Understanding the role of diversity involves some self-reflection

Discussion 1: Expectations

Understanding the role of diversity involves some self-reflection. Self-reflection helps in understanding the framework from which you perceive yourself and others and approach interactions with others. Are there some facets of diversity that you are particularly aware of and others that you might have overlooked? Do you perceive some facets of diversity as being a deficit or a difference? As you ask yourself these types of questions, you will likely begin to appreciate the complex topic of diversity. In this Discussion, you will engage in self-reflection and discuss what you hope to gain from this course. This Discussion topic will be revisited later in the course.

To prepare:

  • Consider the question Akhtar & Jaswal (2013) ask regarding deficit or difference, and how differences between populations should be interpreted.
  • Think about how you define diversity. Do you perceive some characteristics of diversity as a deficit, while perceiving others as a difference?
  • Consider situations in which you worked with children and adolescents with diverse backgrounds. Did you perceive their diversity characteristic as a deficit or a difference?

Post by Day 3:

Write your own informal definition of diversity. Explain what diversity means to you in terms of how it might affect your interactions with children and adolescents. Then share your thoughts on what you expect to gain from this course.

Discussion 2: Diversity and Developmental Science

Contemporary developmental theories and studies of developmental science often make note of the role of diversity in shaping human thought and behavior. One aspect you will likely note is that diversity is a complex topic, and its effect can be found throughout the lifespan. In this Discussion, you will examine scholarly articles and analyze how diversity is addressed in contemporary developmental science.

To prepare:

  • As you review the Learning Resources for this week, think about contemporary developmental theories and ideas account for diversity. Is diversity discussed overtly or is it merely implied?
  • Choose one diversity characteristic (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual identity/orientation, language, family configuration) for discussion.
  • Choose one of the Learning Resources for discussion.

Post by Day 4:

Explain whether contemporary developmental theories take into account all aspects of diversity. Justify your position.

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