Approach to Diverse Instructional Content | Discovery Education
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Discovery Education’s Editorial Philosophy

At Discovery Education, we continuously strive to create, curate, and contextualize content within our services that ensures accessibility, equity, and representation for all students and educators. The value of diverse and inclusive learning experiences is unmatched, and we want to support all educators in bringing this value to their schools and classrooms.

Our Editorial Approach

Discovery Education’s teams of educators and subject matter experts design, develop, write, and review our award-winning instructional content. We draw on the expertise of the Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a professional learning network that all educator users of Discovery Education can join. To ensure diverse representation in our writing staff, we recruit creative and practical teacher-writers from our partner school districts as well as from our partners in Ministries of Education around the globe. All materials that you read, view, and interact with in Discovery Education were conceived and tested by experienced, grade level-appropriate, teacher author teams.

Once the content is developed, we begin collecting user feedback and make updates to digital versions of content based on that feedback (within the bounds of state adoption restrictions). This process continues through the life of the program. To comment on Discovery Education content, you can click on the support icon on most digital pages or visit the feedback link on our website. We welcome all comments from educators, as this helps us continually improve our services.

To ensure our content and pedagogical approach is research based and up to date, we rely on experts from universities, national organizations, and independent consultants for content review and accuracy. Discovery Education employs a multistep process to review and select content, ensuring that only the best, standards-aligned content winds up in the classroom.

Whether it is sourced from the award-winning Discovery networks or inspired by a single creative educator, the content in our services is selected and reviewed against a multipoint rubric. Content that does not meet the criteria is not included. The rubric includes:

  1. Alignment to standards and discipline-specific educational research
  2. Productive student engagement
  3. Practical and appropriate use in instruction
  4. Affirmative representation of diverse people and experiences
    (With an emphasis on inclusiveness for those who have been historically underrepresented in a field)

Equity and Diversity

Diversity of representation, cultural authenticity, and alignment to instructional standards are core values Discovery Education applies to content selection and review. When it comes to past events, we present history from multiple perspectives and provide resources that help teachers and students grow as culturally competent learners. Discovery Education’s commitment to multiple perspectives and cultural responsiveness is reflected in both its culturally authentic content and student-centered approach to learning. Students engage with the content designed to excite and engage all students and we support educators seeking to create a culturally responsive environment with content that reflects the values, backgrounds, and learning styles of a diverse student population.

Discovery Education utilizes a curricular approach recommended by the National Council for the Social Studies that suggests students create an understanding of the narrative of history from primary sources and multiple perspectives. Inspired by the historical scholarship related to the 400th anniversary of the events of 1619, Discovery Education conducted a cultural sensitivity review led by an external national expert, Dr. Sharroky Hollie of The Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning. The purpose of this review is to ensure our content meets the highest standards of cultural responsiveness. We see our work to develop culturally authentic materials as a journey and we regularly evaluate and update content that does not meet this expectation.

Discovery Education presents content and curriculum that falls within the bounds of state and national standards and also reflects the lives of students in the content they learn. The students and people in videos, images, and source materials within our collection represent multiple rings of culture, including centered narratives with people of various races, ages, cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities, and physical abilities. Our collection provides authentic learning opportunities that speak to students’ daily lives, validating their personal experiences and motivating them to explore issues that extend beyond the classroom.

For example, Discovery Education recently created a collection of content to address current events related to the murder of George Floyd, systemic racism, and police brutality. This content was assembled from existing resources in Discovery Education Experience and Social Studies Techbook and new resources available through Discovery Education partners. The Dissent, Equity, and Inspiring Change channel is designed to help educators facilitate conversations about implicit bias and systemic racism, human rights, equity, social justice, dissent, protest, and empathy.

Discovery Education has always valued multiple perspectives, inclusivity, diversity, and cultural responsiveness, and will continue to develop curriculum and resources that are comprehensive and fully address state and national standards.