A new program is helping future educators at two North Carolina universities — Appalachian State University and Winston-Salem State University — look at classrooms in a different way, with the goal of creating an environment in which all students thrive.

Student diversity is increasing nationally and in North Carolina, according to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Research in the journal Education Next shows that teachers’ biases — both explicit and implicit — affect the way they perceive their students, impacting the expectations they hold for diverse students, the amount of attention they give individual students and their discretionary disciplinary practices.

Considering these facts, Dr. Fran Bates Oates ’77 ’79 ’15 — director of the Office of Field and Clinical Experiences in WSSU’s Department of Education and an alumna of both Appalachian and WSSU — initiated a collaborative social justice program between her alma maters.

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Originally published Aug. 20, 2019.