Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity, in its most simple form, means difference. At WLMS, diversity includes race, ethnicity, religion, family composition, family traditions, ability, and socioeconomic status.
While we seek to respect all differences that community members find meaningful, we ultimately believe that our diversity at WLMS is possible because of a key similarity: shared values. All students of different religions, race, and ability experience equity in education because of a shared respect for learning and an environment in which ideas are freely exchanged.
At WLMS we seek to understand diversity through the eyes of a child. We offer each child "windows" and "mirrors.” Windows are those moments that allow us to understand and acknowledge the realities of others' experiences. An environment of windows allows community members to interact with and form deep bonds with people who are different from themselves, allowing them to explore beyond their own experiences. Mirrors are those moments in which we see our own lives, experiences, preferences, and culture reflected back to us. An environment of mirrors, in which all members of our community experience the validation and security of interacting with others who are similar to them, is part of what creates the relaxed environment so important to learning and building community.
Windows and mirrors support the Montessori practice of educating through experience, exploration and collaboration, and further the Montessori ideal of education as a path to global justice and peace. We also work with the idea of being allies to one another in the classroom and in the school. This can take many forms, such as speaking up when anti-social remarks are made or resolving conflicts in thoughtful ways. Students as allies demonstrate and value diversity and inclusion.
Working with each age group according to their developmental readiness, topics of diversity and anti-bias curriculum are introduced. Topics also arise spontaneously from the students’ own interactions and independent studies. Teachers build on these opportunities, supporting the children’s development of cross- cultural competence.
What is important about diversity is that it offers a way to affirm the self and a way to understand others. The following goals were developed by Louise Derman- Sparks in her book, Anti-Bias Curriculum. They are a starting point for the toddler and 3-6 classrooms.
GOALS OF ANTI-BIAS CURRICULUM
Each child will demonstrate awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.
Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity; accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring human connections.
Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act as an ally, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
Such work for this age group can be formative in their growing identity as members of the wider society.
WHITE LIGHT MONTESSORI SCHOOL
White light Montessori School
No 7a Akin Ogunlewe road, Victoria Island, Lagos.
.....Strong foundations last forever