How to Help Students to be More Accepting of Diversity
Guest post by Jessica Robinson
As countries continue creating and opening doors to the outside world, we have found ourselves living and studying in diverse environments. There are different forms of diversity that could be at the global level or within a country and these include culture, race, age, gender, ethnicity, and geographical, among others.
In pursuit of better education by learners, modern educational institutions have become more diverse than ever. The latest report shows how diversity in higher education has increased, its benefits, and how to close the diversity gap in learners’ environments. Diversity in schools and colleges helps students learn more about other cultures, draw from a pool of knowledge, and also enhances their social values. However, diversity in the modern world has shown us many repercussions that can occur with failure to embrace it correctly.
Because of it, many learning environments are characterized by hostility, bullying, favoritism, classroom anxiety, and social disorder among others. When teachers step up their efforts in teaching students how to co-exist, this can help lower the negative effects of diversity. At this juncture, we would love to explore the different ways educators can help students be more accepting of diversity.
1. Teach Your Students the Importance of Diversity
Whether we like it or not, the world is becoming more diverse and will continue to be. The increasing rate of diversity is due to several reasons like the search for greener pastures, technological advancement, the need to expand markets, and leverage creativity from other countries among others. With that, let your students know the power and importance of diversity.
Leading students towards diversity creates room for inclusion. Unless students are largely taught the benefits of diversity, they may continue down a path of having a poor mindset about other cultures, genders, and ethnicities. The prevalence of which may become ethical issues in the workplace. As a teacher, you can show your students the importance of diversity by;
Referring to global personalities and their contributions to the world such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Malcolm X, Bill Gates, and Mahatma Gandhi among others. Drawing such examples can help students learn how to respect and honor other cultures.
Practice Cultural Sensitivity – Once you realize that you have a diverse class, it’s essential to learn the different dimensions of that diversity. If it’s cultural, ensure to respect and push students to respect others during an open dialogue or whether in and out of class.
2. Create an All-Inclusive Learning Environment
Inclusivity in a classroom is very important as it creates a sense of belongingness and also promotes psychological safety. If teachers can promote inclusivity in classes, this can help future professionals be open to diversity. An all-inclusive learning environment means that all students regardless of their learning abilities, needs, culture, or backgrounds have equal opportunities and are treated equally.
When a teacher creates an all-inclusive environment, this helps students learn to respect others no matter where they come from or their differences. One of the best approaches to foster inclusivity in a classroom is by providing equal opportunities to students irrespective of their social backgrounds, skin color, or gender. You can also set classroom standards and print out rules and guidelines.
3. Lead by Example
It’s quite common to say and do the opposite. Unless we walk the talk, whatever is said will never have an impact! As a culturally responsive teacher, you can help your students be more open to diversity by being transparent, speaking well of other cultures, and handling conflicts with bias. You should also avoid favoritism, especially between cultures and genders. Check your art of classroom management to ensure that it is all-inclusive and puts no culture or gender above others.
Introduce culturally-centered topics to analyze what students say about other cultures or how they are willing to co-exist with them. This will help you understand your students’ scores when it comes to diversity.
On the other hand, make sure to punish wrong conduct or behavior. Maintaining discipline in a classroom at times comes with punishing those who violate the already-set rules. A reasonable punishment for those who discriminate, bully, or disguise others due to their differences can help teachers foster inclusion in a classroom.
4. Teach them About Globalization
The world today has become a global village due to technological advancement among others. Almost every country depends on another whether for raw materials, financial help, or market for goods. With that, there is no way students can escape diverse environments. Teach students that they need others to survive or to advance.
They will have to work in diverse workplaces and in case they failed to co-exist with others, they will find it challenging to fit in. Many multinational companies made it by realizing the power of globalization and embracing talent from different cultures, genders, and backgrounds.
5. Celebrate Cultural Differences
Do you have a class with students from different cultural backgrounds, or beliefs? Celebrating cultural differences is one of the best ways to teach students about inclusion. As much as you recognize the majority’s traditional holidays, independence days, and beliefs, it’s essential to do the same for the minority groups. It will help students learn and understand more about the world we live in.
Some students term their beliefs and nations as superior to others and this mentality comes from a failure to recognize other countries’ or people’s contributions to the world. That’s why there are increasing cases of discrimination, division, and xenophobia.
6. Push for Collaboration
In order to collaborate, there must be an intricate or complex task that requires a pool of ideas and effort. With that, let collaborative activities become part of your teaching styles to unify students and leverage everyone’s experiences and creativity. Collaboration activities like assignments, projects, and workshops can bring students together. They will be able to learn from their indifferences and learn how to co-exist Creating such meeting points can also improve interactions or reduce stress among learners, triggered by a lack of belongingness. Generally, be intentional when assigning group projects.
To encapsulate, teachers are in a great position to teach students about diversity and its importance. Learning how the world has become more diverse, will help them have a clear picture of the future of the corporate world.
If you would like to learn more about navigating these strange times or how TKL is transforming education, visit teachnkidslearn.com today!
Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.