Those blood pressure words!
Use of PBS Strategies to Diversity/Multicultural/Social Justice
enhance cultural competence in Segregation
educational settings Oppression & Privilege
A. Eldridge Greer, Ph.D. Social Capital
Denver Public Schools
Adams County School Dist. 14
Our educational system
Justice still important in education?
“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of Our schools are typically more segregated than
race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” immediately prior to Brown v. Topeka Board of
~ Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts (July, (Harvard, 2001).
Education (Harvard, 2001).
African-American and Latino students continue to
be over-represented with regard to discipline
“None of us got where we are solely by pulling (pbis data).
referrals in urban settings (pbis secondary data).
ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here
because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy over-
White students continue to be over-represented
League crony or a few nuns - bent down and with regard to G/T services.
helped us pick up our boots.” ~Former Supreme over-
GLBTQ and Native students continue to be over-
Court Justice Thurgood Marshall represented in suicidal attempts.
Our educational system Critical Insights
With greater frequency, our urban school settings It is a fantastic first step to acknowledge that
are comprised predominantly of students of color, oppression negatively impacts academic
from poverty, and those working on English success.
mastery as a second language.
With increasing frequency, the staff in those same
schools are predominantly white, from the However, it is more critical to examine how
middle/upper income classes, and are privilege impacts/inhibits the academic
monolingual English speakers. success of our students.
What impact could this have on education?
QQQ Levels of Privilege
Q: How has our own personal privilege (e.g., Individual Privilege
class, gender, race, education level, etc.) – Frequently unconscious biases/stereotypes that
been different than some of the students we we all carry
work with? What impact did you see it had Interpersonal Privilege
on your ability to successfully work with a – The combination of personal biases with
student/peer educationally? behavior (e.g., educators unconsciously calling
on male students or “steering” Asian students to
Levels of Privilege Education and Privilege
Cultural Privilege over-
Education settings typically over-emphasize
– School/District-wide practices that unintentionally personal and interpersonal oppression.
reinforce middle class values (e.g., college attainment)
and minimize other values. under-
Education settings typically under-
Institutional Privilege emphasize cultural and institutional
– Rules (formal and informal) that support dominant privilege.
This results in schools often mis-responding
– School/District rules that intentionally/unintentionally
confer resources to some students and not others (e.g., to cultural/institutional issues through an
monolingual educational practices, NCLB) individual/interpersonal lens.
“Twoness” of being American Twoness in Education
The premise that to identify as an American, Educators/communities with social capital often
see the positives of Education—largely because
one has to hold on to two constantly warring they have personally benefited from it. We often
beliefs (Noguera, 2007): believe that education is the key to liberation/
– We believe in liberty, equal opportunity, success.
individual success, that we are morally good. Students/communities without social capital often
– Our republic was built upon chattel slavery, can see the negatives of Education, largely
opportunity was/is often afforded to those with hasn’ people’
because it hasn’t led to enough of our people’s
liberation/success. In fact, it can be seen as the
wealth/social capital, that we have a history of barrier.
international violence towards others, etc.
Quote to ponder Buffers
To insist, then, that we “master our own buffers”
There are several “buffers” that impact our
culture” before learning others only defers
vision with regard to education (Schmoker,
the vexing question: What gets to count as 2007)
our own culture? What makes knowledge – Our own twoness
worth knowing? – Structures that minimize true community
– Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – Our discomfort with showing what happens in
– How instruction is supervised by administrators.
What the buffers are at your school that thought”
Reconsideration of the “center of thought”
makes it difficult to honestly discuss Creating community capital
multicultural/diversity/social justice issues Viewing diversity always as a strength—not
that are impacting?: a barrier
– Your education staff
Willingness to let go of some unearned
– Your students
– Your school’s community
Changing the day-to-day curricular
– The interface of these three together
Example: Overland High School,
Use of PBS Strategies
Cherry Creek School District
PBS strategies can be centrally situated to help ethnic-
Creation of ethnic-specific mentor programs
with this divide:
– Use of data to guide decision-making
decision- to aid in academic and CSAP preparation.
– Use of data to examine socio-cultural trends Creation of photographic posters partnering
– Enhancing buy-in by students for a proactive/positive
school environment students with adults who help to guide their
– Awareness by educators for what students want in a success.
proactive/positive school environment
– Use of tools, such as Restorative Justice, that aim to
address violations of school culture in an interpersonal
– Use of positive strategies versus punisher strategies.
Example: Odyssey K-8 School Example: Adams CO School District
(Denver Public Schools) 14
Creation of “School-wide Design principles” PBS rubrics that mirrored those of the
that guide student behavior/parent feeder middle schools was used by the high
involvement/ teacher instruction school. This minimized the need of
incoming students to have to learn “new”
Activity Other ideas
What are ways you can increase the social Creation of a diverse student PBS team and truly
capital of your school’s community at the
school’ empower the members.
universal, targeted and intensive levels. Include a diverse representation of community
members on your PBS team.
What are the potential barriers are (that your
Identify ways to increase the social capital of the
school is in control over)?
community in relation to your school.
Identify ways for staff to discuss their privilege and
ways to decrease the impact unearned privilege
has on the educational environment.
Elmore, Richard. Building a new structure
for school leadership.
What you tolerate is what you teach Noguera,
Noguera, Pedro. City Schools and the
Rethinking Schools: An agenda for change
(ibsn:1- 56584- 215-