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ERIC Number: EJ1004187
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1074-4762
Tolerance: Woven into the Fabric of the School, or Not?
Pumpian, Ian
Voices from the Middle, v20 n3 p10-14 Mar 2013
Tolerance must be conceptualized based on the diversity that exists in our world, our communities, and our schools. The author posits that dealing with diversity is a 21st-century skill set and that tolerance of difference is a rudimentary element of that set. The diversity of experiences and situations that confront middle school students and their teachers extend well beyond the racial and cultural subgroups we typically use to categorize our diversity. The author argues that school leaders must purposefully and democratically create an inclusive schoolwide culture that welcomes and embraces its diversity. If not, the differences students see in others are likely to be the source of stigma, confusion, and conflict. However, the capacity to tolerate others and their differences can become foundational to empathy, growth, and interdependence. Unfortunately, youth experience and see far too many examples in their daily lives and in the media that model intolerance. In response, the author urges schools to become models of democracy that teach students that our differences can be constructively explored and challenged and may be the source of positive collaborations, developments, and change. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A