For Educators: How to Teach Tolerance and Diversity in K-12 Classrooms

by | Jan 4, 2023 | Education

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It’s a common warning, but the responsibility for this education can be difficult to bear, especially in today’s world. Here are just a few tips for being an educator in the 21st century who is trying to promote tolerance, empathy, and diversity.

Use Stories and Lessons From the Real World

Try to avoid fictionalized dramas. Instead, opt for teaching about real-world people, events, and movements. Not only will these resonate more strongly with the students, but they’ll also help you avoid controversy as a teacher. It’ll be harder to land you in hot water when you’re teaching tolerance from a foundation in real life atrocities. As long as all of your materials are age appropriate, you can just stick to the facts.

Lead by Example

Is there a good amount of representation in your classroom pictures and posters? Are you teaching from textbooks with a broad range of voices? The first critical gaze that you cast should be on yourself and your teaching environment. In addition to being the easiest thing to fix, it’s also one of the most self-reflective and therefore the most important. Your students will be looking at you as a role model, so make sure that you’re a good one.

Teaching tolerance isn’t always easy. However, it’s critical for the social awareness of the next generation. Learn more by taking a look at the ZACHOR Holocaust Remembrance Foundation at, which was created by a living Holocaust survivor for K-12 classroom use.

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