DIER Definitions, Goals and Purposes

[Updated to include discussion by SJ committee at Nov. 29, 2006 meeting]


  1. componenta to include in definition: Outside comfort zone, %s that count as diverse, number of hours that qualify the experience as DIER, different options available for DIER.... (JO)
  2. [still need to rework this to include Scheffler’s def, and incorporating something about, "focuses on an explicit paradigm of teaching that reflects an inclusive view of diversity and social justice" and something about our department theme of social justice.


To prepare teacher education candidates who teach with an inclusive stance that embraces diversity and social justice, based on their critical understanding of the central role of racial and cultural differences (both historical and comtemporary). (reference MI handbook here).


The purposes of this experience are:
  1. for candidates to be in a situation that is outside of their comfort zone, thus creating the cognitive dissonance that is necessary for a perspective transformation;
# to encourage this transformation in order to expand candidates’ world view and their ability to not only understand that others live in a world that is significantly different than their own, but also to help view this world with empathy, understanding.
  1. for candidates to view themselves as agents of social justice and social change, seeing their roles as possible players in meeting needs of, and advocating for people who are different.(JO)


As a result of the DIER experience candidates will:

  1. Demonstrate an awareness of and a willingness to acknowledge the creditability of cultural differences, particularly those that challenge comfortable, long-held assumptions about teaching and learning.
  2. Develop awareness of how knowledge is constructed around issue such as race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, and ability.
  3. Recognize the diversity of the groups they serve as individuals individuals with unlimited, rather than limited potential (Sleeter and Grant, 1986).


[Two key things we discussed that need to be in place before we can move forward:
1. We need to add two options, and a space for students to sign, to the program applications:
a. The prospective candidate has provided evidence of meeting the DIER by attaching the reflection responses and
verification from his or her supervisor.
b. The prospective candidate has not met the DIER but understands that it must be completed either while student teaching
or the candidate must return after student teaching to complete it.
2. We need to inlcude an electronic tab in the e-portfolio that contains the reflection questions.jk]

Links to other DIER pages: