Today we’re going to talk how to teach cultural diversity in your classroom.
Cultural diversity is part of a person’s identity. It’s a sense of belonging or identifying with a particular group, like race, gender, nationality, religion or ethnicity. This is important because when a person feels a strong connection, sense of acceptance and security within their groups and in society, it contributes greatly to their wellbeing.
If you’d like FREE resources for your class to help your children develop a growth mindset, please visit my Free Resource Library.
This particular topic is near and dear to my heart because I’ve been through the highs and lows of it. I’m advocating for teachers and homeschooling parents to make a change and if you’re already doing this, thank you.
I was born in Pakistan, where I lived in a close-knit community. I loved my culture, language and people. Everybody cared for each other. Despite what’s been portrayed on the news, there’s so much beauty within the land and the people.
When I moved to Canada, I was excited until I met with people who didn’t understand how difficult it was to make that transition and the loss that I felt. Instead of having a supportive and nurturing environment in my classroom, I was shamed into feeling as though there was something wrong with my culture. I was forced to speak only English with this accent, to change my dressing and eating habits and so forth. While this wasn’t a topic of concern when I moved here but it should be now.
I refuse to fall into the trap of being “colour blind” instead of showing my children that they are welcome and safe to be themselves.
Integrating the following three steps will show your children just how much you care about them and their wellbeing. They will understand that you accept them for who they are and that you want what’s best for them. Can you imagine what this will do for your classroom community and how it will help you with classroom management?
So, let’s get into it!
#1. Assess the Class
Learn about the cultural identity of your students and bring in books, stories, foods to share, and items to discuss. I just want to take a moment to point out that when you choose books or movies, have your children critically evaluate some the narratives to determine whose voice is being portrayed.
#2. Delve Deeper
Spend a month or more having your children learn more about their culture to educate the class. I’m currently in the midst of creating a project-based learning form of this to help my children have a deeper understanding about their cultural background. I’ll share the results with you in a later episode. This step is important because it allows students to delve deeper into their culture and see the richness of it. It also opens up dialogue between them and their family members.
#3. Community Inclusion
In order to build your students’ social network, bring in people from the community or take your students out. It allows them to actively participate in the real world, thereby increasing their exposure to not only their own culture but to other students’ cultures as well. It enables them to see the beauty and the possibilities in all cultures.
1. We talked about the definition of cultural diversity.
2. We looked at why it’s important to teach it.
3. We focused on three actionable steps: assess the class, delve deeper, and community inclusion.
I’m in the midst of developing a project-based learning topic to help you with steps one and two. I’ll let you know when it’s available and will report back to you with an update about how it works out as I’ll be trying it with my students.
Remember to download your free planning guide and get started right away. Visit my Free Resource Library.
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I’ll see you next Friday at 5:30pm PST.
Until I see you next time, remember to create, experience & teach from the heart.