Racially and LGBTQ-Inclusivity and it’s 20th Century Defying Impact

Racially and LGBTQ-Inclusivity are critical for supporting all learners in the classroom. A meta-analysis of more than 160 studies reveals the connection between culturally responsive materials and learning and the disparity in the availability of these materials. In light of recent efforts to restrict instruction about race and racial inequity, it is more important than ever to provide educators with the resources they need to support all students and have a racially and LGBTQ-Inclusive curriculum.

Racially and LGBTQ-Inclusivity

In a modern world where diverse individuals of various groups are more visible than ever, public schools must provide learning materials that include this population. Inclusive educational materials help create a safe and welcoming environment for all students, promoting respect.

Geneva Gay, a University of Washington professor emerita of education, defines culturally responsive education as an approach that uses “the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to and effective for them. This asset-based approach is supported by a wealth of research indicating its efficacy in promoting student engagement and academic success.

 

A meta-analysis of more than 160 studies conducted by OiYan Poon and colleagues revealed the connection between culturally responsive materials and learning. The researchers found that using these materials can positively impact students’ achievement, motivation, and motivation and engagement. In addition, they found a disparity in the availability of these materials.

 

Whereas Rudine Sims, an Ohio State University professor emerita of education, describes children’s experience with literature as mirrors (materials that make connections with students’ daily life), windows (materials that expose students to other contexts and cultures), and sliding glass doors (materials that invite students to be a part of the author’s created world).

 

Multicultural education practices, like culturally responsive and sustaining practices, have emphasised the importance of materials that are mirrors and windows. To support all learners in the classroom, educators must access various inclusive materials.

 

In light of recent efforts to restrict instruction about race and racial inequity, it is more important than ever to provide educators with the resources they need to support all students. Inclusive educational materials must be readily available to educators to create safe and welcoming environments.

 

Sims, Rudine. “Children’s Literature as Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors.” The Horn Book Magazine, vol. 66, no. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1990, pp. 21-29.

Poon Oiyan, Lee Christine E., Smith Myriam Martinez-Rexroat, and Romero Ana M. “A Systematic Review of the Relationship Between Culturally Responsive Materials and Students’ Academic Outcomes.” Educational Psychology Review (2017): 1-35.

Gay, Geneva. “Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice.” In Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education, Second Edition, edited by James A. Banks and Cherry A. Mcgee BankS, 471-481. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2009. doi:10.4135/9781483369748.n27.

Bishop, Rudine Sims. “Windows, Mirrors & Sliding Glass Doors.” In Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development, edited by Enid Lee, Debbie Meyer and Rosemary Nadeau, 15-22. New York: Routledge, 1998.

 

While progress has been made in recent years to create educational materials that are more inclusive, there is still a disparity in the availability of these resources. To ensure that all students have access to the same level of education, policymakers must work to increase the availability of inclusive educational materials. This can be done through funding initiatives, teacher training programs, and other efforts to support educators in providing a quality education for all students.

 

The implications of this research are clear: Racially and LGBTQ-Inclusivity improves student outcomes and closes achievement gaps. Policymakers should consider this evidence when deciding what content is taught in schools and which instructional materials are used. Furthermore, efforts should be made to increase the availability of inclusive educational materials so that all students can access resources that can help them succeed. More information on how to access resources here