Curriculum Development as Windows and Mirrors. Why?
- Sit back to back with one another.
- Have markers, colored pencils, and crayons at hand
- One partner will interview the other partner for 3 minutes about a place they call home. The catch is: the real location cannot be disclosed just described.
- While the person being interviewed describes their home, the interviewee draws what they think their home looks like based on the responses.
- After the 3 minutes are up, the partners switch turns.
- This exercise is repeated for 3 rounds.
The activity enabled each colleague to gain insight about others. Much like the concept of windows, we were able to see through the details our colleagues shared and create our own ideas based on it.
Demonstration Through Text
Following this exercise, the staff took a visit to the Renton Public Library to choose a children’s book that demonstrated the concept of both windows and mirrors. In other words, a book that taught about somebody else’s experience but also reflected the experience of our students. Windows and mirrors is a great metaphor to explain the importance of students seeing themselves and understanding others through text. In fact, text selection is important. Connections excite students, meaning it is important to choose texts that are uniquely relatable to each student. During the first week of school, teachers executed many lessons that had these pivotal components to a balanced curriculum. It’s amazing to watch as students unravel new academic avenues. It opens their eyes to the vastness of education and the power it has on their lives.
Our world is becoming more and more diverse. Each year, schools are flooded with new students from all parts of the world. This exposure is necessary for growth in students. Meeting new people and understanding various cultures, backgrounds, and lifestyles helps each student paint a bigger picture of life as a whole.
“Diversity matters in classroom learning materials, we need windows into the experiences of others, and mirrors that reflect our culture and identity.”
Diversity is so important. The idea of windows and mirrors goes beyond books – diversity can be built into all kinds of learning resources. Therefore, it is crucial that students see themselves in all aspects of their classroom. In addition, educators need to foster an understanding of others so that students can grow to be able to work with all kinds of people.
A Work in Progress
Everyday is a work in progress at Renton Prep. From our teachers, to our students, to our parents, and staff members, everyone is working toward a goal. Sometimes, it’s the same goal, other times, they are completely different. Each step adds much weight to the overall picture, which is improvement, growth, and advancement in our work. As teachers work to include “windows and mirrors” in their lesson plans, students will continue to see others from a broader lens. Contact our school today to learn more about education here at our school.