While there are many difficulties in learning or teaching in a diverse classroom, there are equally as many (if not more) rewards of learning in such an environment. Students gain so many positives from a culturally aware classroom, and these advantages follow them through adulthood. Diversity in education provides a wide array of experiences for students, and allows them to acquire invaluable knowledge and understanding of those who are different from themselves.
Teachers and schools recognize the necessity and value of cultural awareness in the classroom. With so much focus in our country on immigration, it is important for others to realize the significant impact that other cultures have had (and are having) on our future leaders. Below are some key benefits afforded to students, thanks to diversity in education and cultural awareness:
- Cultural awareness provides knowledge and understanding of other cultures, which breeds sensitivity and tolerance..
- Respect for others is given through understanding and experience, and ignorance is left behind..
- Cooperation and collective work is commonplace at school, and makes working on a team a much more comfortable and easier experience in future ventures..
- Interactions with actual people from other cultures are experiences that cannot be duplicated in a textbook..
- Students develop relationships with students of other cultures, allowing a deeper understanding of the cultures than an academic lesson can provide..
- Students have a better understanding of themselves..
- Diverse classrooms provide students with “real world” experiences, and help to build understanding and respect for different cultures. Our world is nothing if not multicultural..
- Working in diverse groups in the classroom enriches discussions with different viewpoints and experiences.
Gorski, V. (2011, 2 24). Positive & Negative Aspects of Diversity in the Classroom. Retrieved 1 22, 2012, from eHow.com: http://www.ehow.com/info_7978159_positive-negative-aspects-diversity-classroom.html
Maddox, C. (2011, 4 20). The Effects of Cultural Diversity in the Classroom. Retrieved 1 22, 2012, from eHow.com: http://www.ehow.com/info_8259168_effects-cultural-diversity-classroom.html