You are on page 1of 3

Multicultural Competencies for Students

All Students should have both curricular and programmatic opportunities to develop a skill base
(multicultural competencies) that will
• enable them to play an important role in creating a school community that is inclusive -
meaning welcoming and affirming for all
• equip them with the understanding and skills to be mobilized as global citizens acting as
agents of social change.

Skill Set A - affirms diversity (identity) - an ability to:

1. communicate and to share personal stories about issues of diversity

2. participate in safe, open, and real dialogue around issues of diversity both in and outside
of the classroom

3. listen supportively (versus “reacting”) when discussing issues of human differences

4. recognize and to empathize with the life experiences of others and to bridge the gap
between these “multiple realities”

5. learn about one’s own identity development, and to support the identity development of
other students (across race, culture, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc.)

Skill Set B - encourages critical thinking (lens awareness) - an ability to:

1. recognize and to rethink the “lens” through which each of us views diversity (decode

2. understand how human behavior and relationships have been affected by historic and
current oppression and inequity

3. acquire an understanding of systems of social privilege

4. be aware of and respond to biased cultural norms

5. critically analyze the media and its reporting of diversity and cross-cultural related news

Skill Set C - gives students hands-on opportunities - (practice) - an ability to:

1. become “allies” (not to deny or avoid differences, but learn more about what it means to
truly support each other across lines of human differences)

2. intentionally breakdown school culture and its affects on all students (who is automatically
in, who is automatically out - why?)

3. intentionally seek out new learning from the cultural diversity present in every classroom,
and to contribute to the rich exchange of cross-cultural learning within each classroom

4. apply all multicultural competencies to involvement in social action and participation in

effective local community and global citizenship

5. function as social justice-oriented citizens doing more than participating in established

systems and community structures, but
• critically assessing established social, political, and economic structures,
• exploring strategies for change that address root causes of injustice and inequity,
• and acting to solve root causes of injustice and inequity within established
systems and structures.
Beaver Country Day School (revised 6/12/08)
Cycle of Socialization
Lens of Identity
Socialized –taught on a personal level by family, teachers, people we love
and trust –shapers of expectations, norms, values, roles, rules

Born into world with

mechanics in place
No consciousness
No guilt, no choice
Reinforced/bombarded with
messages from:

Institutions (churches,
schools, tv, legal system,
medicine, business,…)
Do nothing
Fear Culture (lyrics, language,
Don’t make waves Ignorance media, patterns of thought)
Promote status quo Insecurity On conscious and unconscious


Change Resulting in: Rewards and

Raise consciousness Punishments
Interrupt Silence, anger,
Educate dehumanization, guilt, self- Privilege
Take a stand hatred, stress, violence, Persecution
Question crime,…
Reframe Discrimination
Lens of Experience

Created by B. Harro (1982). Referenced in Adams, et al. 1997 Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice