and others in relationship to race and culture are likely to yield disappointing and superficial changes/results. Banks (1993 ) and McIntosh (1990 ) suggest that in the absence of a cognitive shift to more pluralistic thinking, multi cultural curricula tend to stagnate at the level of “holidays and heroes” and may, in fact, do a disservice to those who are subjected to them. Such curricula may remain mired, for example, in what Banks called an “additive approach” in which minority figures with exemplary achievements are acknowledged. The resulting implication is that the extraordinary minority figures who are recognized are seen as exceptions in their cultures. Celebration of the major holidays of a culture is also potentially problematic in that the holidays may be de-contextualized –i.e., presented outside of the cultural context in which they are normally embedded.
Another disadvantage to the additive approach as illustrated with these two examples is that it may lead its designers to the erroneous conclusion that they have “done” diversity. It is clear, then, that the diversity challenge requires change. “Doing” diversity is not palatable; diversity must be lived. The challenge for the Education Department is to ensure that thinking pluralistically occurs systematically in the program and that students learn to think at a level of complexity commensurate with the complexity of the issues that multi cultural educational efforts present.
While complex/pluralistic thinking is addressed in many Education classes, the effort may need to be more deliberately integrated into all appropriate program courses.
Objective #1: Faculty, staff, and candidates of the Education Department will describe and assess the level(s) of pluralistic thinking currently expected in department courses and establish a systematic plan to address any unevenness in the program with respect to pluralistic thinking.
Activities:1. Assess current status with respect to this goal
2. Review models that address cognitive complexity and those that address pluralistic thinking (emerging from the literature on diversity education as well as other domains of knowledge).
3. Decide on one or more models to integrate into major program courses.
4. Systematically embed these models in appropriate courses in department programs.
5. Ensure that these models are related to the department model of Teacher as Decision Maker and that candidates are required to address decision-making at levels of cognitively complexity that are appropriate to the content and decisions.
6.Develop a method(s) to assess cognitive complexity/pluralistic thinking with respect to diversity issues.
Objective #2: Candidates will study and apply their knowledge of models of pluralistic thinking/cognitive complexity.
Activities:1. In Ed 107, both Banks’ and McIntosh’s models of multi cultural education are presented. Candidates complete a number of assignments related to gender differences in the classroom and how different levels of multicultural integration in these models address the learning needs of minority groups.
2. In Ed 105, candidates learn about the needs associated with specific exceptionalities and about fairness in testing issues as well as multiple intelligences theory and related instructional strategies
3. In Ed 200: candidates identify and generate reasoning at each stage or position of Piaget, Kohlberg, Gilligan, and Perry. Candidates also execute a series of Piagetian tasks with 2 children in contrasting cognitive stages. They write a formal analysis of their results.
4. In methods classes and Ed 310, candidates study at least one model of pluralistic thinking (as applied to multiculturalism -- e.g. James A. Banks/Peggy McIntosh), and generate lesson plans that reflect their understanding of these models. They also use these models to evaluate plans generated by others (e.g., “packaged” lesson plans and units).
5.In Ed 390, candidates assess their status as pluralistic thinkers (specifically with respect to diversity matters) using Sleeter and Grant’s Multicultural Social Reconstructionist Approach. Candidates generate a unit plan that addresses some aspect of diversity and use a model of pluralistic thinking to complete the self-reflection in the final curriculum project.
6. In student teaching, candidates include a reflection on dispositional changes that have occurred during the candidate’s work in the Education program. (See reflection questions that are part of the candidate reporting form for all clinical experiences.)
GOAL #5: INCREASE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT FACULTY AND STAFF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT MINORITY GROUPS AND THEIR CULTURES.
During academic year 1994-5, the Education Department undertook preliminary discussions about the feasibility and desirability of designing a Master’s degree program. In our discussions, two content strands dominated our discussions. One of these was multiculturalism. One conclusion reached after extensive discussion was that although there was agreement in the department about the importance of multiculturalism, the majority was not sufficiently prepared to knowledgeably and responsibly deliver a curriculum with that emphasis.
On November 15, 1994, Dr. Charles Villette, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Jose Bourget, Director of Intercultural Affairs Office, were invited to participate in our discussion of the masters program proposal in general and the multicultural strand of that program in particular. Discussion ensued about how one defines multiculturalism, about the relationship of this topic to the Education Department’s mission and model, and about individual development vis a vis multi- culturalism.
Dr. Bourget agreed to develop a plan to be reviewed by the Education Department at a December, 1994 department meeting. At that meeting, he presented a plan of a sequenced set of experiences for Department Faculty and adjunct faculty. These experiences were designed to develop an understanding of the process whereby individuals are moved from ethnocentrism, to polycentrism, and finally to community transformation. (See Attachment #4) The Department approved the plan unanimously. The initial phases of the plan were implemented during the summer of 1995.
Unfortunately, in 1996 Dr. Bourget left our institutions for other employment and his position has not been filled to date. Because the plan was dependent on in-house expertise (i.e., Dr. Bourget), his departure interrupted the Education Department’s efforts to learn about multiculturalism before attempting to modify department curricula (including the proposed masters program). Since that time , individual faculty members have made well-intentioned efforts to address multiculturalism in their courses.
Several faculty in the department have also attended workshops and seminars on the subject. This document, then, offers the department the opportunity to re-unify its efforts to move forward to address its curricular goals. What follows below is a modified plan to address some of the goals the department attempted to address in conjunction with Dr Bourget in 1994-5. The original plan has been revised to reflect the changes individual faculty members have undergone since then and to reflect the findings of our survey of needs.
Objective #1: Assess where the department stands with respect to individual knowledge about diversity.
1. Design a formal paper/pencil self-assessment questionnaire (See Attachment #6).
2. Distribute questionnaire to department members.
3. Compile data from needs assessment questionnaire (See Attachment #6).
4. Conduct follow-up informal interviews with some department members for clarification and elaboration of needs.
5. Summarize interview data.
6. Use data to help prioritize and focus faculty development activities.
Objective #2: Plan a systematic set of experiences which will move us forward as a group.
1. Select a diversity text to serve as a springboard and foundation for building a learning community.
2. Distribute Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race to department faculty for independent study.
3. Conduct a total department conversations/discussion on the book.
4. Set up post-discussion special interest sub-groups in areas of need.
5. Initiate an announcement center for faculty training opportunities on diversity issues.
6. Use “Potential List of Experiential Diversity Opportunities” (in Attachment #6) as a resource to plan additional faculty development events.
GOAL # 6: LEARN ABOUT AND UTILIZE PEDAGOGIES THAT GIVE ALL LEARNERS OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN
Parts of this goal have already been addressed through faculty development activities (e.g., through conference/seminar attendance, and other Learning Enhancement Center options) and through the summer training Education Department faculty experiences with Dr. Jose Bourget. The intent of this goal is to ensure that all faculty members have had opportunities to study varied pedagogies and that those educational experiences are updated to reflect curriculum and demographic changes.
Objective #1: Faculty understand their own learning styles and make use of a broad range of pedagogical strategies that promote learning in all students, including minority students.
1. Faculty study their own cultural, ethnic, racial or income group (“personal case study”).
2 Faculty assess their own preferred learning styles according to models selected.
3. Faculty identify learning styles that are outside of their comfort zones.
4. Faculty review their courses to determine which learning styles/strategies are most/least frequently utilized and consider implications for minority learners.
5. Faculty work collaboratively to address gaps in pedagogies used in courses/programs.
6. Faculty learn about pedagogies that yield most success with those populations of school children who are least likely to succeed academically and build these into courses and programs. [See Attachment # 6 for some suggested approaches including multiple intelligences theories (Gardiner, H.), traditional-industrial vs information-age schools (Cushner, McClelland and Safford, 2000), and Cushner, McClelland and Safford (2000) on language and learning style].
Objective #2: Candidates learn about their own preferred learning styles and most effective pedagogies.
1. Candidates study their own cultural, ethnic, racial or income group (“personal case study”).
2. Candidates assess their own preferred learning styles according to models selected.
3. Candidates identify learning styles that are outside of their comfort zones.
4. Candidates learn about pedagogies that yield most success with those populations of school children who are least likely to succeed academically.
5. Candidates reflect on the reasons they selected specific pedagogies for utilization in particular clinical experiences or in planned instructional units.
Objective #3: Candidates have multiple opportunities to assess learners’ pedagogical preferences and address them in a clinical setting.
1. Candidates study the literature regarding the learning style preferences of a particular child’s ethnic, racial, linguistic group.
2. Candidates study the culture and lifestyle of a child from a cultural, ethnic, racial, linguistic, special needs, religious, or income group different from their own and compare that to the literature on the child’s minority group.
3. Candidates plan a course of study for that child which incorporates knowledge of the child’s specific learning needs and preferences.
4. Candidates form and maintain a sustained ( 1 semester minimum commitment) helping/teaching relationship with that child.
5. Candidates systematically assess the effectiveness of that relationship by gathering and interpreting information describing the student’s learning.
6. Candidates reflect on decisions made during the course of this sustained experience.
7. Candidates reflect on own growth in thinking more pluralistically as a result of the sustained experience with the child.
Objective #4: Candidates learn how to plan, implement, and assess differentiated instruction, or adapted pedagogies.
1. Candidates learn how to recognize and contrast traditional classroom instruction with classrooms in which planning, implementation and assessment are more differentiated to address a broader spectrum of learning needs.
2. Candidates learn how to use a broad variety of different instructional strategies that address varied learning styles; build student motivation and responsibility for learning make constructive use of the social contexts in which learning occurs link assessment more closely to the learning process (authentic assessments); and make use of the culture and/or the language of the particular students to address meaningful content in the disciplines.
3. Candidates learn about cultural/racial stereotypes and then learn how to recognize curricular materials and experiences that use those stereotypes to demean students who belong to minority groups.
4. Candidates learn to identify the level of multicultural curriculum reform (e.g., using James Banks’ model) apparent in their own written lesson plans and in plans they see implemented in clinical settings.
5. Candidates transform written plans or plans they see implemented by practitioners from Contributions or Additive levels to Transformative and Social-Action levels of multicultural education (James Banks, or some other comparable model of multicultural education).
6. Candidates develop and implement multicultural curriculum experiences (lessons and units) as part of the clinical experiences associated with methods classes as well as student teaching.
7. Candidates learn how to think more flexibly about classroom organization and school policies (e.g., grouping or tracking and policies relative to bilingualism) and their impact on learning.
8. Candidates learn how to bridge learning discontinuities between students’ home and school cultures.