Climate of the School:
Climate can be defined as an individual’s perception of how they exist within the school; this includes perceptions of behavior that affect attitudes, feelings and behaviors. It is also the atmosphere as experienced by individuals who are part of the school community or come into contact with the school in some way.
Cultural Competency is the application of a defined set of values, principles, skills, attitudes, policies, and behaviors that enable individuals and groups to work effectively across cultures. It is defined as having the capacity to (1) value diversity, (2) conduct assessment of self, (3) manage difference, (4) acquire and apply cultural knowledge, and (5) adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of the school community.
Diversity embraces the wide range of human characteristics used to mark or identify individual and group identities. These may include: race, national origin, age, personality, sexual orientation, gender, class, religion, ability, linguistic preferences, thought, and learning styles.
Equity exists as a condition that balances two dimensions: fairness and inclusion. With equity, fairness implies ensuring that people have what they need to participate in school life and reach their full potential. Inclusion ensures that essential educational programs, services, activities, and technologies are accessible to all. Note: Equity is not equality; it is expression of justice and ethics.
Inclusiveness means encompassing all; taking every individual’s experience and identity into account and creating conditions where all feel accepted, safe, empowered, supported, and affirmed. Inclusivity also promotes and enacts the sharing of power and recognition of interdependence.
Multiculturalism refers to the presence of many distinctive cultures through examples of language, values, religion, race, communication styles, etc. Multiculturalism also promotes the understanding of, and the respect and celebration for cultural differences. It is also defined as a set of programs, policies, and practices that enable and maximize the benefits of diversity.
Multicultural Education is an approach to education that is grounded in the ideals of social justice and equity. The objective of multicultural education is to help students learn how to live in an ethically and culturally rich, diverse society.
Social Justice is a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure.
Cultural Identifiers can be uses to assist in recognizing and understanding the unique aspects of individuals based on their backgrounds, values, experiences, traditions, and the context in which they are expressed. These categories are changing and emerging in society with the times.
Appreciative Inquiry is a group process that inquires into, identifies, and further develops the best of ‘what is’ in a school in order to create a better future. Appreciative Inquiry is a means for addressing issues, challenges, changes and concerns in ways that build on the successful, effective, and energizing experiences of its members.