The Harvard University Graduate School of Education will be taking major steps this summer to broaden its focus on diversity and inclusion — with staff “keenly dedicated” to those topics.
Dean Bridget Terry Long and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Director Tracie Jones told The Crimson the school plans on the “intentional hiring” of staff with expertise in these areas.
The HGSE already has hired a “senior instructional coach for anti-racist pedagogy” and is looking for a librarian whose focus is “critical pedagogy.”
Jones said the school’s redesign will “collect data regarding diversity and inclusion” for its master’s program so as to improve such measures for every new group of students. Master’s of Education students will have to demonstrate competencies in diversity, equity and inclusion.
Jones also said COVID-related remote discussions and instruction facilitated segregation to a degree; in response, HGSE “plans to create clear, scheduled summer programming” to allow students to (re)connect. (Segregation this is a concern?)
Still, virtual formats did “facilitate thoughtful conversations” about improving anti-racist instruction at the school:
“Some work around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging has been easier being in a remote environment, because it allows for some to kind of slow down the conversation a bit, to be able to be thoughtful, to have multiple ways in which people can participate, whether that’s speaking or writing in the chat,” [Long] said.
“People are bringing with them their local communities, which brings in a whole new dimension of how we think about identity and how we think about diversity,” Long added.
Jones noted HGSE students have been busy creating a pair of library guides to “spread knowledge about the experiences of racial minority groups.” One documents how the black community dealt with COVID, and the other deals with “Asian-American activism through art.”
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