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Episode 07 – Tanea Hibler & Ariel Serkin – “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”

In this episode, Mark talks with Ariel Serkin and Tanea Hibler, modelers who are passionate about building equity and dismantling racism in the classroom. They share reasons that they are passionate about the work and talk about big things and little things they do in their classrooms to increase representation for all of their students, create safe spaces, and open dialogue about race within the science classroom and in their school communities.

Guest Bios

Tanea Hibler

After having taught at international schools since 2009, Mrs. Hibler returned to teach in Phoenix in 2015. She previously taught in Bangkok, Thailand, and Shanghai, China. She earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from California State University – East Bay, a Master of Education from ASU, and a Master of Science in Teaching Earth Science from Wright State University. She advises the Brophy Culture Project, the Asian Culture Club, and the Zoology Club. Mrs. Hibler also serves as a member-at-large on the board of the American Modeling Teachers Association.


Facebook: thibler

Twitter: @tanea_hibler

Instagram: @darlingtomasa

Ariel Serkin

Ariel Serkin has been a high school teacher since 2001 teaching history and then science in a variety of school settings. She attended her first modeling workshop in 2015 and has been a modeler ever since. You can find Ariel teaching distance learning and in-person workshops for AMTA, writing for ChemEdXChange, presenting at conferences, helping out as a regional representative for AACT, and an executive board member for NEACT (New England Association of Chemistry Teachers). She is a 2019 Massachusetts finalist for the Presidential Award on Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. Ariel has a slight obsession with chemistry t-shirts and other articles of clothing.

Facebook: ariel.serkin

Twitter: @aserkin

Instagram: ariel.serkin


[38:26] Ariel, talking about having a scientist of the week, “I would highlight people of color and women and people from other countries as well. So it’s not just Europeans. You have people from all over and their accomplishments and their achievements need to be addressed. And so sometimes as simple as that because that representation in the classroom matters.”

[50:53] Tanea: “The kids ask me great questions and the best part is I tell them, I’m not telling you what to think. I’m asking you to think about why you think, what you think. And so they’re forced to kind of wrestle with their thought process. And ultimately the goal is, that I’m not producing students that are going to hold on to racist ideas and concepts and then be a part of a racist system that is going to hold groups of people back. And so, I think if all teachers were working towards that end, we could push against racism a lot better than what we’re doing now.”

[57:31] Ariel: “We have to be intentional about creating a safe, inclusive, and equitable place for all of our students and all of our learners and all of our teachers.”

[58:01] Tanea: “I would say you have to be willing to let go of the preconceived ideas that you have in your head about what it means to be a teacher and if you give yourself the freedom to let go and you’re willing to try something new in your classroom, you probably are going to fall in love with modeling instruction and your students, if they haven’t fallen in love with you already, they’re probably gonna fall in love with you too.”



Tanea and Ariel Transcription


[26:45] Robin DiAngelo’s book, White Fragility

[46:27] The Underrepresentation Curriculum Project

[46:39] Step Up

[51:37] Tanea mentions the book Everyday Antiracism

[51:47] Tanea mentioned the book How to be Antiracist

[52:21] Ariel mentions the book Grading for Equity






Story Collider

National Equity Project

Leading Equity Center

Clear The Air Education

New York Time: 1619 Project

1619 Project Curriculum


Why Inclusivity Matters To Us by Tanea and Ariel

Avoiding Racial Equity Detours (PDF)

Want to Reach All of Your Students? Here’s How to Make Your Teaching More Inclusive

Genetics Lessons Can Spark Racism in Students. This Change Can Prevent It

Can Biology Class Reduce Racism?

Academic Science Rethinks All-Too-White ‘Dude Walls’ Of Honor


NPR One: Your Brain On Storytelling

Trials by Fire: Stories about difficult paths to science

Harvard EdCast: Unconscious Bias in Schools


Women in STEM

Maya Angeluo: I’ll Rise

Mae Jemison


Interrogating Whiteness and Relinquishing Power: White Faculty’s Commitment to Racial Consciousness in STEM Classrooms

Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made for Whiteness

Excellence Through Equity: Five Principles of Courageous Leadership to Guide Achievement for Every Student 

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Stony The Road: Reconstruction, White supremacy, and the rise of Jim Crow

The Lost Education of Horace Tate: Uncovering the Hidden Heroes Who Fought for Justice in School

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