by Paran Quigley, CDE co-chair and Middle School teacher
Here at Inly, we are constantly assessing our curriculum to make sure our students have plenty of opportunities to build important next century skills. One of the many ways we examine our curriculum is through the lens of Multicultural Competencies for Students. According to this framework, all students should have curricular and programmatic opportunities to develop a skill base that will enable them to create an inclusive community and become global citizens.
Within these multicultural competencies, “Skill Set A” involves affirming diversity, “Skill Set B” involves encouraging critical thinking, and “Skill Set C” involves providing students with hands-on experiences.
Here’s a quick glance at some of the ways Inly students develop these critical multicultural skills:
All Inly students…
- access stories that cultivate an appreciation for and interest in all kinds of people (Skill Set A) through our school library and literature selections.
- seek out new experiences (Skill Set C) through a wide range of After School Program options.
- gain cross-cultural communication skills (Skill Set A) by studying Spanish and Mandarin.
- work to understand their own learning style, strengths, and stretches in multi-age environments (Skill Sets A, B, and C).
Toddler House students…
- understand similarities among and differences between (Skill Set A) their families and their classmates’ families.
- use images of children from around the world to recognize people have different life experiences (Skill Set A).
Children’s House students…
- share personal stories about their own identities (Skill Set A) by planning for and participating in their Special Day.
- become more aware of the world around them (Skill Set A) through their geography curriculum about the earth, continents, countries, states, and towns.
Lower Elementary students…
- complete a family history project (Skill Set A) and share their stories with their classmates.
- learn about commonalities all people share (Skill Set A) through their study of the fundamental needs of humans.
- consider how groups of people have historically interacted with one another (Skill Set B) through their studies of migration.
Upper Elementary students…
- discuss how to foster an open and inclusive classroom community (Skill Set A) during advisory group time.
- build a model tenement house to combine what they know about their personal family history with what they learn about immigration to the United States (Skill Set B).
- articulate different sides of historical debates (Skill Set C), like whether or not slavery should be abolished.
Middle School students…
- develop their media literacy skills (Skill Set B) by identifying and discussing biases in news reports and accounts of historical events.
- grapple with the ways in which human behavior and relationships are impacted by history (Skill Set B) through studying the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
- apply their multicultural competencies by engaging in conferences like the Montessori Model United Nations and the AISNE Middle School Diversity Conference (Skill Set C).
- participate in a service learning trip to Guatemala with other Inly alumni (Skill Set C).
- extend on their community service experiences, serve as allies in clubs at their new schools, and pursue opportunities to travel abroad (Skill Set C).
The Montessori cosmic education curriculum that has been expanding children’s worldviews for over 100 years is alive and well here at Inly. For more information on other philosophical underpinnings of multicultural education, check out the selected readings (link) posted on our Council on Diversity and Equity page. For more information on current happenings on campus (link) that are diversity-related, check out our Diversity at Inly page. If you have questions or comments about what multicultural education specifically looks like at Inly, you can reach the CDE by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.