(3 credits)

Prerequisite course: D-7003 School Law coursework

Course Description:

Today’s educators must appraise, assess, and argue the best means to reach diverse and exceptional students. Additionally, individuals differ in gender, sexual orientation, age, cultural background, experiences, and abilities. In this course, you will explore different means to address the nature of cultural diversity, its sources, and its importance to educators. You will consider how districts can plan and prepare to meet the needs of diverse students, taking into consideration epistemological and axiological perspectives unique to many cultures.

Course Overview

Course overview video or animated PowerPointVideo/PowerPoint transcript

Number of Activities: 11

Learning Outcomes:

1.Assess how different types of individual characteristics influence student learning.

2.Evaluate differentiated instructional approaches that focus on the strengths and needs of diverse learners.

3.Examine how poverty affects educational attainment.

4.Evaluate religiosity as a function of cultural and socialization patterns that affect education.

5.Evaluate how familial and caregiver scenarios influence educational achievement.

6.Recommend reflective practices as part of broader strategies for reducing academic achievement gaps.

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Course Concepts:

1. Cultural Competence and Sensitivity

2. Racial, Ethnic, and Language Diversity

3. The Achievement Gap

4. Socioeconomic Realities and Diverse Family Structures

5. Learners with Exceptionalities

6. Gender and Sexuality

7. Differentiated Instruction for Diverse Learn

course Overview

Section 1: Cultural Competence, Sensitivity, and Reflective Practices

Week 1: Considering Your Own Cultural Bias

Week 1 Assignment 1: Examine Cultural Competence (7 Points)

Week 1 Assignment 2: Reflect on Cultural Competence and Sensitivity (3 Points)

Week 2: Understanding Specific Cultural Differences and Practices

Week 2 Assignment: Design Resource Materialson a Specific Cultural Group (10 Points)

Week 3: Racial, Ethnic, and Language Diversity and the AchievementGap

Week 3 Assignment: Analyze Racial, Ethnic, and Language Diversity in Your Local Context (10 Points)Section 2: Diverse Learners in 21st Century American SchoolsWeek 4: Socioeconomic Realities and Diverse Family Structures

Week 4 Assignment 1: Analyze Socioeconomic Realities and Diverse Family Structures (7 Points)Week 4 Assignment 2: Reflect on Socioeconomic Realities and Diverse Family Structures (3 Points)Week 5: Learners with Exceptionalities

Week 5 Assignment: Create a Research-based Action Plan for a Specific Student (10 Points)Week 6: Gender and Sexuality in the 21st CenturyWeek 6 Assignment 1: Create a Presentation on Gender and Sexuality (7 Points)

Week 6 Assignment 2: Reflect on Sexual Preference and Gender Identity (3 Points)Section 3: Differentiating Instruction for Today’s Diverse LearnersWeek 7: Tools and Strategies

Week 7 Assignment 1: Present Strategies for Differentiating Instruction (10 Points)

Week 7 Assignment 2: Assemble Reflective Journal (10 Points)

Week 8: Linking Research and Practice for Effective Differentiated InstructionWeek 8 Signature Assignment: Design a Plan for a Professional development Workshop (20 points)

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Week 1 – Assignment 1: Examine Cultural Competence

You will write a brief essay on the importance of cultural competence in 21st-century schools.  For this essay, summarize, analyze, and evaluate this week’s readings on the importance of cultural competence and sensitivity.    Apply what you learned from the readings to the issues surrounding diverse learners in your local school and community contexts.  For example, you might consider which ethnic and religious groups face bias and discrimination and have inequitable access to education in your area.

Length: 2-3 pages, not including title and reference pages

References: Include a minimum of 3 scholarly resources.

Week 1 – Assignment 2: Reflect on Cultural Competence and Sensitivity

Your reflective journal is intended to be a place where you “think out loud.”  This assignment is the first reflection in your ongoing journal for this course.

This first journal entry should focus on your background and upbringing as it relates to cultural and familial norms. Norms are actions and beliefs that are accepted as “NORMal” behaviors by a group or society (Lundin, 2019). Consider the following questions as you complete this assignment:

  1. What cultural norms and familial norms did you grow up with?
  2. What has changed for you or stayed the same?
  3. What has changed or stayed the same for others in your community and/or the students you teach?
  4. Considering the issues of implicit bias, personal identity, and changing times, has anything in this first week surprised you or made you uncomfortable? Why might have this surprised you?
  5. What would you like to learn more about and explore further regarding cultural and familial norms?

If you would prefer to submit your journal as a video journal, please let your instructor know. You can use the video tool available in NCUOne to create video journal entries instead of written entries. Instructions for using this tool are available in this week’s resources.

Additionally, you may want to post some of your thoughts from your journal in the NCU Commons. While you are welcome to share your thoughts wherever you would like, a special conversation has been started within the Educational Leadership community of practice; the link is available in this week’s resources.  Introduce yourself, if you have not already, then include whichever parts of your journal you would like to share. Maybe even ask a couple of questions to engage others in a conversation. Feedback and additional perspectives from the diverse voices in the NCU Commons can help you to dive deeper into your ongoing reflections and growth regarding cultural competence. 

References

Lundin, L. L. (2019). Social norms. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Toledo, OH: Great Neck Publishing.

Length: 1 to 3-minute video or 1-2 pages; title and reference pages not required for journal entries.

References: References are not required for the journal. If you do choose to cite references, use APA style for in-text citations and the reference list.

Your journal should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect graduate-level writing and APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.                                                                   

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button

Week 2 – Assignment: Design Resource Materials on a Specific Cultural Group

Your Week 2 assignment offers you an opportunity to creatively present information about a specific cultural group of your choice.  Having this information will help you and your colleagues to better reach and serve the specific community of learners on whom you choose to focus.  The cultural group should relate in some way to your local community where you live or teach. 

Choose an authentic local issue as your starting point for creating your resource sheet.  For example, Dearborn, Michigan has the largest percentage of individuals who identify as Muslims of any city in the United States (Tercero, 2017), so a resource sheet that could be designed about that population in Dearborn would help teachers, administrators, and other public school stakeholders to better understand the unique needs of that specific local population. 

If you need help finding and choosing a local community on which to focus, contact your instructor to help you brainstorm and look at specific and current local issues regarding diversity in your area.

Once you have chosen your specific group to focus on, consider the following:

  • How could a teacher ensure that these students and families feel welcomed at their school regarding the school and classroom culture, procedures, curriculum, and instruction? 
  • What would a teacher need to know in order to best reach this group?  For example, how would you include families in school activities, communicate with parents/caregivers, and build rapport with both students and their families? 

Create a 1 to 2-page information pamphlet, infographic, or resource sheet presenting detailed information to help educators and paraprofessionals to identify the needs and resources for a specific cultural group of your choice. Some free design tools include Piktochart, Canva, and Venngage.

Length: 1-2 pages (or the equivalent in another form)

References: Include a minimum of 3 scholarly resources

Your assignment should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.  

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 3 – Assignment: Analyze Racial, Ethnic, and Language Diversity in Your Local Context

Using the readings from this week and additional resources from the NCU library, prepare a detailed PowerPoint presentation on racial, ethnic, and language diversity.  Analyze your local setting, school, or work environment. 

For example, consider comparing teachers to the students they serve, including individuals who are ELLs, the achievement gap, and other relevant differences that may impact the school environment and student success/engagement in your specific context.  You can find information on your local context by looking at demographic statistics on your local area, school districts’ websites, and local media (such as news articles on current events).  Be sure to link theoretical ideas from your review of the literature on this topic to practical solutions/strategies for your community and/or school.

Length: 6-8 slides with 3-4 sentences in the notes section of each slide; not including title and reference pages

References: Include a minimum of 5 scholarly resources.

Your presentation should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

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Week 4 – Assignment 1: Analyze Socioeconomic Realities and Diverse Family Structures

In this assignment, you will compose a short brief that analyzes socioeconomic realities and diverse family structures by providing examples from your local context.  For example, you might consider the teachers compared to the students they teach.  You can find information on your local context by looking at demographic statistics on your local area, school districts’ websites, and local media (such as news articles on current events).  Be sure to link theoretical ideas from your review of the literature on this topic to practical solutions/strategies for your community and/or school.

Consider the topic of family structures and socioeconomic issues today.  Provide research and evidence from the course readings and other references from the NCU Library.  Cite statistics on poverty, family structures, the achievement gap in order to support your analysis of your local community/school.  If citing the name of a school district, school, and/or any individuals (students, teachers, administrators, etc.), please use alternative names to protect the individuals’ identities. 

Length: 2-3 pages, not including title and reference pages

References: Include a minimum of 3 scholarly resources.

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 4 – Assignment 2: Reflect on Socioeconomic Realities and Diverse Family Structures

You will add a new entry in the reflective journal that you began in Week 1 Assignment 2.

Continue your ongoing personal reflections by thinking about socioeconomic factors and family structures, specifically.  Compare yourself and your family background and schooling/community experiences during your school-age years to those of students’ families today.  Consider the achievement gap in light of desegregation and ongoing issues related to racial inequality.

Remember that you can submit your journal as a video using the video tool available in NCUOne. Instructions for using this tool are available in this week’s resources.

As before, you may want to post some of your thoughts from your journal in the NCU Commons. While you are welcome to share your thoughts wherever you would like, a special conversation has been started within the Educational Leadership community of practice; the link is available in this week’s resources.  Introduce yourself, if you have not already, then include whichever parts of your journal you would like to share. Maybe even ask a couple of questions to engage others in a conversation. Remember that feedback and additional perspectives from the diverse voices in the NCU Commons might support your ongoing reflections and growth regarding cultural competence.

Be sure to consider your instructor’s comments on your previous journal entry and integrate that feedback as appropriate.

Length: an additional 1 to 3-minute video or 1-2 pages in the journal you are building; title and reference pages not required for journal entries.

References: References are not required for the journal.  However, if you do choose to cite references, use APA style for in-text citations and your reference list.

Your reflective journal should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 

Week 5 – Assignment: Create a Research-based Action Plan for a Specific Student

Create a research-based action plan for a fictional student, based on your choice of several provided scenarios.  Be sure to list the scenario you chose in the introduction to your Action Plan.  Focus on how you would use an IEP and/or 504 plan, assistive technology, student grouping, and other teaching strategies to serve this student’s needs.  How would you ensure that this student is comfortable in your school environment?  Provide evidence in your explanations regarding how you are emphasizing diversity in the ways you are supporting this specific learner.  Include references from the readings for this course and/or the NCU library to support your ideas for this student.

https://ncuone.ncu.edu/shared/Course%20Interactives/SOE/ED-7009/week_05_four_diverse_scenarios/story.html Launch in a separate window

Note: If you are unable to access the scenarios in the activity above, they are also located in the Week 5 Assignment Template located in Books and Resources.

Length: 3-4 pages, not including title and reference pages

References: Include a minimum of 5 scholarly resources.

Your Action Plan should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 6 – Assignment 1: Create a Presentation on Gender and Sexuality

For this assignment, you will create a presentation to deliver to your local school board or a similar group of stakeholders.  Create a PowerPoint, Prezi, or similar type of slide show presentation that explains the importance of understanding current and evolving issues related to gender and sexuality.  Be sure to include a slide with resources that you would share with these stakeholders to inform policymaking.  Your presentation can either be recorded using screen capture software and your voice and/or not recorded, but with written speaker notes of your presentation narrative.

Length: 7-10 slides; if not recording a narrated presentation, please include written speaker notes

References: Include a minimum of 4 scholarly resources.

Your presentation should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 6 – Assignment 2: Reflect on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Continue your ongoing personal reflections in your journal by thinking about the changing times over your lifetime concerning gender and sexuality.  Consider examples from your local context.  What are the typical concerns within your community/school from your perspective? What might be the perspectives of others with whom you are unfamiliar?  What might you do to encourage more dialogue and policymaking, if necessary, in this area?  How might specific concerns continue to change during the next decade with the rapidly evolving issue and understanding of gender and sexuality?

If you would prefer to submit your journal as a video journal, use the video tool available in NCUOne. Instructions for using this tool are available in this week’s resources.

Recall that you are welcome to share your journal reflections in the Educational Leadership Community of Practice in the NCU Commons; the link is available in this week’s resources.  Introduce yourself, if you have not already, then include whichever parts of your journal you would like to share. Maybe even ask a couple of questions to engage others in a conversation. Feedback and additional perspectives from the diverse voices in the NCU Commons can help you to dive deeper into your ongoing reflections and growth regarding cultural competence.

Be sure to consider your instructor’s comments on your previous journal entries and integrate that feedback as appropriate.

Length: an additional 1 to 3-minute video or 1-2 pages in the journal you are building; title and reference pages not necessary for journal entries.

References: References are not required for the journal. 

Your reflective journal should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 


Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 7 – Assignment 1: Present Strategies for Differentiating Instruction

Create a presentation (PowerPoint, Prezi, Google Slides, or other similar formats) that explains how differentiated instruction (DI) can help diverse students to succeed academically and socially and can help with issues regarding equity and access.  If you are a teacher, illustrate which DI strategies will work best for diverse learners in your specific content area and/or grade level.  If you are an administrator, illustrate how you can encourage teachers in your school/district to use specific DI strategies to serve the diverse learners in your local context.

Length: 7-10 slides, including additional details in the notes section for each slide; excludes title and reference slides 

References: Include a minimum of 4 scholarly resources.

Your presentation should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 7 – Assignment 2: Assemble Reflective Journal

Add a culminating entry in your journal.  This final entry should reflect your thoughts about differentiated instruction for diverse learners, especially in your specific, local context regarding tolerance versus affirmation. Be sure to write about the past, present, and future. Also, discuss how you might encourage others to reflect in a similar way to what you have done in this course so that they can explore diversity and cultural competence and sensitivity.

After you have composed this final journal entry, combine all of your journal entries from Weeks 1, 4, 6, and 7 into a single document (if written). If you have chosen to create videos for any of your journals, note within that document which weeks were video entries instead of written entries. If you composed all journal entries as videos, you will submit a Word document reminding your instructor that all four journals were submitted as videos.

Be sure to consider your instructor’s comments on your previous journal entries and integrate that feedback as appropriate.

Length: an additional 1 to 3-minute video or 1-2 pages in the journal you have built. The compilation of your journals should include a title page (if written) with a cumulative minimum length of four pages, excluding the title page.

References: References are not required for the journal.  While no references are required, any sources used should be cited and referenced in APA style. Reference pages do not count in minimum page requirements.

Your reflective journal should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 


Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.

Week 8 – Signature Assignment: Design a Plan for a Professional Development Workshop

Imagine that you have been asked to present on educating for a diversity of learners during a full-day professional development workshop at your local school or school district. Your Signature Assignment is to plan this workshop using the template provided in this week’s resources.

Choose four specific topics from this course that would be relevant and helpful to teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, and other staff; you will define the exact audience. Each of the four topics you choose will become a 45-minute session, which you will outline using the template.  Note that the template includes a short break between the two-morning sessions, lunch after Session 2, and a short break between the two-afternoon sessions. 

While creating your full-day professional development activities, be sure to include current and immediately useful resources on each of the diversity issues you explore. Given that this is an academic assignment, you do need to include in-text citations and a reference list.

Length: 7-9 pages, using the provided template, excluding References page

References: Include a minimum of 8 credible resources with at least two resources for each session.

Your plan should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy. 

Upload your document and click the Submit to Dropbox button.