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Identity Safe Classrooms
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Identity Safe Classrooms
Places to Belong and Learn

  • Dorothy M. Steele - Executive Director, Stanford University, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (Retired)
  • Becki Cohn-Vargas - Director, Not In Our School

Foreword by Linda Darling-Hammond

Additional resources:


September 2013 | 232 pages | Corwin

Every child valued and empowered to learn—this book shows you how!

This book is focused on a set of strategies that have a positive effect on student learning and attachment to schooling, in spite of real and powerful social inequalities. This evidence-based book is drawn from research showing that students from all backgrounds in identity safe classrooms learn better and like school more than their peers in other classrooms.  

In identity safe classrooms, teachers strive to ensure that students feel their identity is an asset rather than a barrier to success at school. Elementary teachers will learn the importance of teaching pro-social skills and cooperative learning in the context of high expectations and challenging curriculum.

Use these strategies, rooted in social psychology research and child centered teaching practices, to build communities of learners in diverse classrooms.  Invaluable teacher vignettes, reflective exercises, and practical advice make this comprehensive guide a must for creating an inclusive, academically challenging classroom where students come to understand the empowering message that who they are and what they think matters. 

“In this timely, engaging, and needed book, Steele and Cohn-Vargas describe creative and captivating ways in which teachers can construct identity safe classrooms where students from diverse racial, social, economic, and linguistic groups can learn and flourish.”
—James A. Banks, Professor, University of Washington
Founding Director, Center for Multicultural Education

“This timely and pragmatic book thoughtfully lays out a new vision of education with design principles for inclusive, respectful, and rigorous classroom environments that promote expansive and culturally validating forms of learning.”
—Kris D. Gutierrez, Professor of Learning Sciences and Literacy
University of Colorado at Boulder

“The authors combine their scholarship, experience, and wisdom in this amazing book. We all want to know: How can we help students enjoy school and become eager learners? Educators, read this book and find out!”
—Carol Dweck, Professor
Stanford University


 
Foreword by Linda Darling-Hammond
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Part I. Getting Started
 
Chapter 1. Welcome to Readers
 
Chapter 2. How to Use This Book
 
Part II. Child-Centered Teaching
 
Chapter 3. Listening for Students' Voices
 
Chapter 4. Teaching for Understanding
 
Chapter 5. Focus on Cooperation
 
Chapter 6. Classroom Autonomy
 
Part III. Cultivating Diversity as a Resource
 
Chapter 7. Using Diversity as a Resource for Teaching
 
Chapter 8. High Expectations and Academic Rigor
 
Chapter 9. Challenging Curriculum
 
Part IV. Classroom Relationships
 
Chapter 10. Teacher Warmth and Availability to Support Learning
 
Chapter 11. Positive Student Relationships
 
Part V. Caring Classrooms
 
Chapter 12. Teacher Skill
 
Chapter 13. Emotional and Physical Comfort
 
Chapter 14. Attention to Prosocial Development
 
Epilogue
 
Index

Supplements

"In this timely, engaging, and needed book, Steele and Cohn-Vargas describe creative and captivating ways in which teachers can construct identity safe classrooms in which students from diverse racial, social, economic, and linguistic groups can learn and flourish. The voices of classroom teachers that are interwoven throughout the book enliven and enrich it, as well as make it especially appealing and helpful to teachers and other school practitioners. A unique strength of this book is the way in which it effectively and seamlessly blends theory, research, and the wisdom of practice of veteran teachers. It deserves a wide audience."

James A. Banks. Founding Director
Center for Multicultural Education, University of Washington, Seattle

"The authors combine their scholarship, experience, and wisdom in this amazing book. We all want to know: How can we help students enjoy school and become eager learners? Educators, read this book and find out!"

Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology
Stanford University

"Identity Safe Classrooms is an indispensable resource for every school and educator interested in ensuring a robust and equitable education for all of our nation’s youth.  Steele and Cohn-Vargas help us understand, in clear and compelling ways, how students’ opportunity to learn and the identity they develop as learners is inextricably tied to the learning contexts of which they are a part. This timely and pragmatic book thoughtfully lays out a new vision of education with design principles for inclusive, respectful, and rigorous classroom environments that promote expansive and culturally validating forms of learning."

Kris D. Gutierrez, Inaugural Provost Chair, Professor of Learning Sciences and Literacy
University of Colorado at Boulder
Key features
  • Practitioner-oriented: Unlike the majority of books on this topic that call on school leaders to shift school culture , Steele and Cohn-Vargas address classroom teachers directly and offer strategies that can be implemented quickly with students.
  • Grounded in a rich body of theory: This will be the first professional development resource that draws on Stereotype Threat, a groundbreaking line of social-psychological theory
  • Classroom-tested: These strategies were highly successful when implemented during a year-long study of 84 elementary classrooms
  • Built around an innovative framework: Features four categories of core instructional practices for creating identity-safe classrooms
  • Includes vignettes and reflective exercises: These practical tools can be used by individual teachers or completed by teacher teams

Sample Materials & Chapters

Front Matter

1. Welcome to Readers


Preview this book

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781452230900
$31.95