• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“I couldn't stop reading this book! It masterfully pinpoints how language plays a critical, fundamental role in our daily lives as educators. Most important, it shows us how our deepest thoughts are manifested in language and how we can deal with them in our continued efforts to dismantle gender, racial, and class prejudice.”

—Susan Roberta Katz, Professor and Chair of International & Multicultural Education

University of San Francisco

“The authors show that by thinking critically about how we interact with others and by making the necessary changes in our own behavior, leaders can model respectful and collaborative ways of addressing and responding to others and gradually change the norms of the whole community.”

—Gordon Wells, Professor of Education

University of California, Santa Cruz

“Any chapter is enough for a year's worth of conversation, and occasionally a good argument—among students, staff, and families. The book is an invitation to dialogue with one's peers, but it also prompts dialogue with oneself. A must-read.”

—Deborah W. Meier, Educational Reformer, Writer, and Activist

Unlock the power of language to promote equity in your school!

This enlightening book shows how everyday speech can be a transforming force in today's schools, creating a more equitable environment for people of all backgrounds. Written by experts on language and diversity, this resource combines research-validated tools and real-world insights for addressing verbal communication issues within the classroom and schoolwide. Readers will find:

Case studies and vignettes that show how language contributes to school change and shapes community relationships; Thought-provoking exercises that strengthen language awareness and leadership skills; Guidance on effectively coaching students and colleagues on equity issues and the use of appropriate language

By using language to overcome barriers, foster collaboration, and promote respect, leaders can make a significant difference in the quality of life and work in schools.

Introduction
Introduction

Does our everyday use of language make a difference in the culture of schools, communities, workplaces, and society in general? The answer is, “Yes, yes, and yes!” This book addresses this issue and stresses how to use language to engender equity and social justice. The other question this book engages is, How does our use of language affect our understandings and the way we act? Through a series of vignettes and concrete examples, we show the complexity of the relationship between our speech and its impact on human organizations (e.g., schools)—speech that acts to reproduce present inequities and speech that is transforming.

Why? The Same Old Problem

We wrote this book because, while there have already been volumes—whole libraries, in fact—written on the subject of school ...

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