Are you familiar with Perspectives for a Diverse America? It’s Teaching Tolerance’s K-12 literacy-based anti-bias curriculum. It’s entirely free and housed online. And that’s not all—Perspectives promotes social justice and equality and meets the text-complexity demands of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy.
At the heart of Perspectives is the Central Text Anthology, a carefully curated collection of nearly 300 rigorous texts that exemplify the domains of Teaching Tolerance’s Anti-bias Framework: Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action. The texts also reflect the diverse voices in our communities through the lenses of ability, community, immigration, race and ethnicity, class, gender, LGBT and religion.
At conferences and through online inquiries, Teaching Tolerance staff are often asked how we selected the texts in the anthology. It’s a great question—and the answer speaks to the very objective behind the curriculum. We looked for (and continue to add) texts that support the anti-bias domains of Identity, Diversity, Justice and Action and that will work as “mirrors” or “windows” for students. Perspectives offers educators an accessible and customizable way to put into action anti-bias educator Emily Style’s view that students need to see themselves reflected in texts (mirrors) and look into the lives and experiences of others through texts (windows).
The anthology’s texts were also selected to reflect what educators might not find in commercial anthologies and textbooks. Moreover, selections were made to include diverse text types. In addition to written informational and literary texts, the anthology includes film clips, podcasts, interviews, cartoons, charts and photographs. Take a look for yourself. You’ll notice that you can filter texts—quickly— for grade level, text type, lens, theme and anti-bias domain.
Another question we are frequently asked is whether and how the texts are leveled. Each text in the Central Text Anthology was quantitatively leveled using a range of tools including Lexile, Flesch-Kincaid, ATOS and DRP. But that’s not all! The text’s complexity was also evaluated using qualitative dimensions: meaning/purpose, structure, language and knowledge demands.
To determine the level of each text, use the advanced filter to locate texts in your desired grade band. From there, each text is labeled with the Common Core State Standards text level and an exact Lexile score in gray just above the title.
With our eye on our mission of supporting equitable school experiences, improving intergroup relations and reducing prejudice, we are thrilled that Perspectives is making its way into classrooms across the country. Here’s a sampling of feedback we have received from educators on the Central Text Anthology.
Such an impressive collection … so thoughtfully arranged.
I appreciate the inclusion of texts from multiple perspectives and genres as they relate to certain social justice and equity issues.
I am extremely impressed with the thoroughness that has gone into the development of these resources and truly appreciate the ability to use them with my district.
Thank you for putting all these resources in one place!
We hope you take the time to explore Perspectives today. For more information on this curriculum, check out this blog series. And there's more. You can replicate the process we used to level the texts in Perspectives with our new tool, Reading Diversity. This editable PDF walks you through not only quantitative and qualitative leveling considerations of the Common Core but also diversity and representation, as well as reader and task.
Find additional blogs, articles and professional development resources on Perspectives here.
- Teach with 'Perspectives for a Diverse America'
- How Do Central Texts Fit into Perspectives?
- Toolkit for “Perspectives”
- Teaching Tolerance’s Anti-bias Framework
- How Does the Anti-bias Framework Fit into Perspectives?
- Critical Practices for Anti-bias Education
- What’s Your Favorite 'Perspectives' Reading?
- Celebrate LGBT Pride Month With ‘Perspectives’!
- New 'Perspectives' Readings!