Students flourish when their social identities, including race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, are affirmed and valued as assets rather than barriers to learning. Research on identity safe teaching demonstrated that when diversity is cultivated as a resource for learning, students feel identity safe, like school more, and achieve at higher levels. Further, the study provided evidence that all students benefit from embracing diversity and practicing empathy and acceptance.
Recently, media sources have spread misinformation about identity, diversity, and SEL, claiming these practices are divisive. These attitudes promote color-blind teaching that ignores differences and harms students of color and others with diverse backgrounds. This interactive 2023 Share My Lesson Virtual Conference workshop will provide evidence-based approaches to create identity safety and address stereotype threat, racism, and all forms of bias, focusing on:
- The definition of identity safety and practices, drawn from the research
- Supporting students of color, multilingual and LGBTQ+ students
- Strategies to strengthen students’ academic identities
- How to clarify misconceptions about diversity, equity, and inclusion and communicate the value of identity safe teaching to parents/guardians
Students of all backgrounds reach their full potential in identity safe schools where they feel a sense of belonging and inclusion.