Tarek Grantham, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, was recently recognized for his work on diversity and equity issues by the University of Georgia's Student Government Association (SGA).
Grantham, along with nine other faculty members, received SGA's Outstanding Professor Recognition Award during the association's annual Professor Recognition Ceremony. The faculty members were selected based on numerous criteria, including "clear articulation of impact and evidence of dedication to the education of students both in and out of the classroom."
"My goal is to contribute to students' development of effective ways to identify and nurture gifts and talents in themselves and others, particularly students from underrepresented groups," said Grantham. "I hope students develop critical cultural consciousness and courageous creativity around diversity issues, understanding that a focus on equality is not enough to promote equity."
In all of Grantham's classes, students are encouraged to participate in a variety of hands-on projects that engage them with the local community. Given the complex nature of scholarship on diversity in gifted education and educator preparation in multicultural gifted education, Grantham's courses rely heavily on service-learning pedagogy.
"[Service-learning] represents a culturally responsive approach to teaching and learning that can break down barriers and enhance authentic teaching and student learning experiences," he said. "I believe that teaching and learning is a reciprocal and participatory process, which occurs inside and outside of the traditional classroom and online environment."
Additionally, Grantham encourages critical reflection and examination of issues from a theoretical perspective, as well as direct engagement through service-oriented experiences that meet the needs of schools and communities. "It is important to me that my students learn content knowledge, skills and dispositions and be able to make a positive difference in schools, communities and organizations where they work and live."
Grantham's research focuses on equity for underserved students in advanced programs, creativity policy, mentoring, gifted black males, multicultural education, motivation and parent engagement. He is the co-editor of "Gifted and Advanced Black Students in School: An Anthology of Critical Works" and "Young Triumphant and Black: Overcoming the Tyranny of Segregated Minds in Desegregated Schools."