Essay about Promoting Diversity Within The Classroom

Essay about Promoting Diversity Within The Classroom

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Promoting diversity in the classroom has become a necessity in today’s ever-diversifying society. Diversity can refer to socio-economic background, religion, gender identify, sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity among other possible identities. Over the past twenty years or so, the use of multicultural education, in particular multicultural literature, has become a commonplace form of diversity promotion in the classroom. Multicultural education refers to any sort of education or teaching which takes into account the values, beliefs, histories, and perspectives of those from varying cultural backgrounds. Here, culture, “in the broadest possible sense, [encompasses] race, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, class, gender, sexual orientation;” a group of individuals that have a sense of shared values, beliefs, and understanding (“Multicultural Education Definition,” 2013). Therefore, multicultural literature is literature which represents and explores different aspects of cultures by “communicating the beauties, subtleties, and universalities of various cultures” (Hart & Rowley, 1996, p. 1). This type of education allows for students to be introduced to the “other,” or that which is different, in an environment free from prejudice and bias.
In an article published by Meg Anderson (2015) on NPRed, in which she interviewed Carla Shedd, an author who wrote a book on race and prejudice in schools, it was written that it can be positive for children to think about diversity and inequality. In fact, it was implied that it is crucial to introduce multicultural literature at a young age in hopes of diminishing prejudicial thoughts about different cultures. This is reflected in the fact that much of the research on multicultural l...

... middle of paper ... state that multicultural education can reduce pre-established biases and prejudices in the college classroom. More research would need to be done to say this with any level of true certainty. I did not observe enough, and my interview with the professor did not lead to any concrete evidence proving this. However, I feel confident in saying that this education has the potential to correct misinformation that a student may have heard or provide information to those who are uneducated on such matters. As with the student was shocked to hear about gender individuals, some people are simply unaware of certain ideas and information. Therefore, Professor Pierce, with the help of multicultural literature, can facilitate students in their educational journey about issues in relation to diversity, filling in gaps of knowledge as well as correcting that which is inaccurate.

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