The Pros and Cons of Diversity in the Classroom
Multicultural education tries to create equal opportunities for all kids regardless of their race, ethnicity, nationality, language, or religion. This approach introduces them to the principles of inclusion, critical thinking, and values of perspectives. It aims to promote diversity and emphasize social pluralism in the school environment. In this article, we have covered some of the most significant benefits and drawbacks of this method.
Pro. Building Skills for the Future
A diverse learning environment doesn’t just raise kids’ cultural awareness but can also yield some long-term career benefits. Being around people who speak other languages and follow peculiar cultural practices can prepare youngsters for entering the 21st-century workforce. Here are just a few skills one can master in a diverse environment:
Students quickly learn how cultural elements impact the interaction between individuals. As they get accustomed to different behavior patterns, they can predict how other people will respond in various contexts. It allows them to find the most fitting communication style to convey their message to any audience.
Diversity training creates students who are sensitive to other cultures, tolerant to differences, and eager to break down barriers that separate people. In such an environment, youths gain a better understanding of the perspectives of others, their pains, and motivation. It provides them with tools to form productive relationships with their peers, neighbors, and other community members. They can leverage this experience in their professional life to establish effective cooperation with colleagues, customers, investors, and partners.
Different experiences beget different ways of approaching things. So when students learn to respect the divergence of opinion, they actually develop a broader level of thinking. Later in life, this will come in handy when dealing with creative challenges and solving complex, non-routine issues. To win more time for those demanding tasks, students can delegate all their daily grind and most of their assignments to a reliable write my essays for me writing service.
Pro. Expanding Kids’ Cultural Horizons
The presence of diversity in the classroom allows kids to encounter different cultural values, religious beliefs, and social norms. It is a great opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on the world and the people in it. The best part is that to acquire that knowledge you don’t even have to leave your home place. A multicultural classroom thus becomes a perfect setting to teach children about global citizenship.
Learning with people from a variety of backgrounds helps students to develop sensitivity to other cultures. They get a better understanding of the history, literature, and customs of those socio-ethnic groups their mates belong to. It also works the other way round. Local youths can share valuable insights into their own culture, assisting their peers in swiffer integration into a new environment.
Pro. Strengthens Community Bonds
Educational institutions could not rely on the in-school practices only to create a level playing field for students of different backgrounds. They should reinforce their local ties and keep in touch with parents, neighbors, community workers, and activists. This can be done by combining classroom learning with local initiatives. Such an enriched experience is aimed to provide greater exposure to the region’s prehistory, linguistic diversity, and cultural beliefs.
This approach can help new students (immigrants) assimilate without renouncing their cultural identity. For example, school authorities might team up with community members to organize celebrations of religious festivals or national holidays.
This collaboration can offer fun and educational opportunities throughout the year. Schools can also host ethnic food drives on their premises. It will introduce young foodies to other nations’ culinary traditions. Students may also explore multiculturalism through art exhibitions, craft fairs, music performances, or cinema nights.
Con. Cookie-Cutter Teaching Approach
Traditional educational methods are generally based on a one-size-fits-all model. They are designed to deliver the same standards of education to all students, which is definitely a plus. But at the same time, they fail to take into account learners’ unique traits and academic interests. Moreover, uniform teaching procedures rarely match student’s abilities and different learning styles. They are also insensitive toward kids from various ethnic, linguistic, and social backgrounds.
The only way to make diverse education work is to introduce more flexibility in the classroom. Teachers and staff should be provided with enough resources to craft an individualized set of learning opportunities for each child. This can be done by applying adaptive technologies, differentiated instruction, or thoughtful curriculum alignment.
Con. Social Alienation
Out-group prejudice is an evolutionary functional aspect of human perception. It is one of the inherent mechanisms of a protective outlook. Therefore, there is nothing wrong that some young people may feel uncomfortable when faced with a diverse student body. However, if not handled properly, this can escalate into in-group favoritism, discrimination, and class segregation.
Students tend to form groups along the lines of race, ethnicity, gender, or economic status. The biases they have toward others may lead to challenging behaviors and actions in the classroom. For one thing, it can disrupt the process of collaborative learning.
When individuals are not willing to mingle with others, they are not able to fully participate in group projects or reap the benefits of teamwork. That means teachers must encourage kids to include all of their peers in common activities. Educators also must be ready to resolve interpersonal conflicts and respond to inappropriate comments.
Like any other educational approach, multiculturalism is doomed to face some challenges. However, the benefits it can bring make the game worth the candle. Promoting cultural diversity is a way to instill maturity, tolerance, and out-of-box thinking in children. These qualities will prepare them for the challenges they are going to face in their adult life.