Crumbling the walls of ethnic difference through adolescent education
Duchek, Michael M.
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We live in a world where some cultural differences are embraced, and others are rejected. New and creative efforts to both recognize yet transcend these walls of difference within the middle school level of education are necessary if the leaders of tomorrow are to effectively develop their citizenship. Through the lessons proposed in this capstone, students will be encouraged to consider each person as an individual to broaden their knowledge, and to more objectively consider "the other" without negative preconceptions. This process will focus on activating the human desire to belong and to be connected. The thematic units created can be applied in any classroom across the curriculum providing a broader understanding of other cultures and to actively negotiate any gaps of differentiation. Through the implementation of these lessons, a better understanding of why and how others differ will foster appreciation, empathy, and enlightenment cultivating personal revelation in each student. Students will be introduced to the critical reflection process through a variety of learning methods, activities, and observations along with solving moral dilemmas, which will instigate character development in each individual. Two of these thematic units have been taught successfully in my fifth grade senior student teaching expenence.