Diversity, distinctiveness, variety, difference—this medley of words shares one con- cept. According to Oxford English Dictionary online, diversity is “the condition or quality of being diverse, different, or varied; difference, unlikeness.”
As a preservice teacher, current teacher or teacher educator, keeping this individual diversity in mind can help enable them to provide the best possible learning environ- ment for their students. By implementing inclusive teaching methods, educators take into consideration that each student comes to class with his or her own set of beliefs, abilities, attitudes, issues and that these aspects affect his or her learning ability.
The Purdue University Diversity Fellows Program is a campus-wide grant oppor- tunity, open to faculty in the participating Colleges. Three faculty members were chosen as the College of Education’s Diversity Fellows. Erik Malewski, assistant professor of curriculum studies, Allen Talbert, professor in the departments of Youth Development and Agricultural Education and Curriculum and Instruction, and Lec- retia Buckley, who has since moved home to Mississippi, were Diversity Fellows for the 2006-2007 academic year.
As Diversity Fellows, they each received a $2,000 grant that was used to revise an existing course or to propose a new course to be taught. They used the funds to purchase academic materials, digital media, films, software, or travel related to course development. Malewski, Talbert and Buckley each chose to revise current courses which were:
EDCI 285 Multiculturalism and Education, revised by Malewski
YDAE 565 Principles of Adult Education, revised by Talbert
EDCI 425 Teaching mathematics in the Secondary Schools, revised by Buckley
Malewski, Talbert and Buckley join the previous year’s College of Education fellows, which included Nadine Dolby, associate professor of curriculum studies, Carole Pis- tole, associate professor of counseling psychology, and Ala Samarapungavan, associate professor of educational psychology.
William McInerney, professor of educational leadership and a member of the Di- versity Fellows Program Coordinating Committee, said, “We are developing a strong set of people in the field of education who are doing great work in diversity.”
The College of Education remains committed to diversity in every way and will continue to encourage other faculty members to take advantage of all that the Diver- sity Fellows Program offers.
college of education magazine FALL 2007
Lynette Flagge, Director of Diversity Initiatives What is your background?
I graduated from Chapman University while serving in the United States Air Force. I worked in the New Orleans area for over 5 years on a wide variety of recruitment, retention and collaborative outreach programs designed to increase P-16 student performances on basic skills, graduation from high school and success in college.
What is the mission of the Diversity Office?
The mission of the Diversity Initiatives Office is to build a community of diversity within the Purdue Teacher Education program and to provide support, unity and guidance to students, faculty and staff within the Teacher Education Program.
What are some current and upcoming diversity initiatives?
Students in Education Enhancing Diversity (SEED) ~current multicultural students
Workshop for Success in Math 137 & 138
Peer support group: current students are matched with incoming freshmen~beginning fall 2007
Creating a Diversity Committee (faculty, staff & students) ~during the 2007-2008 academic year
What are your goals for diversity in teacher education?
Create a more diverse teacher education student population
Continue building relationships with families and school representatives within the local and state community
Create a support group for students where they can continue to embrace their diversity and share their ideas and experiences
Connect diverse students within our communities to Purdue and teacher education
Provide minority students opportunities to participate in outreach activities with interested high school students about teacher education at Purdue University
Develop a Diversity Committee which consists of faculty, staff and students
Develop a Diversity Speaker Series within teacher education
Connect with teacher education alumni of color and invite them to return and motivate our current students to continue in teacher education
“My hope is that teacher education will continue to allow all students the opportunity to experience teaching in a diverse environment. This allows students to understand the role of diversity and how diversity affects learning among students.”