Cultural diversity in the classroom is on the rise so it’s important for teachers to provide students with learning opportunities and resources to meet their needs. This will provide a safe and inclusive environment that has a positive impact on your students.
It will show them how to connect with each other from diverse backgrounds and abilities. These lessons will teach children about empathy, while developing critical thinking skills and encouraging them to think from different perspectives.
Promoting cultural diversity in the classroom increases students’ academic, social and emotional outcomes. It also helps them feel included when they’re represented in the curriculum.
The following four steps will help you promote cultural diversity in your class.
#1. Get To Know Students- In Depth
Go beyond the superficial level and learn about your students and their background. Help them feel a sense of pride in their culture. You can do this with the following done-for-you project-based learning resource.
Choose the one that best meets your students’ needs by clicking one of the images below.
#2. Include Different Voices.
When you read literature together, look at whose story is being told. Include books from authors from a variety of backgrounds so that you can critically analyze the differences in the stories and the reasons behind them. You can start this with children as young as in grade 1.
This will teach students that one story is not always to be taken at face value. It will also show them how to look for different answers and engage in critical thinking.
#3. Integrate Student Voices.
Often times, when teachers teach a lesson, such as math, we teach one or two methods to solve an answer but students from around the world have other ways of solving them. It’s important to include different ways of solving a problem as it may speak another child who is struggling in your class.
Depending on your school’s culture, it’s important to allow children to speak in their own language. Encourage children to use their language as a way of learning the new language that you’re trying to teach, so that children don’t feel ashamed of who they are. It also helps them learn at a faster rate as they naturally think in their own language first.
#4. Provide Buddies
When you have new students who don’t know anyone in your school, provide them with a buddy from a similar cultural background, who speaks their language. This will help them feel connected and learn quickly.
Let’s recap really quickly. Today, we looked at the following:
- The importance of promoting cultural diversity in your classroom.
- Four ways to do this: get to now students-in depth, include different voices, integrate student voices, and provide buddies.
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