K-8 Awareness Curriculum
Awareness is the foundation of empathy. For young students to achieve a greater sense of empathy, they must first develop an awareness and appreciation of differences. The Changing Perspectives curriculum presented below aims to reduce bullying and social isolation in schools by teaching about differences and supporting teacher’s work to build an inclusive community within the classroom. The program’s goal is to help each child recognize his or her uniqueness and challenges and in doing so promote a deeper understanding, respect and acceptance of all people.
The Disability Awareness Curriculum is designed for teacher customization. Using an online platform teachers can easily access a variety of materials ( lesson plans, book lists, video clips, etc) and then select which materials are going to be most relevant and meaningful to their students. The focus of the Changing Perspectives program is to engage students in hands on learning to build greater awareness of differences and inspire empathy. The curriculum consists of three parts.
LEARN– This section of the curriculum is divided into 8 disability categories. Through literature, class discussions, videos and hands on activities students are exposed to a variety of physical and invisible disabilities.
EXPERIENCE – Changing Perspectives will work with your school to design an awareness event to help students understand what it is truly like to live with a disability. Events usually consists of a combination of guest speakers and simulation activities.
REFLECT – Through writing prompts, role playing activities, art projects and class discussions students reflect on their experiences, make connections, and show evidence of their growth in understanding.
A key component to the Changing Perspectives Disability Awareness Curriculum is the coaching that is provided to all Changing Perspective Schools. As part of the curriculum, schools will receive 20 hours of Changing Perspectives coaching. The purpose of the coaching is to assist teachers, guidance counselors, and other adults facilitating the program to navigate and implement the program in a way that is meaningful and relevant for the students.
Our program can be implemented over the course of 6, 8 or 10 weeks.