Teaching diversity in the classroom has significant benefits. To accurately teach diversity in the school, you have to consider ethnicity, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, being able-bodied, socio-economic status, and various learning styles. Although many schools across the US remain socio-economically and racially segregated, teaching diversity is essential.
In our increasingly multicultural and diverse society, teachers should incorporate culturally responsive instruction in elementary school, middle school, and high school classrooms. The increase of diversity relates to ethnicity and race and includes students of different economic statuses, sexual orientation, religion, language background, and gender identity. You will find more information on the subject in books written by Bree Picower, a scholar and an Associate Professor at Montclair State University whose work examines education, race, and racism.
Benefits of classroom inclusion and diversity
Differences in socio-economic class, ethnicity, religion, athletic ability, reading level, background, personality, gender, and much more are featured in diverse schools. Strong EdD programs help teachers value unique aspects that make each student different, which allows them to embrace the differences in the classroom.
Positive learning outcomes can be created by having different and divergent perspectives. These outcomes have benefits that can impact their lives and reflect after graduation going forward. Below are some of the benefits of diversity in the classroom:
It improves critical thinking and cognitive skills
Classroom diversity allows students to consider opinions and perspectives beyond those that have already been shaped or formed in early life by friends and family. When students are presented with viewpoints that are far different from their own, they get the opportunity to examine the world in fresh ways and think critically. By altering the way individuals think, diversity helps to promote innovation and creativity as well as problem-solving and decision-making skills. With the COVID-19 pandemic having kept many children out of preschool, teachers and parents can employ an innovative education program to prevent a preschool enrollment drop. Such cognitive action has been jolted by diversity in a way that homogeneity cannot.
Students transition into adulthood more easily
Students join a diverse and vast workforce when they enter the professional world. Without prior exposure to diversity, interacting with people of all different mindsets and backgrounds can present a challenge. Most companies are looking to hire employees who can handle diversity with maturity and grace since it comes in handy with many benefits.
Creativity, at its core, is all about encompassing and transforming different ideas to come up with something personal, new, and unique. People become more creative when they are exposed to new experiences and ideas. This can be achieved with children during their early childhood years by creating educational experiences based on their favorite shows. Indeed, bringing together diverse perspectives in nonprofessional and professional situations that call for creativity is a wise choice.
Diversity helps to build students’ confidence later in life
When students have a diverse education, they feel safer in and out of school; learning about different cultures helps them become comfortable with themselves and with cultural differences across social groups. That builds self-confidence and a more profound sense of safety.
Diversity improves student achievement
Students learning in diverse schools realize higher test scores since the environment helps them work better, allowing them to push themselves further and concentrate on their work. Diversity impacts student performance directly; students in well-planned diversity lessons give teachers and students exposure to new cultures, alternative texts, and different historical figures, which promotes depth of knowledge. Students in racially and socio-economically diverse schools produce more substantial academic achievement than those in schools with students from socio-economically disadvantaged communities.
Diversity reduces prejudice and promotes empathy
Students tend to develop prejudices when they live in racially isolated environments and attend schools there. Teaching diversity helps students to counter discriminatory stereotypes by understanding a variety of social groups and cultures. That puts them in a better position of making connections from their own lives to those of their peers. Diversity also allows students to be empathetic to the experiences of others by increasing their cultural competence.
Diversity creates a culturally responsive learning environment
Teaching diversity creates a classroom where students can understand cultures that are different from their own as they become more respectful. They become typically more willing to listen to other viewpoints rather than fear, scorn, or mock the unfamiliar. Educators can best achieve this by teaching students that people who don’t look like them are the same as them on the inside, whether they follow different religious traditions, come from different socio-economic backgrounds, have a different gender identity, or speak another language.