DEI Matters at MAC: September 2023 Update
Communicating the important work we are doing to foster diversity, equity and inclusion at MAC is one of our priorities this school year. We will be including an update in the first newsletter of every month on this work and the progress we are making as a school. We have established a DEI Action Plan to guide our ongoing efforts and have established three major impact areas in which we will continue to work to affect change: Credo, Community and Classroom. We invite you to visit the DEI page on our website to learn more and stay updated on each impact area and our actions and progress throughout the year.
DEI work and professional development will be integrated into each planned professional learning day this school year. At the most recent learning day on 8/21/23, our staff adopted a Community Commitment statement that represents our commitment to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion at MAC. This was the result of thoughtful collaboration to draft, refine and agree on where we stand as educators.
Staff also engaged in professional development during this time to develop a common understanding of and shared terminology for the 3 distinctions of equity in education; multicultural education, social justice education and culturally responsive teaching. Having a clear understanding of the differences between these three key areas is important when engaging in equity work.
- Multicultural education centers around creating positive social interactions across differences.
- Social justice education centers around raising students’ consciousness about inequity in everyday social, environmental, and economic situations.
- Culturally responsive teaching centers around the affective & cognitive aspects of teaching and learning and uses elements of multicultural and social justice education.
Where both multicultural education and social education are more of the “what” in terms of learning content, culturally responsive education is more of the “how” in terms of engagement and delivery of that content. Teachers spent group time to discuss examples of how the 3 distinctions of equity have shown up in MAC classrooms and how they differ by community. Since MAC serves a wide range of students from Nido to Middle School, emphasis was placed on being mindful of appropriateness of age in how topics of equity are addressed, using Maria Montessori’s planes of development/developmental stages as a guide. We also collected important input from teachers on how to support their anti-bias goals and interests in service to our community so we can be responsive in providing the tools and resources that will be most useful in furthering this work at MAC.
Our next professional learning day will take place on 9/22/23 during which we will learn more about the four core goals of anti-bias education. We will provide an update on our work in October!