The following list of resources was compiled to support educators’ work to better serve our nation’s most vulnerable students and provide more equitable access to high quality learning opportunities. To create this list, Students at the Center (SATC) staff considered both the four principles of student-centered learning from the SATC framework and the strategies outlined in Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education, a guide authored by Perspectives for a Diverse America and Teaching Tolerance.
Many practices promote equity and support diversity in the classroom. Educators across the country are working to address cultural sensitivity, decrease bias, build a positive school and classroom culture, and increase student engagement and belonging. Below are tools, examples in practice, and tips to help educators expand their understanding of such strategies. They are organized into the following topic areas: instruction, classroom culture, family and community engagement, and teacher leadership. For more background on how we selected these topics, click here.
The same instructional strategies that support student-centered learning can contribute to equity in education. Effective educators personalize the learning experience by meeting students where they are with the supports they need, giving them a voice in how and what they learn, and creating opportunities for ALL students to engage deeply. Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education highlights the following key strategies educators need to support diverse learning styles and create curriculum and assessments that engage students in meaningful ways:
- Critical Engagement with Material
- Differentiated Instruction
- Cooperative and Collaborative Learning
- Real-World Connections
- Values-Based Assessment, Evaluation and Grading
This list of instructional strategies aligns with the student-centered practices featured throughout the SATC Hub. To learn more, educators can explore the SATC resource database by topic or check out the following resources developed by SATC.
Educator Competencies for Personalized, Learner-Centered Teaching – Instructional: Need to Do
This list describes the instructional skills that are at the heart of personalized, student-centered learning. These include creating engaging and relevant curriculum, managing classroom dynamics, and using instructional approaches and methods that build toward and assess mastery. To support development of these skills, a list of resources pulled from the SATC resource database accompany the competencies.
Equal Opportunity for Deeper Learning
This report from the SATC Deeper Learning Research Series includes a section that details the student-centered instructional practices that provides equitable access to deeper learning. Educators may be most interested in the section “What Educators Need to Know to Enable Deeper Learning”.
Student-Centered Practice & Innovation: Stories from New England
This tool features place-based examples and resources of student-centered learning in districts across New England organized by the Students at the Center Framework Principles. These resources, which include on-the-ground video and multimedia, showcase and illustrate understanding, visions of, and approaches to student-centered learning and implementation.
Literacy Practices for African-American Male Adolescents
This paper from the SATC Deeper Learning Research Series looks at student-centered learning in the context of race and gender. It includes a review of the literature on factors that impede reading achievement, a socio-historical perspective for advancing African-American male literacy, a framework of literacy instruction, and discussion of the implications for research, policy, and practice.
Latino/a and Black Students and Mathematics
This report from the SATC Deeper Learning Research Series proposes ways to make math instruction more student-centered to improve achievement, especially for students of color. Drawing on research that explores learning outside of school and math as a cultural activity, the authors suggest a combination of strategies to build confidence, make math more meaningful, and engage all students.
To serve all students equally, teachers must create an environment that honors and supports all students’ identities and makes them feel safe to be themselves and contribute to the group learning community. In these student-centered classrooms, students can learn to speak out against bias and injustice. Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education highlights the following strategies to help educators create these types of classrooms:
- Honoring Student Experience
- Thoughtful Classroom Setup and Structure
- Shared Inquiry and Dialogue
- Social and Emotional Safety
- Values-Based Behavior Management
The following resource list from the SATC database includes tools, tips from educators, and examples in practice to help any educator dive into these topic areas to reflect on teaching practice and learn new strategies to build positive classroom culture.
Socratic Seminars: Building a Culture of Student-Led Discussion
This article, written by a teacher, outlines how to plan for, run, and debrief a Socratic style seminar to deepen student learning and build community through student discussion.
Teaching the Whole Child: Instructional Practices That Support Social-Emotional Learning in Three Teacher Evaluation Frameworks
This research-to-practice brief includes an overview of 10 teaching practices that promote social-emotional learning (SEL) and positive learning environments.
Diversity Lesson Plans from Around the Web
This extensive list of lesson plans and activities that explore diversity, prejudice, and bias is organized by age range as well as topic area.
Teaching Tolerance Classroom Resources
This website features a large number of lessons, short texts, and assessment tools to support tolerance and anti-bias education. They are aligned with the Common Core as well as Teaching Tolerance’s Social Justice Standards. Lessons are searchable by grade-level, subject, and topic area.
Restorative Justice: Resources for Schools
This resource page defines restorative justice, shares case studies of restorative justice in schools, and provides resources for getting started introducing restorative justice into a school setting.
Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Support Matters
This report explores the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) model and discusses the importance of making it more culturally responsive. It outlines a five-step implementation process schools can use to create a safe, inclusive, and democratic school climate for ALL students.
Disengagement Problems Disguised as Discipline Problems
This article provides an expansive look at ways to approach behavior management in a more student-centered way. It describes the work of one school to address discipline concerns by increasing opportunities for student voice.
The meaningful inclusion of families, organizations, businesses, and others into the learning community of a school honors the strengths of a community and provides many student-centered learning opportunities. Learning to reach out in ways that are culturally competent and asset-based takes reflection, research, and lots of practice. Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education highlights the following key strategies to help educators gain these skills:
- Culturally Sensitive Communication
- Inclusion of Family and Community Wisdom
- Increased Connections Among Families
- Use of Local Resources
- Engagement with Community Issues and Problems
The following resource list from the SATC database includes tools, tips from fellow educators, and examples in practice to help any educator dive into these topic areas to strengthen relationships with students’ families and communities.
Partnership Strategies for Real-World Projects
This article features Iowa BIG, a public high school in Cedar Rapids, where students learn across disciplines through community-based projects. School leaders share their tips for establishing and nurturing partnerships with local organizations, businesses, and government agencies.
A Guide for Engaging ELL Families: Twenty Strategies for School Leaders
This guide shares useful strategies schools can employ to engage bilingual students and their families. It emphasizes the importance of honoring families experiences and nurturing their development as leaders and partners in schools.
Equity at the Center: A Tool for Assessing Communication
This SATC assessment tool, based on the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), can help teachers, schools, districts, or intermediary organizations examine digital resources such as websites, to ensure critical information is accessible to all stakeholders, including families from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Making the Shift from Community Engagement to Community Collaboration
This article outlines 4 steps districts can take to shift from traditional community engagement, in which schools push out information to families, towards active community collaboration, in which community input guides changes.
An Overview of Personalized Learning for Schools, Families & Communities
This report provides an overview of personalized learning in parent-friendly language. Educators can use it to help answer questions and communicate clearly to better engage families in student learning.
Partnership for Change
This organization brings together local nonprofit and education organizations, government, and businesses in Burlington and Winooski, Vermont to improve student-centered education. It is a great example of schools and communities working in concert.
To advance equity, teachers must continually reflect on their own implicit biases, examine their teaching practice, learn from colleagues, share ideas, and push the tough conversations about how to best serve ALL students. Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education highlights the following key strategies for educators:
- Self-Awareness and Cultural Competency
- Speaking Up and Responding to Prejudice, Bias and Stereotypes
- Building Alliances
- Leading Beyond the Classroom
- Ongoing Reflection and Learning
The following resource list includes tools to help any educator dive into these topic areas to improve practice and build professional learning communities committed to equity.
Catalyzing Equity Through Culturally Responsive Education and Competency-Based Education
This video features staff and students discussing the ways mastery-based learning can increase equity by supporting cultural responsive education, reducing implicit bias, and increasing student engagement. The accompanying tool allows teachers to self-evaluate their own classroom practices.
This article and website feature a Rhode Island organization that trains students to lead teacher professional development around race and diversity. This resource provides lots of ideas to help school leaders and educators move students to the center of these critical conversations.
Courageous Conversations About Race in Schools
These short videos, and accompanying discussion guides, are designed to prompt deeper, more authentic conversations about issues of racial equity in schools. They feature State Teachers of the Year speaking candidly about equity, sharing their experiences and ideas on how to move forward.
Teaching Tolerance PD Resources
The professional development section of this website features resources to help teachers learn more and reflect on their own practices. Topics include school climate, instruction, classroom culture, family engagement, and teacher leadership. This section also features a large database of recorded webinars.
Disrupting Inequity: Having Brave Conversations About Bias
This toolkit was designed to help school communities have facilitated conversations about race, bias, and prejudice. The kit includes a facilitator’s guide, three PowerPoint presentations, and other materials needed for a facilitator to lead a group through three 90-120 minute sessions.
Racial Equity Tools
This site features a large database of tools, research, tips, curricula, and ideas for anyone who wants to increase his or her own understanding and work toward justice in systems, organizations, and communities. The resources are well organized and searchable by topic.