Student Diversity is a resource for a wide audience of teachers. Although the authors advocate a “non-categorical model of resource support,” this is not a choice classroom teachers can make. Resource support is a decision made at the board level, not by individual teachers or schools.
The authors state their beliefs clearly about inclusive education. They list their key points (collaborating, using data to inform instruction, helping students feel safe and engaged, offering voice and choice to students, making connections and taking time) at the beginning and end of the book.
They then explore specific case studies showing a sequence of steps used to teach a concept in a particular classroom and subject area. Teachers can use these case studies to rethink and plan for their own classrooms. For example, there is a chapter on using novel studies in a different way than have traditionally been used.
Most chapters focus on language arts. If you could benefit from a renewed focus on literacy, this book is for you. It contains many ideas to support ELL and less fluent readers, as well as containing suggestions for allowing faster readers to go at their own pace. The authors emphasize the need to slow down and take time to develop key skills with students, to build success over time.
I would not recommend this book for anyone who teaches early primary grades. Many chapters contain examples from only the upper grades and it would be too much of a stretch to make the suggestions fit for significantly younger students.
This book would be helpful for anyone who is in a role where they support teachers in a variety of grades and subjects. The philosophy behind the book is well explained, and the suggestions on how to include a range of learners is helpful.
Marlene Sutton is a member of Hastings and Prince Edward Teacher Local.