Using site-based professional development to better educate diverse learners

This study describes an action research project designed and carried out by one teacher at a large, comprehensive public high school in order to raise the awareness of the staff with regards to diversity and learning. Videotaped conversations of one student group and live personal narratives from additional students and staff were utilized. The video involved 16 student volunteers interested in talking about the subject of diversity. Originally an effort to make only the video, this paper chronicles the shift from the story of the making of the video to a teacher-generated effort to expand the experience to a full-blown diversity professional growth day. Data is in the form of student narratives in the video, staff response to a professional growth survey and staff response to the diversity day evaluations. The process describing the development of the day is extensively detailed. Several reflections are included to convey the personal involvement of the teacher/researcher.