Today diversity spans around language, race, religion, geography and educational backgrounds making us more diverse in all the aspects of life, culturally and ethnically. Despite the fact, many schools do not acknowledge diversity.
There are various reasons why diversity should be acknowledged by schools, parents, and teachers.
Why Acknowledge diversity in schools?
To prepare students to be a part of multicultural democracy, it is important to expose them to different backgrounds, cultures and teach them to respect and value people’s differences. Diversity in schools will help them to function properly in a multicultural environment and to understand the perspectives of different backgrounds.
Those schools that acknowledge diversity have motivated students who can fit in any heterogeneous or complex society. Such schools provide an enhanced learning environment where everyone gets the chance to experience the things which they haven’t before. So, it is important to have diversity in students and staff members. boarding schools in India are best as students learn to become more versatile at boarding schools.
Minority faculty members and women face several challenges in some aspects which need to be addressed and overcome. They could be less satisfied with their professional relations with colleagues or salaries or promotions. Minority students may feel isolated and discriminated against or may face differential treatment. An anxious environment develops due to past negative experiences among minority and majority members.
Another challenge faced by the diverse institutions is people being influenced by others begin to judge and hold unconscious assumptions based on social and physical characteristics like gender, age, race, etc.
It is in the hands of parents and teachers how to overcome the conflicts and make them as an advantage. Given below should be the role of parents and teachers in understanding and embracing diversity in schools;
Role of Teachers: To acknowledge and highlight different perspectives, structured classroom activities should be undertaken. It should be the teacher’s responsibility to make every student thrive, regardless of their background or language differences and also take care that there is no achievement gap among diverse groups. To ensure that no child is left behind, and everyone contributes, teachers can create diverse learning groups to make students realize the importance and speaks valuable to each other.
Mutual respect is another important factor in which a teacher needs to make a conscious effort. Teachers should establish ground rules with the help of students. They should be made clear about the rule that disrespect for fellow students is intolerable. This will help in building a cordial environment for students where everybody’s perspectives and opinions are valued.
Role of Parents: To teach your children the ways to support and welcome people from different backgrounds, parents need to have the right mindset and a broad social horizon. This will help to make a difference rather than a few suggestions and strategies. Socialize by organizing small family gatherings and inviting over new friends and people with whom you would not normally associate or create situations where you get to meet parents of other children.
Make conversations with your child about diversity in schools, which will ultimately lead to increased curiosity and will help in expanding their social and cognitive skills.
Choose a school for your child that pays attention to how the needs and wants of the diverse students are addressed by the school. Don’t forget to express your concern if you find different discipline consequences for a different set of students. In this way, parents can help in promoting a positive environment in school.
To transform the school into a warm, welcoming society, parents and teachers need to play their role appropriately. Students, parents, and teachers can create a community through their joint efforts, that welcomes and accepts people and their ideas that are different from their own.