Diversity entails everything that makes people different from each other, including race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, capacities, age, religious beliefs, or political beliefs. These factors inform how students (and teachers, and everyone else) engage with the world and Learn Diversity.
Why is it important to promote diversity in the classroom?
Culturally responsive and inclusive education has benefits for all students. In addition to creating greater multicultural awareness and inclusion that helps students with different backgrounds and needs succeed, it also encourages acceptance and helps prepare the students for the exponentially diverse world we live in.
Diversity in and outside of the school will continue to grow, so it’s vital we prepare students to thrive in an evolving world and embrace those with different ideas and backgrounds to learn diversity.
As our society becomes more diverse and multicultural, it is critical that teachers incorporate culturally responsive instruction in their schools — whether they are teaching elementary school, middle school, or high school students.
How do you promote diversity?
1. Find Out More About Your Students
A teacher who promotes diversity awareness in the school must understand each student individually. The teacher should find out each student’s ethnicity, individual capacities, interest, learning styles, and what makes them unique. Taking an active interest in each student’s culture will help you establish trust with them and allow you to develop a bond so they feel valued. Communication is essential for a culturally aware and inclusive classroom, and students who feel appreciated by and comfortable with the teacher will feel free to talk and respect their peers too.
2. Engage in Consistent Communication
In addition to getting to know your students, teachers are also advised to maintain ongoing communication throughout the school year. Having one-on-one meetings with students every so often will allow you to continually improve how accessible the classroom and teaching is for everyone. Students can communicate whether or not they feel included in the classroom culture. This is also a chance to assess the student’s progress in the class and provide guidance specific to that student’s needs, so they can improve in the future and learn diversity.
3. Encourage Celebration of Diversity
Students should also celebrate and respect their own diverse backgrounds, as well as those of others. Teachers should encourage students to learn about their own ethnicity, abilities, challenges, and cultures. In this way, they can better understand their own contexts as well as the differences between their peers.
This assignment can also serve as a good icebreaker by allowing students to discuss family traditions and cultures in class to expose students to new ideas outside of their comfort zone. When teaching your students about their diverse backgrounds, remember to emphasize what is offensive and distinguish cultural celebration from appropriation when discussing these topics. Understanding other contexts and being respectful and mature when discussing them is crucial to success in life outside of school as well as to learn diversity.
4. Make Diversity A Part of Your Lesson Plans
The school environment plays an important role in cultural awareness, but you should also make sure diversity is represented in the lesson plans. For example, broadening history lessons so that they cover more than just our history and culture. To learn diversity use references and analogies from different contexts ( such as: rural, urban, religion, faith, caste, cultures, and so on) in your classes to help students from diverse backgrounds feel more connected.
Bringing in speakers with varying perspectives and real-life context is another great strategy to learn diversity. The ways in which you incorporate cultural awareness and diversity into your lesson plan will depend on the cultures represented in your school and the course you are teaching. No matter what your subject is, always try to connect your lessons to real-world issues. It’s easier to encourage diversity awareness if you give students real-life examples.
Benefits of promoting diversity
Diversity education exposes students to a variety of social groups, preparing them to become better citizens. Here are some more specific benefits:
- Students Become More Empathetic
- Students Become More Open-Minded
- Students Feel More Confident and Safe
- Students Are Better Prepared for a Diverse Workplace and work cultures
It is the responsibility of teachers to teach their students a range of skills, which will make them members of an inclusive society as well as make them understand the importance of diversity at a younger age. Therefore we’ve developed an educator’s kit on diversity to enable life skills of respect for diversity and inclusion. It is a great tool to begin building a world where being different is OK and nobody is odd-one-out! Explore the Kit HERE
About Ginny’s Planet:
Ginny’s Planet is a social enterprise founded by Dr Shweta Verma in 2019. The brand runs on the core value of helping our teachers and parents to teach their children to become independent, smart and better leaders by equipping them with a deep understanding of empathy, diversity, disability and inclusion. Dr. Shweta and team work on building events, workshops and products to help guardians to trigger kids’ mindset and develop flexibility to situations. They work with schools to organise workshops for children.