Teaching for Tolerance

Southern Poverty Law Center’s

Teaching Tolerance Program


“We won’t achieve equality and justice through the courts and investigative reporting alone. The future of our great country lies in the hands of today’s young people.”

That’s why we aim to put our legal work and Intelligence Project out of business: We’re reaching into schools across the Nation with lessons to counter the bigotry and extremism that children hear in the media and even from people who are supposed to be role models. The SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance program works through educators to nurture a new generation that is more accepting of difference and more engaged in social justice than those that preceded it. We want kids to get along with each other and, just as important, see themselves as global citizens in a diverse society with the capacity to work together for a fairer world.

Since 1991, Teaching Tolerance has equipped hundreds of thousands of educators with classroom tools and resources that reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations and foster school equity. This anti-bias program creates and distributes—free of charge—award-winning content through curriculum guides, professional development materials, films, articles and blogs. Teaching Tolerance magazine is sent to 450,000 educators in all 50 states and Canada twice annually, with a Summer issue available online and on iPad, and tens of thousands of educators use our free curricular kits. Teaching Tolerance provides these materials and an entire anti-bias curriculum so educators can integrate them into core classroom units, their own professional development and school culture—and across whole school districts

Darnell Fine – Teaching Tolerance Awardee

Culturally Relevant Curriculum

Curriculum, in its most simple, essential, commonly understood form, is the “what” of education. It is crucial to academic performance and essential to culturally responsive pedagogy. Even the most “standard” curriculum decides whose history is worthy of study, whose books are worthy of reading, which curriculum and text selections that include myriad voices and multiple ways of knowing, experiencing, and understanding life can help students to find and value their own voices, histories, and cultures.

Hear high school creative writing teacher, Foster Dickson, talk about text selection and the importance of a diverse selection of authors.

Look For:

    • What does Foster say about including authors of different backgrounds and the message it sends to his students?
  • How does he think reading authors from different backgrounds will impact his students?

Go Deeper:

Learning Lakota
For a high school on South Dakota’s Rosebud Reservation, culturally responsive curriculum is proving a hefty antidote to the violence, poverty and growing cultural disconnect hindering student success.

Reflect On:

    • How do the teachers at Todd County High School use culturally relevant teaching methods to connect with their Lakota students? How do the students interviewed say this makes them feel about themselves and their studies?
  • Does the disconnect between student cultural background and teacher cultural background that exists in the story, exist in your school? How can you bridge this disconnect?

Ready Resources:
Foster’s Reading List (PDF)
Find great books with the searchable database from the Center for Cultural Fluency
Find additional resources using Multicultural Resource Matrix from Cal State Monterey Bay

Retrieved From: http://www.tolerance.org/supplement/culturally-relevant-curriculum on November 23, 2014



Recommended RESOURCES:

Teaching for Tolerance Classroom Lessons

Culturally Relevant Teaching Strategies

Culturally Responsive Instruction


The 30 Articles of Human Rights