How to Make Diversity a Priority in Your Classrooms with Dr. Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica & Dr. Allison Briceño


Listen to the full episode to hear ways to incorporate diversity in the classroom:

With an ever evolving world, it’s important that our classrooms are adapting to the world we live in. One of the easiest and natural way to include diversity in the classroom is through diverse children’s literature. But by adding diversity, it can cause some challenges and provoke fear in some teachers. To help facilitate this important conversation, I have both Dr. Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica & Dr. Allison Briceño on the podcast to share how to make diversity a priority in the classroom.

Bringing diversity in the classroom is a pressing and important topic, and Dr. Claudia and Dr. Allison are both a wealth of knowledge and have a lot of key points they make. Not only do they share why it’s essential to use diverse literature, but also the benefits and possible challenges that come with its implementation. One of those challenges is a fear in teachers, which they acknowledge and provide ways to overcome those fears. 

My conversation with Dr. Claudia and Dr. Allison was compelling and informative around incorporating diversity in the classroom. They share natural ways to easily implement authentic representation of diverse children’s literature. We’re sending our kids out in a diverse world, so it’s important to expose them to various human experiences that can start with books.

In this episode on ways to include diversity in the classroom, we share:
  • A definition of what diversity truly encompasses
  • The goal of using diverse literature in the classroom
  • How to get started incorporating diversity with books 
  • Tips for those in states and districts where books are being banned
  • Why communication ahead of time is key when navigating a new topic 
  • Tips for normalizing being nervous and making mistakes when incorporating diverse curriculum
Resources Mentioned:
Meet Dr. Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica:

A former dual language classroom teacher, Dr. Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education at Santa Clara University and is currently the Bilingual Authorization Coordinator. Her research focuses on the classroom instruction of bilingual children and the intersections among language, race, ethnicity, gender and culture as they relate to the teaching and learning of Latinx bilingual learners.

Dr. Rodriguez-Mojica serves as Principal Investigator on a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition to support Spanish-English bilingual instruction in California and New Mexico. Dr. Rodriguez-Mojica’s work has been published in International Multilingual Research Journal, Language and Education, Educational Administration Quarterly, Teacher Education Quarterly and The Urban Review.

Connect with Dr. Claudia:
Meet Dr. Allison Briceño:

Dr. Allison Briceño is an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at San José State University, where she coordinates the Multilingual and Multicultural Literacy Education MA program. Prior to SJSU, Dr. Briceño was a dual language teacher, reading specialist, literacy coach and district literacy coordinator.  Her research explores the rich literacy practices of multilingual students and linguistically and culturally sustaining pedagogies.

Dr. Briceño’s recent scholarship has appeared in The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Bilingual Research Journal, Teacher Education Quarterly, Action in Teacher Education, Educational Policy, and Language and Education. Her recent book, Conscious Classrooms: Using Diverse Texts for Inclusion, Equity, and Justice, addresses how to use diverse children’s books in the classroom for literacy, language, and identity development.

Connect with Dr. Allison:
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About The Literacy Dive Podcast:

Do you find yourself seeking new ideas when it comes to literacy instruction in elementary classrooms? The Literacy Dive Podcast was created to offer actionable steps and to share information for teachers, like you, who are always looking to improve their craft! ELA is our jam and we are excited to dive into all things reading and writing with you!

Your host, Megan Polk, is the creator and owner behind The Literacy Dive and loves to support students and their teachers with curriculum, literacy instruction, best practices, and engaging literacy activities.

Dive in with us every Monday for a new episode from Megan! She, and her guests, will chat about various literacy topics and will bring you tips and tricks that can easily be implemented in your classrooms. You can tune in wherever you get your podcasts! Listen to The Literacy Dive Podcast on platforms like AppleSpotifyStitcherGoogle, and more!

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Hey, I'm Megan!

I am a literacy specialist and curriculum designer who loves sharing tips and ideas to help students thrive in literacy! It brings me joy to await those a-ha moments and to see light bulbs turn on!

I have a huge passion for reading and writing and love to co-mingle the two any chance I get! You can expect to learn new strategies and ways to keep your students engaged during your literacy block! I am so glad you’re here!

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