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Our Worlds in Our Words
Exploring Race, Class, Gender, and Sexual Orientation in Multicultural Classrooms

Mary Dilg
Multicultural Education Series
Pub Date: September 2010, 168 pages

Paperback: $28.95, ISBN: 0807751162
Cloth: $62.00, ISBN: 0807751170
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Our Worlds in Our Words recognizes the complexities of our children’s world and the opportunities our classrooms provide. This is an important and timely book honoring the significance of each and every person not simply from the historical perspective but with a look to the future.”
Barbara S. Hiller, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction, Evanston, Illinois, public schools

“Mary Dilg has written a remarkably useful book. Grounded in multicultural theory that she has absorbed and lived, Dilg shows how her commitment to multicultural education plays out in the courses she teaches. Because she discusses the model she offers with such depth and clarity, a wide spectrum of educators can draw from it when meeting the very real needs of their 21st-century students.”
Janice R. Welsch, Professor Emerita, Western Illinois University

“Dilg's practical guidance on how to surface and discuss sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom is needed for all school personnel; her empathy with and understanding of young people struggling for safety, respect, and acceptance in often cruel school and family environments is needed for everyone.”
Shannon Sullivan, MPH, Executive Director, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance

“Read this important new book now and learn first hand from Mary Dilg what is truly possible to achieve in American high schools. Practical and conceptual, this inspiring book shows us how excellence in education requires diversity in people and perceptions in our classrooms and schools.”
Daniel B. Frank, Principal, Francis W. Parker School, Chicago and Executive Editor, Schools: Studies in Education

How can teachers help their students to meet high standards of reading and writing while also preparing them to become thoughtful and productive members of a multicultural society? And why is it important to do this? In her new book, Mary Dilg brings us into her high school English classroom, where we see students reach across the social, cultural, and economic lines that divide them to build lifelong literacy skills. The book explores what happens when we introduce students to the words of a broad spectrum of American scholars, writers, and artists and then invite them to examine, debate, and negotiate the ideas presented. Dilg provides a safe space to explore complex issues and includes samples of classroom writing to demonstrate how students use their language arts classroom to make sense of themselves and their world.

Book features:

  • A detailed account of teaching in a culturally and linguistically diverse classroom, including practical strategies to engage and motivate adolescents.
  • A model for integrating issues of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation into the English curriculum and into classroom instruction.
  • A blending of a traditional American Literature curriculum with an up-to-date treatment that will be successful in today’s diverse classrooms.
  • A glimpse at students sharing their voices and building a supportive, multicultural community in the classroom.
  • Examples of student writing and online access to course syllabi, sample assignments, and project guidelines.

Mary Dilg teaches English at the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago. She is the author of Thriving in the Multicultural Classroom: Principles and Practices for Effective Teaching.

Free supplement available here


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