Open Minds to Equality book cover

Open Minds to Equality – 4th Edition

Edited by Nancy Schniedewind and Ellen Davidson

Available in:

Paperback: $24.95

Publication Date: January 1, 2014

ISBN: 9780942961607


The fourth edition of Open Minds to Equality contains a wealth of updated information and resources. New lessons address immigration, anti-Muslim discrimination, gender identity, and bullying. The comprehensive, annotated bibliography has been revised and updated.

Open Minds to Equality is an educator’s sourcebook of activities to help students understand and change inequalities based on race, gender, class, age, language, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability, and religion. The activities also promote respect for diversity and interpersonal equality among students, fostering a classroom that is participatory, cooperative, and democratic. Learning activities are sequenced to build awareness and understanding. This book is an essential resource for teachers, leaders in professional development, and curriculum specialists.


  • A series of ready-to-implement learning activities in a variety of both traditional curriculum areas and interdisciplinary ones.
  • A variety of lesson styles that include role-plays, case studies, dilemma stories, cooperative learning activities, interviews, data analysis, and creative and expository writing.
  • Coverage of complex equity issues beyond “the basics.”
  • An inclusive framework for thinking about diversity and responding practically to various forms of difference in classrooms.
  • An engaging, readable format with helpful instructions.

Praise for the new edition

“A much-needed resource for educators at all levels who are interested in promoting critical thinking in their classrooms and social change in their communities. I highly recommend it!”
Beverly Daniel Tatum, president, Spelman College and author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

“In this fourth edition of Open Minds to Equality, Nancy Schniedewind and Ellen Davidson demonstrate once again what it means to make social justice and equity visible in the classroom. Teachers and students will count on this remarkable resource for inspiration and hope.”
Sonia Nieto, professor emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of Affirming Diversity and Why We Teach

“This new edition continues to make Open Minds to Equality a superb resource for multicultural education and helping children envision and work toward social justice. Every teacher should have a copy of this book, and everyone who prepares teachers should be familiar with it.”
Christine Sleeter, professor emerita, California State University, Monterey Bay and author of Multiculturalism as Social Activism

Open Minds to Equality embodies the potential for educators and students to create more caring, fair, and just classrooms and schools that can help shape a more equitable and generous world. It offers ideas and tools to sustain educational communities where students and teachers feel supported, where difference is appreciated, and where inequity is challenged. In such classrooms and schools all students have equitable access to resources and opportunities, reflective of a similar society that we all can contribute toward.

We come to the 4th edition of Open Minds to Equality having worked for decades with educators and students in classrooms where difference is named and appreciated. We know that elementary and middle school students can understand discrimination and privilege, and can foster socially just alternatives. They need adults to provide safe space, language, and opportunities to talk about their lives, struggles, and visions. By participating in educational communities that strive for equity, young people, teachers, and parents can know through lived experience that alternatives are possible to what society offers people today. To that end, Open Minds to Equality offers a sequenced process, skills, and activities to empower students to understand and change their lives and the world around them.

Addressing bullying behavior has become a priority of many states and school districts. Much bullying behavior is rooted in bias, and unfortunately this is not adequately addressed in standard anti-bullying programs. Students’ misinformation about people from social groups not their own, their own experiences of bias, and the unequal treatment of social groups in their school, community, or our society are at the base of much bullying. Among the most effective approaches for preventing bullying is to educate young people to better understand and value those perceived as different from themselves and to work collaboratively for social justice, an approach offered in Open Minds to Equality. This edition of Open Minds to Equality builds on the previous three editions by including a wealth of updated information and resources. New lessons have been added that address immigration, anti-Muslim discrimination, gender identity, and bullying. The comprehensive, annotated Bibliography is revised and updated.

As co-authors we have followed different, but connected, paths that have maintained our commitment to this work.

Please download the full, 6-page .pdf of the Introduction to Open Minds to Equality: a Sourcebook of Learning Activities to Affirm Diversity and Promote Equity, fourth edition.