Diversity in Learning Materials.

Description of the idea

A tutor time course/programme that aims to open and promote discussions around diversity.

The idea is that this would come largely from the students in reaction to the stimulus material (book), and also relieve the tutor from having to plan so much. It would work through having a ‘set text’ that several tutor groups would read sections of at the same time, and then discuss.

We could have some activities and discussion opening questions,. The idea is that the students can steer the discussion into the areas that they are ininterested too. As a result the text/stimulus material would have to be carefully chosen to explore a range of issues relavent to their age group.

In the ‘teachers’ pack’ there could be a guide as to how to discuss these issues, relevant to different age groups etc. Individual schools may wish to include here any relevant school policies etc.

To make the teacher feel more confident and comfortable in this area. Ideally the stimulus material would be in both English and Spanish (and Portuguese (?))

How can this project be carried out in different schools in Latin America?

Ideally we would have a pre-planned programme that individuals or individual schools could tweak for their own context. There could be different materials for different age groups. We would aim for material that is widely available and with digital versions too.

What would we see happening in schools when the project is implemented?

More acceptance of difference. Difficult conversations become less difficult, more regular.
More awareness.
More home-school interaction.

Other considerations

We are conscious to not make this like an English or Spanish lesson, reading an analysing a book. Rather, it is a stimulus. Similarly, the choice of book should be not too threatening (in terms of subject matter), so as not to be contraversial. Especially at the beginning/for the first text. The parents could also be invited to read the text, or for parents to read along with the students at home. Or, for the older students, for the parents to have read it as well, so the discussions can continue/start at home too. Perhaps a programme that we could use to learn from would be this programme from the US https://readtothem.org/programs/one-school-one-book/ Involving the parents from the beginning could help to alley their fears of such topics being discussed in schools.
Maintaining parental involvement is also something that we are wanting to continue after the pandemic.