Sample Education Essays on Diversity in the Classroom

It is commonly believed that children go to school to learn how to read and write. However, besides the classwork, school cultures that promote diversity in the classroom ensure that children learn how to live and work in a society that has different kinds of people. Promoting diversity in the classroom enhances on children’s critical thinking skills enabling them to effectively think differently in various situations, and enables them to build a strong social relationship with other people. It is imperative to understand what diversity constitutes to understand how it works.

Diversity refers to distinct features that make people different from each other including sexual orientation, age, race, religion, and ethnicity, among others. A school culture that does not promote diversity in the classroom does more harm to children than benefit them. Diversity in the classroom is important as it helps to mold way of thinking. For example, it teaches children the importance of appreciating the cultural perspectives of others, and how they can build strong and effective relationship with diverse individuals, and families (Abawi, Fanshawe, Gilbey, Andersen, & Rogers, 2019). Additionally, diversity equips children with skills that would be useful to them for the rest of their lives, such as how they can relate with their peers, families, and the large society at a social level. Celebrating different cultures in the classroom often brings new thinking and understanding. Children should grow up understanding that there is nothing wrong with being different from each other. Diversity in the classroom does not only improve social skills, but it also improves children’s critical thinking and encourages their academic development. As such, it improves academic outcomes. Celebrating diversity in the classroom helps to engage students in academic activities. When schools integrate inclusively and diversity approaches in classrooms, students are likely to feel involved. Different features of diversity may be represented through various classroom materials, thus encouraging students to participate in academic activities. Furthermore, diversity is important in instilling good behavior in children, which helps them to relate well with diverse people in society and keeping them in school. Various reports, such as the case study for The Century Foundation, show that school cultures that have integrated diversity in classrooms encounter fewer cases of misbehavior and lower drop-out levels (Lim & Son, 2015). As such, schools should incorporate diversity to improve the conduct of their students. However, in a school where diversity is not prioritized, some students are likely not to feel engaged. Thus, they may not effectively or adequately engage with their peers in various academic activities since they may see themselves inferior to others.

Teachers can promote diversity in the classroom utilizing various strategies. The first way is teachers recognizing that individuals in schools are different. They need to use that fact to know their students and build a diverse and inclusive learning environment.  For example, the teachers can learn the socio-economic status and the origins of the students and incorporate these aspects into the classroom environment. It is also necessary for teachers to understand their students’ strengths and weaknesses so that the weak ones can be helped to improve. The teacher can engage all students in various academic activities, including the weak and strong ones. When teachers understand their students, they are likely to gain knowledge on the challenges that students encounter in their school life. As a result, these professionals are well-equipped to promote diversity and work with colleagues.

New teachers may find it challenging to keep track and quickly build strong relationships with students in new schools. A new teacher can promote diversity by scheduling time to visit classrooms and halls to encourage students to approach him or her with their problems. Moreover, a teacher can communicate visions and goals to other teachers and students on promoting a diverse learning environment and encourage them to raise any concerns or questions that they may have (Lim & Son, 2015). One needs also to shointerest in promoting a diverse learning environment. When one is involved in school events that promote a diverse culture, many students are likely to engage in such activities.

Teachers should be willing to address inequality to create a diverse learning environment. These professionals can promote the use of language that promotes positivity and does not reinforce existing stereotypes to to achieve this objective. They can also encourage students to engage and include other students in various academic and sports activities if they encounter division amongst students based on certain aspects such as racial, socio-economic backgrounds. Besides, teachers can remove the existing markers that make other students feel inferior to others. For instance, they can lobby the management of schools to restrict special meals eligibility to students who have health issues related to food. Teachers should address inappropriate actions, such as discrimination, and inform parents of such concerns when necessary to ensure that students understand that such conduct is not condoned.

Teachers should be able to meet students’ diverse learning needs. Indeed, classroom diversity not only involves factors such as ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, but also it involves the way students learn or how meeting diverse learning needs supports students with disabilities to learn. A strategy that ensures that the classroom remains a diverse learning environment is having teachers introduce adaptive technologies to students with learning and physical abilities the chance to learn together with their peers. Teachers can use teaching strategies, such as project-based, practical, and blended learning. These techniques help students with different learning abilities to acquire knowledge from various disciplines. Teachers can also make sure that all students take part in classroom discussions and activities.

Teachers should examine the teaching materials to ensure that they reflect diversity. For instance, they should touch on various political perspectives, abilities, ages, personalities, and socio-economic matters among others (Lim & Son, 2015). Such types of learning materials would offer an opportunity for students to be exposed to different types of materials in a short period. As such, teachers can advocate for the modification of the existing curriculum to incorporate research studies as a discipline, to enable students to gain knowledge on diverse issues and perspectives.

During my early childhood education, I observed my teacher implement some of these strategies of promoting diversity. The teacher usually sought to know the students and understand them. She engaged us in discussions to learn about our backgrounds and the challenges we encountered at home and school, especially those that impacted our education. She then came up with effective measures to help us solve such problems. For example, during such discussions, she educated us on how we could handle various situations or challenges that we encountered in our daily lives. Moreover, the teacher advocated for the need to meet students’ diverse learning needs. For example, she suggested to the school management that there was a need to introduce adaptive technologies into classrooms to help those who had physical and learning disabilities to fit in the classroom environment. The school management incorporated adaptive technologies in classrooms hence creating a diverse learning environment. The teacher also used various techniques, such as practical-based learning, to assist individuals who were slow learners to adapt to the diverse learning environment quickly. Lastly, she addressed the significance of equality within the class setting. She encouraged us to maintain an official language to promote positivity within the classroom and not to reinforce the existing stereotypes. She also responded effectively to inappropriate actions such as discrimination and punished those involved as well as address such issues with the parents.

All schools should integrate a culture of diversity in the classrooms because of the many benefits that it has. For example, it helps to build better thinkers, improve students’ academic outcomes, and involve more students in various academic activities. Diversity is not only defined by measurable factors such as race, ethnicity, socio-economic issues, ages, and religions but also extends to the way students learn and supporting students with disabilities to learn. Teachers can utilize various strategies to create a diverse learning environment where all students feel engaged and valued. Teachers should examine the teaching materials to ensure that they cover a wide range of different and relevant issues and concepts. Moreover, they should be willing to address issues of inequality within the classroom and school settings. They must be able to meet students’ diverse learning needs.

 

References

Abawi, L. A., Fanshawe, M., Gilbey, K., Andersen, C., & Rogers, C. (2019). Celebrating diversity: Focusing on inclusion. Opening Eyes onto Inclusion and Diversity. Retrieved from https://usq.pressbooks.pub/openingeyes/chapter/celebrating-diversity-focusing-on-inclusion/

Lim, W., Kim, H., Stallings, L., & Son, J. W. (2015).Celebrating diversity by sharing multiple solution methods. Mathematics Teacher109(4), 290-297. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5951/mathteacher.109.4.0290?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents