Letters from the Future

Linking Students and Teaching with the Diversity of Everyday Life

December 2006
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    11th December 2006
  • ISBN 9781579221874
  • Language English
  • Pages 320 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
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December 2011
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    30th December 2011
  • ISBN 9781620360361
  • Language English
  • Pages 320 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

This volume provides insights into the teaching and learning practices and experiences of diversity educators and their students. College-level teachers from such disciplines as biology, social work, sex education, communication, political science, English literature, and criminology share their general philosophy of teaching and the challenges they face in the classroom.

This unique book integrates compelling letters from former students within each teacher’s chapter. These narratives provide insightful observations about diversity lessons learned while in class–and how classroom experiences have transferred to these former students’ professional and personal lives.

This book will be useful to college teachers who currently teach courses with a diversity-focused content, or who plan to incorporate diversity content within an existing course. Directors of teaching and learning centers, coordinators of doctoral programs and TA centers will also find helpful information and insights about pedagogy, process, and learning outcomes.

“A simple idea — let former students tell what they learned in courses on diversity — makes this book a bold and creative instrument for preparing students for real-world challenges. Narratives from graduates of all races, ethnicities and abilities, written as letters to the instructors they had for diversity courses, illuminate the state of training for living and working in increasingly multicultural, nonsexist and accessible environments.
As graduate after graduate describes the value realized from one course, one professor or one lesson, the reader senses optimism for the future.”

Diverse Issues in Higher Education

“Letters from the Future is more than timely—it is long overdue. Few issues are more important to the educational endeavor than recognizing and accepting diversity as the hallmark of American society, today and in the future. Schools and colleges must serve as the vector for fundamental change in attitudes among all segments of society. The bonding among students and the interplay between students and teachers exhibited in this volume is exciting. The student narratives are alternately encouraging, eye opening, and poignant.”

Marilyn J. Young, Professor Emerita, Department of Communication, and Michael K. Launer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and interpreter and language consultant - , Florida State University

“Letters from the Future is a much needed volume of work by educators who offer thoughtful concepts and tools for integrating diversity into college level curriculum and classroom experiences. It is a rich resource for faculty who are teaching about, learning about, or 'doing diversity work' in academe. Instructors will find compelling illustrations of pedagogical approaches, and the letters from students complete the circle by giving voice to the impact of the teaching on their learning experiences over time. I heartily recommend this book to all who are engaged in teaching and learning about diversity in higher education."

Rita Hardiman, Ed.D, Multicultural Organization Development Consultant - , R. Hardiman Associates

“Translates passion into a unique contribution to both the study and pedagogy of diversity. It looks at the impact of teachers on learners...through the memories of those teachers' students. The students' personal stories continue to remind us of the teacher's influence on each student's experiences in shaping the future.”

Judith F. Vogt, Organizational Development Consultant and Lecturer - , The University of Texas, San Antonio

“This fresh and useful book could be titled ‘lessons learned’ because readers will gain rare and impressive lessons about diversity, both from the expertise of the authors and their powerful use of student narratives. As institutions of higher education struggle with implementing their goals for inclusiveness, I recommend this work as one that brings to light in a much different way, the struggles and bottlenecks that impede transformational success. The interdisciplinary approach combined with a broad conceptualization of diversity, is not only unique in format but adds a holistic paradigm by which to examine the strategies academicians are using to teach about multiculturalism. This text gives us information that can change images and perspectives.”

Barbara W. White, Dean, School of Social Work - , The University of Texas at Austin

“So often, teachers do not know the influence of the lives they have lived or the influence of their instruction on the lives of students who will help create our country’s future....It is difficult to read these personal narratives without coming away with a sense of urgency for more discussions that go beyond conversations based solely upon stereotyped, preconceived notions about the identities of others.”

Michelle Howard-Vital, from the Foreword

Foreword--Michelle Howard-Vital; PART I: FOUNDATIONS: Diversity Initiatives, Institutional Change and Curricular Reform in Higher Education--Devorah A. Lieberman; The Power of Narratives in the Process of Teaching and Learning Diversity--Brenda Jarmon, Deborah Brunson, Linda L. Lampl, with Deborah Cardamone, Mary Cole, Sherick A. Hughes, Martin Jarmond, Audrey Mathews, James McFarland, and Daniel R. Vicker, Jr.; PART II: TEACHERS AND STUDENTS: Lessons Taught/Lessons Learned: Biological Diversity--Muriel Lederman, with Jill Sible, dayna e. wilhelm, and Laurie Spotswood; Curriculum and Race--Earl Sheridan, with Frances Boyes, Tracie Davis, and James Fogleman; Literature, Self-discovery and Identity: Cultural Difference and its Impact on Black Students’ Language Engagement--Patricia Brown-McDonald, with Aquilla Copeland and Michael Gramenz; The Social Construction of Diversity Learning: Reflections from a “Haole”--Scott W. Campbell, with Patricia Fonyad, Zac Gersh, Yoke-Wee Loh, and Malia J. Smith; Intercultural Competence: From the Classroom to the “Real World”; and Back Again--Randy K. Dillon, with Mindy Shelton, Christopher Dixon, Kurtis Lane, and Marlo Hamilton; Narrative Analysis of a Strengths-based Approach to Preparing Students for Graduate and Post-Graduate Education--Karen Bullock, with Crystal Smith, Jessica Hernandez, Dalkis Muir, and Aaron Scott Taylor; Bridging the Gap Between Diversity and Social Justice: Personal and Pedagogical Insights from Courses on the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Crime--Billy R. Close, with Isabelle Delatour, Albert Kopak, Natasha Norton, and Sarah Williams; Dialogue, Reflection, and Critical Analysis: Self/Other Crossing Ideological Borders--Leila E. Villaverde, with Tanya O. Brown, Kazuko Matsuda, Adrienne Sansom, and Warren Scheideman; Teaching About Diversity in Sex Education--Steve Chandler, with Justin Williams, Kevin Coleman, Jeanette Woldman, and Lance Raynor; Letter from the Editors: Moving Toward Best Practices in Teaching Diversity; PART III: RESOURCES (An annotated bibliography of sources related to diversity education and diversity pedagogy).

Brenda Jarmon

Brenda Jarmon is Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Social Work, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee.

Deborah A. Brunson

Deborah A. Brunson is Director of the Upperman African American Cultural Center and Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

Linda L. Lampl

Linda L. Lampl is President/CEO and co-founder of Lampl Herbert Consultants, Tallahassee, where she works as a practicing anthropologist and organization development consultant.

higher education; teaching; pedagogy; diversity; inclusive teaching