Teaching Tolerance to Honor Educators Who Excel at Teaching Diverse Students

Feb 14, 2011, 12:06 ET from Southern Poverty Law Center

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Feb. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance program is seeking nominations for a new award that will honor educators who excel at teaching students from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching has been created both to recognize these teachers and to promote their practices in the nation's schools. Five winners will be selected to receive $1,000 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in December. They also will be videotaped in their classrooms to allow educators across the nation to learn from their teaching.

"Quite simply, it's easier to understand how to do something when you can see it being done by others," said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. "This award not only will recognize the talented teachers who are reaching students from diverse backgrounds, it will provide many other teachers with the tools to enhance their expertise."

The award is supported by a generous grant from The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University. The Riley College, the leading provider of quality online education degrees, prepares educators as scholar-practitioners who can inspire and impact their diverse learning communities.

"Our college is committed to increasing educator effectiveness and student achievement, and we are proud to sponsor this award recognizing teachers making an important difference in the lives of their students from diverse backgrounds," said Dr. Kate Steffens, dean of Walden's Riley College of Education and Leadership.

An expert panel of scholars and National Board Certified teachers will pick the winners. The SPLC is administering the contest in collaboration with professional organizations, including the National Education Association. The Education Week Teacher channel on www.edweek.org is providing media support. The award is part of Teaching Tolerance's professional development initiative, which aims to help teachers become more effective.

Teachers are invited to apply for the award at www.tolerance.org/award. The deadline for applications is June 1. All teachers are eligible to apply and need not make use of teaching resources developed by the SPLC to be eligible for the competition.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats bigotry and discrimination through litigation, education and advocacy.  For more information, see www.splcenter.org.

Walden University's 40-year history of educating educators has created a community of more than 45,000 students and alumni who are leaders in their classrooms and schools. The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University is dedicated to increasing educator effectiveness and student achievement by connecting its students with nationally recognized education experts, researchers and scholars. The college's programs emphasize practical skills and analytical tools educators can immediately use to enhance student learning and outcomes. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu/education.

SOURCE Southern Poverty Law Center