This position statement is based on the principles of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Research demonstrates that the quality of education can be improved through the promotion of responsibility, equity, social justice, and diversity. Education leaders need to strive to achieve inclusive communities and equitable educational opportunities for diverse students. Teachers can be helped to achieve culturally responsive practices through training and collaboration. Commitment to the principles of diversity, inclusion, and equity is expected to improve the academic achievement of students and improve the job satisfaction of teachers.
The promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion is of extreme importance to educators and educational leaders. In Standard 3 of the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders, National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA, 2015) states that “effective educational leaders strive for equity of educational opportunity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student’s academic success and well-being” (p. 11). In accordance with this standard, my vision is that educators should promote student-centered education that promotes equity, inclusiveness, and social justice. The position concerning inclusion, diversity, and equity is reflected in the values below:
- Improving the quality of education through the promotion of responsibility, equity, social justice, and diversity.
- Striving for equity of educational opportunity by using culture-sensitive approaches to students;
- Cultivating inclusive communities that can promote academic success and the emotional well-being of students.
The position statement provided above understands cultural diversity as a mixture of variety, balance, and disparity of knowledge skills, rules, norms, practices, traditions, and self-definitions (Hoy & Hoy, 2021). This paper understands inclusive environment as an environment in which the barriers to the participation of all students in the learning process are continuously identified and removed (Messiou, 2019). In other words, inclusive classrooms should be free of racism, sexism, and ethnic prejudice (Hoy & Hoy, 2021). The concept of equity is understood as the ability to determine the differences in resources and approaches needed to help the students receive the best possible access to education (Ainscow, 2020). The terms inclusion, equity, and diversity are closely correlated, as they focus on removing the artificial barriers to education.
Helping Teachers to Improve Culturally Responsive Practices
There are several strategies that can be employed to help teachers develop culturally responsive practices. First, cultural humility training can improve teachers’ ability to attend to the needs of diverse students (Fisher, 2019). Such training can help the person to acknowledge personal biases, which may hinder the provision of equitable education. Second, the curriculum needs to be modified so that it addresses the needs of diverse populations (Bottiani et al., 2018). Minority students cannot relate to the stories told in the literature and history classes, as their reality of growing up in minority families is different (Bowman et al., 2018). Thus, it is crucial that the curriculum is improved to consider the interests and reality of minority students. Finally, it is crucial to relate the idea of equity, diversity, and inclusion to the Holy Scriptures. The Bible says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (English Standard Version Bible, 2001, Galatians 3:28). Thus, the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion are holy.
I believe that the three core strategies described above can help to improve the instruction practices of teachers. Culturally responsive practices help teachers to improve students’ success rates (Kieran & Anderson, 2019). Moreover, the interventions can help to increase the engagement of communities and families in the education of their children. Higher engagement of families and community, along with improved academic of children, can positively affect workplace satisfaction of teachers (Kieran & Anderson, 2019). However, it is crucial not to overload teachers with training, as it can negatively affect their work-life balance and decrease morale.
The central resource that would be crucial is financial aid. Teachers experience stress and burnout due to the high workload and lack of work-life balance (Pressley, 2021). Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers were forced to go through different training programs during their free time (Pressley, 2021). Thus, it is crucial that teacher training should be conducted during working hours without payment reduction. Such help would help to sustain teachers’ financial well-being and work-life balance. Another crucial resource that should be provided is access to the knowledge base of the best practices concerning the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Collaborations are crucial for the success of the implementation of principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. There are three types of collaborations that should be employed. First, teachers need to be able to collaborate with each other within one school to share knowledge and experiences. Second, educators need to collaborate with families, as it would help them to understand the special needs of students and address them in the best way (Bottiani et al., 2018). Finally, educators should collaborate with community centers, as such interaction promotes the principles of culturally responsive practice on the community level.
The primary goal of educators is to constantly improve the quality of education. This position statement insists that the quality of education should be increased through the promotion of responsibility, equity, social justice, and diversity. Education leaders should help teachers to achieve equity of education and cultivate inclusive communities.
Ainscow, M. (2020). Promoting inclusion and equity in education: Lessons from international experiences. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 6(1), 7-16.
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). Bible Gateway. Web.
Bottiani, J. H., Larson, K. E., Debnam, K. J., Bischoff, C. M., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2018). Promoting educators’ use of culturally responsive practices: A systematic review of inservice interventions. Journal of Teacher Education, 69(4), 367-385.
Bowman, B. T., Comer, J. P., & Johns, D. J. (2018). Addressing the African American achievement gap: Three leading educators issue a call to action. YC Young Children, 73(2), 14–23. Web.
Fisher, E. S. (2020). Cultural humility as a form of social justice: Promising practices for global school psychology training. School Psychology International, 41(1), 53-66.
Hoy, A.W., & Hoy, W. K. (2021). Instructional Leadership: A Research-Based Guide to Learning in Schools (5th ed.). Pearson.
Kieran, L., & Anderson, C. (2019). Connecting universal design for learning with culturally responsive teaching. Education and Urban Society, 51(9), 1202-1216.
Messiou, K. (2019). Collaborative action research: facilitating inclusion in schools. Educational Action Research, 27(2), 197-209.
National Policy Board for Educational Administration (2015). Professional Standards for Educational Leaders 2015. Reston, VA.
Pressley, T. (2021). Factors contributing to teacher burnout during COVID-19. Educational Researcher, 50(5), 325-327.