Reflective Personal Development Paper
5-to-6 page paper [double-space, APA style]
Students will write a narrative essay about your own life, describing the experiences that have shaped your views of race, culture, and issues of diversity and how your life experiences, perceptions, education, and family background have led to your current ideas about teaching and learning diverse
By researching and studying your own family background, it is possible to gain an appreciation about ways in which we share many similarities and differences. As a brief, introductory section of this assignment, try to gather as much information as you can about your family background including
religious affiliation, ethnicity, culture, language(s), country of origin, education/occupation and any other information you think is of interest and value. Then, reflect on your own experiences in terms of your cultural reference, your family background, your interactions with others unlike yourself, and other factors determined by your own circumstances and your upbringing. Include SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF EVENTS AND SITUATIONS
that you feel shaped your views on these issues. Be sure to situate your
examples in the context of assumptions about schooling and education.
Write a five to six page paper [double-space, APA style] recapturing your recollections and emphasizing your experiences with cultural diversity as a student in elementary, secondary, and higher education.
Some suggested questions you may want to ask yourself:
What messages did I receive growing up a
bout what it meant to be a member of my racial/
ethnic group, religious, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, etc.? How has these, or later life situations that challenged it, informed the way you interact with students or colleagues or parents, either in or out of your group?
Have you been encouraged (or forced) to think about issues like racism, sexism, heterosexism/homophobia, or classism? If so, how did those experiences shape your teaching and/or learning? If not, how has the lack of consideration of those issues informed your teaching and/or learning?
What are some of your life experiences, or dimensions of your identity, that give you a unique insight into multicultural issues?
What are some of the areas or isms with which you still struggle? What are some of your stereotypes or prejudices? How might you confront them?
Try to think deeply about parts of your identity that put you in a privileged group (whiteness for race, maleness for gender, heterosexuality for sexual orientation, uppermiddle class for socioeconomic status, etc.) and the inequities around those areas. Challenge yourself. Use this as an opportunity to
practice and model self-critique.
-Family History Family Background
College and beyond
-Impact on Teaching
Professional Impact/ Educational Strategies
How are you planning to apply this knowledge at PK-12 schools?
What have you learned for this experience/assignment?
Has your awareness changed?
What is your current thinking on the issues of culture, diversity, multiculturalism?
What will you take with you