Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

Teaching Diversity in an Inclusive Way

Teaching Diversity in an Inclusive Way

As our countries, cities and towns become more diverse then so do our classrooms. Education is overwhelmingly acknowledged to be the solution to many of the world’s ills, including the problems of racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and many other behaviors that are directed at those viewed to be ‘different.’ Inclusivity is the objective in wider society, but this must begin in the classroom. For how can true inclusivity be taught and fostered if it is not practiced while it is preached?

There are a number of activities which can assist in breeding inclusivity in a classroom environment:

Be careful with the language you use

Pronouns such as ‘us’ and ‘them’ can be hugely unhelpful, as this is simply labeling under a different name. The first barrier that needs to be broken down is the one that categorizes people by putting them into convenient little boxes by which we can make assumptions.

Avoid generic opinions

Of course, you cannot apologize for the fact that you were born and raised in a particular culture, and that culture will hold particular beliefs that are not shared by other cultures. That is fine. But avoid making statements and expressing views that make one culture’s belief to be considered ‘more correct’ than another’s. For example, if you say ‘most people believe that…”, then who are ‘most people’ in this circumstance. 

“Be careful when you quote sources, and attach them accordingly as the opinion of one person, rather than generically to the masses, as this can place those who hold an alternative view outside of the inclusive circle,” advises Katelyn Romany, an educator at Boomessays Reviews and PhD Writing Service.

Celebrate different cultures

Hold events which truly celebrate different cultures and beliefs, not just token gestures where the same old stereotypes are projected. The more people can learn about different cultures, the more they can understand the differences that exist, and embrace those differences.

Clamp down on offensive language

The problem with offensive language is that often it is not overt. Language evolves so quickly that there are often new terms which have evolved from older ones, and these new terms are often subtler in the offense that they cause. Do not allow any sort of language that causes offense to anyone, and punish everyone in the same way for not following this important rule. 

Select the right activities

If you know that one person in the classroom is a vegetarian (due to religious reasons, or simply through personal choice), then do not bring in a food that they cannot share in. And don’t have food days during Ramadan. Similarly, if you have students who have a particular disability, then do not organize an activity that they are physically or mentally unable to take part in. Of course, life is not always that fair, but in a classroom, everyone should be involved all of the time.

Try to understand poor behavior

Poor behavior is not acceptable, but only punishing it will not see it cease. Understanding the root cause of a particular behavior will be a much more successful approach in understanding why a particular student is behaving in this way. 

“Showing other students that you are trying to understand why someone is doing what they are doing will encourage them to take the same approach. It is not necessarily about tolerating that behavior itself, but understanding that is nearly always the consequence of another problem which needs to be understood to be solved,” suggests David Ramirez, a teacher at Homework Writing and Paper Help.

Don’t segregate by gender, or promote gender stereotypes

Boys Vs girls tends to rear its ugly head at some stage in a child’s development. This is the moment when children begin to fundamentally realize that there are differences between us (more of which later). But do not accelerate or exacerbate this gender divide by segregating students into groups, or supporting or condoning likes and behaviors that are classically ‘boy’ or ‘girl’. 

Celebrate differences

We are all different. That’s a fact. Make that a point of celebration. It really should be.

Aimee Laurence is a teacher and blogger at Assignment Service and Essay Help services. She writes about inclusion, diversity and education techniques. Also, she tutors at Write My Thesis portal.

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