Cultural Diversity and Its Role in Student Development

Fostering Cultural Diversity in Classroom

  • Ayushi Singh
    Ayushi Singh

Schools play an important in shaping an individual into a responsible adult. They can develop a better learning environment that raises individuals who are sensitive and empathetic towards their fellow human beings. Cultural diversity is an inevitable part of every classroom. Every school would have students belonging to different cultural backgrounds and hence, it is important that all students learn to embrace cultural diversity and be responsible adults of tomorrow.

Tips to Foster Cultural Diversity

Educators have the power to establish an environment where cultural diversity is fostered. In a diverse classroom, students learn to accept and appreciate different cultures and will have the provision to encounter different perspectives. Every teacher has to accept that every student is unique and the culture that they belong to plays a vital role in each student’s development. Thus, it is of paramount importance that every student is taught to live in harmony with their multicultural peers and teachers.

Communication is the Key

In a learning space, it is imperative that teachers ‘know’ their students. Teachers have to put some effort and try to learn about each student as it can help them to establish a better learning environment for them. Learning about each student’s culture, ethnicities, family background, language, etc. helps teachers to understand them better. This enables teachers to curate their teaching instruction methodologies that enhance the learning process for all students in a classroom. This will help you to adopt necessary methods that can flourish cultural diversity at school.

Talk to your students to know them more. Once teachers establish a strong relationship with their students, they will be approaching their teachers when some kind of discomfort arises in the school. Also, every student will have a feeling of belonging and feel safer at school.

Awareness Programs

Seminars, speeches, and conferences that promote awareness can aid in encouraging cultural diversity in educational settings. Schools can invite notable personalities from diverse cultural origins to speak about and engage in conversation about different cultures. Students will become more aware of themselves as they learn about and encounter other viewpoints that improve their critical thinking skills. Due to the influence of various external factors, students who hail from diverse backgrounds often develop prejudices and misconceptions about other cultures. These educational initiatives will encourage pupils to think inclusively and help to eradicate those stereotypes.

Build an Inclusive Learning Curricula

Curricula decide the teaching methodologies, teaching lessons, and instructional modes in a learning ecosystem. Inclusive curricula can aid students in understanding different cultures in a better way. They will broaden their perspectives and will make them more acceptable and appreciative of different cultures. As mentioned earlier, it will rule out the prejudices they might have towards a certain culture and helps to build a healthy environment in schools. They will realize that each person is unique and have talents of their own. Inclusive curricula would enable students to accept the differences and respect individuals for their talents and not their backgrounds.

Conduct Classroom Discussions

Educators can give assignments and make the students talk about their cultures to make the other students understand their peers better. Moreover, in a country like India, these kinds of activities are essential as India is a culturally diverse country. Hence, by learning about different cultures in the country, they are learning more about their own country itself. These activities are making them an informed lot who are prepared to work in a multicultural setup. Employers look for individuals who are ready to work in a culturally diverse environment, so when you prepare students for such an environment, it will be an easier transition for them.

Celebrate Different Holidays

Different cultures celebrate different holidays and celebrating a variety of such events will give students an idea about various cultures. They get an insight into the history of those events and their significance in each community. By celebrating these holidays, they are celebrating the differences, which ought to be one of the primary objectives of a school.

Zero-tolerance on Bullying

Students often exhibit animosity against their peers from other ethnic origins because of the influence of external forces. Schools must implement a zero-tolerance policy against bullying in order to promote cultural diversity in the classroom. Students should be very conscious of how they act among their peers, and any unnecessary behavior based on cultural factors should never be tolerated.

How Cultural Diversity Awareness Benefits Students

  • It rules out the prejudices in their minds.
  • It broadens their perspectives.
  • They learn to accept and respect others’ cultures.
  • It helps pupils to break the stereotypes that exist in society.
  • It makes them informed individuals and “be the change”.
  • They will be prepared for the future.
  • Students are inspired to establish a safer society for everyone.
  • By accepting cultural differences, they learn to embrace the differences.
  • They will be prepared for future challenges.
  • Cultural differences nurture critical thinking among students.

Conclusion

After reading this article, you would have a better understanding of the value of encouraging cultural diversity in the classroom. It helps students to become more sensitive and they learn to be sensitive towards each other. As was already mentioned, students would benefit in many ways by being exposed to a setting that appreciates cultural diversity.  It creates a better society where people are informed and empowered to work toward the collective development of society as a whole. You may integrate these methodologies to foster cultural diversity in schools.

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