Diversity and multicultural practice
Gordon recruits and enrolls a racially diverse student body, giving children of various backgrounds the opportunity to work, play and share experiences with one another.
This diversity works in tandem with Gordon's rigorous multicultural curriculum that broadens students' perspectives through an exposure to races and cultures in their school neighborhood, local communities, country and world.
Gordon seeks out faculty and staff who mirror the diversity of the student body, encourage a healthy exchange of perspectives among students and are sensitive to the dynamics that are present in a racially diverse classroom and school. Gordon encourages parents to participate in this diverse environment and actively cultivates a racially diverse Board of Trustees.
Since 1998, Gordon's Board of Trustees has used a series of strategic plans to build and sustain the school's racial diversity. The most recent update of the plans was approved in 2004 and set a new series of goals for increasing racial diversity and growing the multicultural curriculum. More recently, the 2012-2013 Community Diversity Assessment resulted in a series of eight action steps for the Board of Trustees.
Gordon tracks the diversity of the school population, at the trustee, faculty and staff levels as well as in the classroom. The most current numbers are always online at Gordon at a glance.
In addition to tracking these numbers, Gordon performs assessments at regular intervals that document how Gordon's diversity efforts have influenced individuals' experience of the school. Assessment tools have included focus groups, one-on-one interviews and questionnaires. Read about the 2012-2013 assessment
Gordon administrators are regularly asked to present at regional and national conferences on multicultural curriculum and Gordon's strategic commitments to diversity.
The National Association of Independent Schools recognized Gordon's work in racial diversity with a Leading Edge in Equity and Justice award in 2004 and published several articles by Gordon administrators in their magazine, Independent School.
At Gordon, multicultural practice is an approach to classroom teaching that results in high academic performance.
Teachers lead students through an integrated, thematic and skill-based curriculum.
Lessons demand that students connect the classroom material with their own life experiences, and that they are able to form and defend their own ideas and opinions while demonstrating respect for their views of others.
Gordon has gained a national reputation for ongoing professional development in multicultural practice. In 2005, faculty developed a set of Guidelines for Multicultural Practice that illustrate how multicultural theory is applied each day in Gordon classrooms.
Interest in Gordon's work led to the creation of the Gordon School Institute on Multicultural Practice, which has been held each June since 2007.
From 2010 to 2015, the Teacher Residency Program at Gordon School and Roger Williams University offered a master's degree program grounded in multicultural education and teaching for social justice.