Inclusive Training Practices: Empowering Minorities in your Organization
Typically, staff development models include elements of learning theory and leadership. In a rapidly changing diverse work and school environment, this model specifically aims to include minority employees in the training process. A staff development model that does not reflect the demographics of the organization would be ineffective. There are three dimensions to the model: (1) Staff Development Intents (Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1988), (2) Levels of Staff Development (Wiles and Bondi, 2000), and Minority Empowerment (Cummins, 1986). The Intention of Staff Development is to provide an opportunity for employees to know, apply and integrate new ideas into their work (Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1988). Employee knowledge is only one step in the process in becoming a productive part of the organization. In most organizations specialized information, policies, standards, and technology are taught in separate trainings. This model proposes to present knowledge in an integrated form. Every training and/or mentoring session should integrate information, policies and technology together. After introducing new knowledge, employees need to apply that knowledge to the rest of their job in a holistic manner. Finally, the intention of staff development is to provide tools for future growth (Sergiovanni and Starratt, 1988). This model utilizes five levels of staff development; each level representing a wider community of colleagues (Wiles and Bondi, 2000). This comprehensive plan provides leadership and support at every level of the organization. This training model also incorporates Jim Cummins’ (1986) empowering minorities’ framework. Cummins describes an empowering school environment as one that includes minority students in the curriculum and minority community members in school activities, reciprocates shared knowledge and advocates students through authentic assessment (Cummins, 1986). This training model proposes to actively include employees and community. Using a combination of the theories mentioned above, this presentation will introduce a new model of staff development that will encourage your employees to think critically, utilize technology and improve their effectiveness in your organization.
Keywords: Model, Minorities, Organization, Learning Styles, Inclusion, Reciprocity, Community, Assessment
Dr. Maria Sanelli
Associate Professor, History Department, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania