Contract "AA" Grade : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

-- Anonymous, January 03, 1999


SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity)

Opening Eyes to Horizons of Other Races and Genders

Is SEED for you? If you answer yes to any one of the following questions, then SEED is for you!

Do I sometimes think its those teachers in the urban schools with all the minority kids that need this multicultural instruction lots more than me?

Would I like to explore what diversity really means for all of us?

Would I like to consider creative ways to address gender equity and cultural diversity in my classroom?

Would I like to help myself and my students get a grip on this increasingly diverse society we live in?

Do I think its important to create a classroom environment that is respectful of and safe for all students, regardless of race, gender, class, or sexual orientation?

SEED stands for Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity. For the past ten years, this project has helped teachers develop specific and concrete ways to implement race, gender, and other diversity issues into the classrooms.

This past summer I attended the Minnesota SEED Seminar to prepare myself to facilitate our own districts work towards inclusive curricula by first exploring all of our own stories.

There will be nine monthly three-hour sessions which will include readings, videos, guest speakers, personal reflection, journaling and food. All materials will be provided. Graduate credit (3) will be available through St. Catherines for about $200. For those not wanting the graduate credit, the course will be free. Space was limited to 20 participants and 17 teachers signed up for the ISD #361 SEED Seminars.

Through SEED, teachers will re-open their own backgrounds to look anew at how they were schooled to deal with diversity and connection. This will enable teachers to create school climates and curriculum more adequately to equip todays students. SEED participants work in large and small groups. Facilitators will model interactivities which makes teachers stories one of the key frameworks for their own adult development. The process of bringing forth teachers stories assist teachers in taking seriously the textbooks of all lives, their own and their students. This process could take a long time while challenging the mind and heart as well as balancing ones own experience and the experience of others.

If todays schools are to enable students and teachers to develop a balance of self-esteem and respect for the cultural realities of others, intellectual and personal faculty development is needed over time. Therefore, these seminars are led by teachers themselves and are school-based. If teachers are to take students seriously, then the teachers themselves need to experience and learn what it feels like to be taken seriously.

The SEED teachers will be the authorities of their own experiences. Teachers need to be put into the center process of growth and development in order to turn around and put their students growth and development into the process center. SEED calls this faculty-centered faculty development which they say parallels the student-centered learning.

The SEED Seminar aims to provide participants how to better appreciate each individuals gifts by exploring windows to look out and mirrors to look in. No two seminars will be alike in readings, activities, videos, meals, and discussions; however, continuity of the conceptual framework of Interactive Phase Theory will be necessary. This is an invisible system of privilege and research which can support teachers and administrators in shaping the school curriculum to be more gender fair and multicultural.

The 1998-99 SEED Seminars consists of the following:

October - Self Awareness

November - Phase Theory

December - Racism

January - Racism

February - Native American

March - Speaker - Andy Favorite

Through these SEED Seminars, I hope to provide the participants the space and materials to explore their own education, their lives as teachers, and their capacity to work toward creating diverse, inclusive learning communities.

-- Anonymous, January 07, 1999

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