“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.
Chapter 1: The Power of Language: A Medium for Promoting Social Justice and Equity
The Power of Language: A Medium for Promoting Social Justice and Equity
In this chapter, we explain the grounding ideas of this book, including key concepts such as social justice, language of possibility, and others; we hope to establish a shared understanding of these ideas and concepts and their associated words. This is especially important because many of these terms vary in their interpretation. Our intent is to be as transparent as possible with meanings and to model what we advocate throughout the book.
In what Ways is Language a Transformative Force in Society?
For reflection: To what extent are you aware of your language use in everyday interactions? Do you monitor yourself carefully, or do ...