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1Diversity ProjectKayla BoweMaster of Science in Education, Walden UniversityEDUC 6616: Enhancing Learning for Diverse PopulationsPamela ColeOctober 25, 2020
2Diversity ProjectDiversity is not limited to a student’s race and ethnicity but also must include gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and culture. As teachers, we will interact with students with varying backgrounds making our classrooms all diverse and unique each year. It is our responsibility to be knowledgeable of the diverse backgrounds in our classrooms and enhance learning for our students. For the 2019-2020 school term, my school's racial diversity consists of 57% African American, 20.8% Caucasian, 12.9% Hispanic, 8% multiracial, 1% Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.4% American Indian (GACOE, n.d.). While insightful, through this course I have learned that we must sometimes look beyond, but it still must be considered. Diversity also relates to the diverse learning needs of students in order for them to achieve academically. Description of Population, Strengths, and Areas for GrowthI identify African American males as one of the most underserved populations at my school. Consistently, African American males score lower than the other populations in the score based on the Georgia Student Growth Model (2019) reports from as far as 2015 to 2019. When comparing general education subgroups, African American males score lower than male and female Caucasian, and Hispanic students. African American males are at risk of school failure, overdiagnosis and special education placement, and excessive disciplinary actions including suspension, expulsions, and violence (Moon & Singh, 2015). At my school, there is also a trend of significant data that shows African American males making up the majority of the discipline office referrals made. Excessive discipline and a widening achievement gap put African American male youth at risk to become a part of what is known as the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” (Moon & Singh, 2015). In a school with mostly Caucasian female teachers, I suspect there is a lack of culturally responsive teaching, further widening the achievement gap. Students
3perform better in school when they are made to feel as if they belong and are wanted and can recognized similarities in cultural nuances in their class and school (Kent, et. al., 2011). When completing the Diversity Proficiencies Survey, I was very critical of myself. I am in my fourth year of teaching and I feel that I always have room to grow. I hesitate to say that something always occurs, it seems impossible. I did however select that criteria for one area, proficiency three, creating a positive learning environment where all students can learn (Walden, 2016). My teaching philosophy is heavily based on building positive relationships and make