In November 1999, an independent external panel was formulated to offer critique of the ADL’s A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute Anti-Bias Study Guide (Secondary Level). This panel was comprised of secondary level teachers and college-level professors representing California State University at Long Beach, University of California at Berkeley, New York University, Columbia University Teachers’ College, Manassas, Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania School Districts. Panelists were selected based on their expertise in curriculum, multicultural education and teaching.
The findings of the panel were very favorable. Overall, they rated the Anti-Bias Study Guide a 4.2 on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). General conclusions were:
- The Anti-Bias Study Guide offers a comprehensive approach to anti-bias education.
- The Guide offers a "user friendly" format for teacher's use in the classroom.
- The Guide is easily infused into a standards-based curriculum.
- The lessons of the Guide are appropriate for all students and can be easily used within a variety of courses.
Comments from the Panelists
“I found this Guide extremely easy to follow and understand. Not only were the procedures clearly written and logically organized, but the resource lists, handouts, and discussion questions greatly support appropriate instruction, conceptual depth and student engagement.”
“Strengths (of the Guide) include opportunities for students to learn from example and application…and to move from self to knowledge to action plans.”
“The Study Guide links so directly to the kinds of thinking and work current standards emphasize—namely analysis and critical thinking, performance and experiential learning, and integration of multiple disciplines.”
“The Guide is comprehensive in its scope and content. In particular, Units I, II and III draw from real life scenarios adding an authentic flavor to the wide range of teacher and learning strategies.”
“Students (using the Guide) learn about bias conceptually, they think about it personally, they learn how to recognize it in their environments and lives, they study its history, they examine examples of social action, and they engage in planning for initiating social action themselves.”
“The Guide deals with personal values, different perspectives and looking below the surface. These emphases help students understand bias and anti-bias actions as complex and evolving.”
“The document as a whole is strong and impressive. I would recommend it highly to my secondary education students in all disciplines."
Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania indicate significant positive reactions on the part of students with respect to the impact of the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute curricular materials used by educators in classrooms:
- 81% of students reported the lessons help increase their understanding of others viewpoints that are different from their own.
- 76% reported the lessons help them communicate with students different from themselves.
- 66% reported the lessons help them develop a broader view of issues and problems in society.
- 62% reported the lessons help them reflect or think about their own biases and prejudices.
- 78% reported the lessons help to increase their respect for students in their school who are different from themselves.
- 70% reported the lessons help them better get along with all types of people throughout their lives.