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- Blair Garnett, Class of '10, from NC

Diversity Awareness focus of book by St. Andrews Professor

“As an educator, I know that we are living in a diverse society. Teachers are faced with the challenges and opportunities of teaching a society more diverse now than at any time in its history. If teachers are not prepared to deal with these diverse backgrounds, they cannot hope to reach all children.”

It was with this understanding in mind that Dr. Rona Leach McLeod, assistant visiting professor of education at St. Andrews, embarked on the research and writing of the teacher’s resource guide, Diversity Awareness for K-6 Teachers: The Impact on Student Learning recently published by Rowman Education.

“It is a concern of many new teachers,” McLeod said. “They ask ‘how do I maneuver through the diversity and teach my content?’ I tried to create a methodology in this guide that is fun and exciting. The goal was to integrate diversity awareness into the curriculum as a part of learning.”

According to the publisher’s statement, “Diversity Awareness for K-6 Teachers: The Impact on Student Learning is a resource guide for elementary teachers and college-level student teachers for teaching diversity awareness across the various areas of content. It contains many exciting activities teachers can use to enhance learning while making learning and teaching fun and exciting. Specific “themes” are covered as a part of diversity awareness lessons. Teachers have opportunities to create and develop additional activities and document outcome of lessons.”

Early reviews from education leaders have been strong.

Diversity Awareness for K-6 Teachers is an excellent guide in promoting and developing student interest in learning,” said former North Carolina General Assembly Representative Douglas Yongue, a retired public school teacher, principal and superintendent. “The guide gives teachers additional options to assist in promoting excellence in classroom environments, especially those with a broad range of student diversity.”

Retired Professor of Education O. Eugene Smith agrees. “An interesting set of lessons - McLeod provides quite a variety of activities and themes in the 46 lessons. The lessons lend themselves to individual, pair, or group work with students. The lessons are covered with a plan, activities and assessment.”

For McLeod, her hope is that this book will benefit not only teachers, but also anyone who works with children.

“It is not an educational guide only for teachers,” she said. “It is really a source of information for anyone who works with children. People hear diversity and they think race or gender and those are just drops in the bucket when it comes to diversity. Anyone who works with children can get something out of it.

“In this day and time with globalization and the mobility of students, it is important to teach content with the reality of diversity in mind.”

About St. Andrews

An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.

On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.

 

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