Here is a clip from a nice piece in the September issue of NEA Today:
That’s the aim of Palermo’s Leadership and Diversity class, an elective open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors based on the Help Increase the Peace Program (HIPP), a youth program developed in 1991 by the American Friends Service Committee. The class focuses on topics such as diversity, racism, and conflict resolution. They also plan and lead peer workshops that promote acceptance and mutual respect.
“The ultimate goal of any good social studies teacher is to inspire students to think beyond themselves, to take an interest in the world around them, and do something to improve it, even in a small way,” Palermo says.
It begins with taking an interest in current events and being receptive to differing viewpoints. Palermo establishes ground rules for discussion that encourage respect, openness, and empathy. “With ice-breakers and team-building activities, the students usually bond pretty quickly and feel comfortable with each other,” Palermo says. “This allows them to be honest and open when we’re discussing controversial issues.”
|“How the teacher acts is what gives the students reassurance that they can be open and honest.”|