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TEACHING STRATEGY

Four Perspectives

Community Inquiry
Grade Level

What?
A strategy to introduce the anti-bias framework into group discussion and textual analysis. Students respond to and pose questions from the four anti-bias domains: identity, diversity, justice and action.
 

When?

After reading
 

Why?

There are four anti-bias domains built into the Perspectives curriculum. These domains organize the curriculum’s Anti-bias Standards and exemplify the goals of positive identity development, prejudice reduction, social justice and collective action in ways that are relevant to teaching and learning. Four Perspectives helps students analyze, listen and articulate their thoughts about texts with those goals in mind.

Because of the inherently social nature of the four domains, they are particularly useful for activities in which students are communicating and interacting with one another. This strategy blends well with activities where a goal is to develop speaking and listening skills.


How?

  1. Select a central text, or combination of central texts, that align to the four anti-bias domains. Central texts can be displayed and printed with a special view option that highlights the alignment of anti-bias standards within the text.
  2. Designate four areas of the room, one for each anti-bias domain: identity, diversity, justice and action.
  3. After reading, introduce one or more of the Four Perspectives activities: textual analysis, station work and jigsaw.

    Textual analysis

    • Select several excerpts from the text to display or read aloud.
    • Ask students to decide with which anti-bias domain the excerpt is best aligned and then go to that designated area of the room.
    • Once students are in place, call on individual students to defend their positions, citing the text for evidence.
    • The Persepctives Anti-bias Standards are grouped into the four anti-bias domains. Display the standards, and ask students to identify specific standards within their chosen domains to which the excerpt best aligns.

    Station work

    • Develop (or ask students to generate) text-dependent questions.
    • Group questions by anti-bias domain and post them in the corresponding areas of the room.
    • Ask students to rotate in small groups around the room, stopping at each station to discuss the questions.
    • Help students synthesize their learning by facilitating a whole group discussion after all groups have visited the Four Perspectives stations.

    Jigsaw

    • Search for texts by issue (e.g., gender, race and ethnicity, immigration, disability) or theme (e.g., individual and society, membership and solidarity, rights and responsibilities).
    • Implement this activity when students have read several texts that share a theme and address all four anti-bias domains. (See sample texts below.)

     

    Anti-bias domain 6-8th grade texts 9-12th grade texts
    Identity I, Too by Langston Hughes Hand Me Downs by Sarah Kay
    Diversity Foul Line by Colleen McElroy Commonwealth Club Address by Cesar Chavez
    Justice Patience is a Dirty and Nasty Word by John Lewis Redstockings Manifesto by Redstockings
    Action Loving for All by Mildred Loving Declaration of Sentiments by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

     

    • Organize students into home groups of four.
    • Each student is also assigned to one of four expert groups: identity, diversity, justice or action.
    • Instruct students to leave their home groups and join their expert groups, where they should discuss the text’s theme through the assigned anti-bias domain, using pieces of text as evidence.
    • Students return to their home groups and use what they learned in their expert groups to discuss the texts from the perspectives of each of the four anti-bias domains. Students should present information to their home groups in a clear way using relevant and supporting evidence. This step is crucial since the other group members are relying on each other to fully understand the text’s theme.


English language learners

This strategy is appropriate for intermediate English language learners (level three or above). Four Perspectives promotes verbal communication while building on vocabulary and comprehension. Provide ample “think time” after posing questions for students. When students are working in groups, for example, assign one student to be “think time” monitor to ensure ample time is given for English language learners to process the information and language.


Connection to anti-bias education

Four Perspectives provides a framework for making sense of the complex issues students will encounter in the Perspectives central texts. The anti-bias domains (identity, diversity, justice and action) represent a spectrum of engagement in anti-bias and social justice education and work. Building these perspectives into discussion ensures a variety of questions and a richer discussion. For instance, a discussion about racism that is framed by all four anti-bias domains will draw distinctions among bigotry, institutionalized racism, stereotypes and legal discrimination.