Letters from the Future
Linking Students and Teaching with the Diversity of Everyday Life

Paper: 978 1 57922 187 4 / $31.95
Published: December 2006  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 036 1 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: December 2011  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
320 pp., 6" x 9"
This volume provides insights into the teaching and learning practices and experiences of diversity educators and their students. College-level teachers from such disciplines as biology, social work, sex education, communication, political science, English literature, and criminology share their general philosophy of teaching and the challenges they face in the classroom.

This unique book integrates compelling letters from former students within each teacher’s chapter. These narratives provide insightful observations about diversity lessons learned while in class–and how classroom experiences have transferred to these former students’ professional and personal lives.

This book will be useful to college teachers who currently teach courses with a diversity-focused content, or who plan to incorporate diversity content within an existing course. Directors of teaching and learning centers, coordinators of doctoral programs and TA centers will also find helpful information and insights about pedagogy, process, and learning outcomes.

Table of Contents:
Foreword--Michelle Howard-Vital; PART I: FOUNDATIONS: Diversity Initiatives, Institutional Change and Curricular Reform in Higher Education--Devorah A. Lieberman; The Power of Narratives in the Process of Teaching and Learning Diversity--Brenda Jarmon, Deborah Brunson, Linda L. Lampl, with Deborah Cardamone, Mary Cole, Sherick A. Hughes, Martin Jarmond, Audrey Mathews, James McFarland, and Daniel R. Vicker, Jr.; PART II: TEACHERS AND STUDENTS: Lessons Taught/Lessons Learned: Biological Diversity--Muriel Lederman, with Jill Sible, dayna e. wilhelm, and Laurie Spotswood; Curriculum and Race--Earl Sheridan, with Frances Boyes, Tracie Davis, and James Fogleman; Literature, Self-discovery and Identity: Cultural Difference and its Impact on Black Students’ Language Engagement--Patricia Brown-McDonald, with Aquilla Copeland and Michael Gramenz; The Social Construction of Diversity Learning: Reflections from a “Haole”--Scott W. Campbell, with Patricia Fonyad, Zac Gersh, Yoke-Wee Loh, and Malia J. Smith; Intercultural Competence: From the Classroom to the “Real World”; and Back Again--Randy K. Dillon, with Mindy Shelton, Christopher Dixon, Kurtis Lane, and Marlo Hamilton; Narrative Analysis of a Strengths-based Approach to Preparing Students for Graduate and Post-Graduate Education--Karen Bullock, with Crystal Smith, Jessica Hernandez, Dalkis Muir, and Aaron Scott Taylor; Bridging the Gap Between Diversity and Social Justice: Personal and Pedagogical Insights from Courses on the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Crime--Billy R. Close, with Isabelle Delatour, Albert Kopak, Natasha Norton, and Sarah Williams; Dialogue, Reflection, and Critical Analysis: Self/Other Crossing Ideological Borders--Leila E. Villaverde, with Tanya O. Brown, Kazuko Matsuda, Adrienne Sansom, and Warren Scheideman; Teaching About Diversity in Sex Education--Steve Chandler, with Justin Williams, Kevin Coleman, Jeanette Woldman, and Lance Raynor; Letter from the Editors: Moving Toward Best Practices in Teaching Diversity; PART III: RESOURCES (An annotated bibliography of sources related to diversity education and diversity pedagogy).

Reviews & Endorsements:
“A simple idea — let former students tell what they learned in courses on diversity — makes this book a bold and creative instrument for preparing students for real-world challenges. Narratives from graduates of all races, ethnicities and abilities, written as letters to the instructors they had for diversity courses, illuminate the state of training for living and working in increasingly multicultural, nonsexist and accessible environments.
As graduate after graduate describes the value realized from one course, one professor or one lesson, the reader senses optimism for the future.”
- Diverse Issues in Higher Education
“Letters from the Future is more than timely—it is long overdue. Few issues are more important to the educational endeavor than recognizing and accepting diversity as the hallmark of American society, today and in the future. Schools and colleges must serve as the vector for fundamental change in attitudes among all segments of society. The bonding among students and the interplay between students and teachers exhibited in this volume is exciting. The student narratives are alternately encouraging, eye opening, and poignant.”
- Marilyn J. Young, Professor Emerita, Department of Communication, and Michael K. Launer, Professor Emeritus, Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and interpreter and language consultant , Florida State University