The current events in the US regarding protests against racism have shed light on the lack of equality and understanding among people. Accepting diversity as something natural and positive should be taught from a young age. Diversity doesn’t just refer to race. It also includes different religion, gender, learning styles, economic background and more.
The only way we can navigate our society towards progression is by acknowledging diversity in education. Educational facilities and educators set the foundation of who we become, so that’s why it is a good place to start. Incorporating diversity in lesson plans will not only benefit students emotionally, but it will also help them improve their success. These are the ways in which diversity has a positive impact on student achievements.
1. Students Work Better and Harder
A diverse environment can motivate students to study harder and put all in achieving their goals. Working alongside people from different backgrounds will encourage them to give their best.
Learning in different ways and incorporating lessons that support diversity will give student’s a more positive perspective on their future.
For example, mentioning black or Muslim women who made a contribution to science can motivate young girls with such origin to pursue their dream and study harder. Teachers can present students with additional online material or share TED Talks in the online classroom (during the pandemic).
The reason why we use this as an example is that history often glorifies Caucasian males as dominant in innovation. When students learn that there is diversity among people who have benefited the human race, they won’t be held back by their religion or color of their skin. Such stories will give them a push towards achieving better results and following their desired career.
2. Students Become More Open-Minded
Diversity teaches students to look outside the box. They learn to appreciate the differences in the world and to be open-minded.
Having an open mind will make them more prominent to think on their own, make their own conclusions, and observe the world with their own eyes. What does this mean? It means that they’ll know not to trust every word that mass media tries to sell. They’ll know that there is no justification for classifying people according to their looks, origin, and beliefs.
“It’s easy for students to stay in their bubbles and limit themselves due to lack of information. What diversity in education can show them is how to be more open-minded and how to create a realistic perspective on the world. Open-mind is very important as it leads to stepping outside of your comfort zone, being more empathetic, and ultimately, living a happier life,” says Jennifer Huxley, a professional educator and technical writer at TopEssayWriting and BestEssaysEducation.
With such an individual mind, students will be more creative, more open to new possibilities, and more ambitious. Instead of trying to be just like everyone else, they will thrive to fulfill their life with knowledge and experiences.
3. Students Won’t Be Intimidated to Travel Abroad
Studying abroad can be an incredible experience that can enrich students’ lives. They’ll be able to meet new people, explore different customers, experience a different learning program, and much more.
Diversity in education is more likely to spark students’ interest in traveling abroad. As they will already meet students from a different origin, talking about their culture can inspire the desire for traveling and studying abroad.
Even though the current pandemic might make traveling abroad more difficult, this could be a great time to get students more acquainted with that notion. There are lots of great articles on the topic that can help educators form an encouraging presentation and spark discussion on the topic.
4. Students Develop Communication Skills
Communication skills are highly valued in education as well as in the world of business. Considering that diversity motivates students to communicate with peers of various backgrounds, their communication skills will develop.
The Century Foundation shared in an article that, “Students who interacted with racially and ethnically diverse peers showed significant gains in cognitive skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving.”
Teachers will be present as mediators to enhance communication. Qualified professionals such as those who have Diversity First Certificate know how to implement the right strategies to encourage communication and establish a closer connection among diversified students.
Exposing students to a diversified environment can be done easily, even during the pandemic. Online communication tools can be used for establishing a connection among students from different countries and enabling their communication. For example, students from the US who learn Spanish can connect with students from Spain through Zoom or Skype.
5. Students Learn to Challenge Stereotypes
Being able to rise above stereotypes is a big advantage. This advantage will manifest in students’ educational success and their careers.
Students will be able to meet people of different socioeconomic, cultural, and racial characteristics and, therefore, see that stereotypes should be dismissed. They’ll become more tolerant and accepting members of society.
Their thoughtfulness will help them progress as they won’t fall into the trap of starting a conflict because of stereotypes. They won’t miss opportunities because of the wrong convictions and norms.
6. Accepting Diversity in Education is a Path Towards a Brighter Future
Implementing diversity in education can be an important step to building intellectually engaged and successful individuals. Rather than hiding the reality from students and cutting them off from diversity, they should be taught to be accepting and get the most out of this colorful world.
The technology gives us an opportunity to include diversity in lessons despite the current pandemic. It is always the right time to help students become critical thinkers and strong open-minded individuals. Most importantly, diversity in education will result in making students better citizens and good people.
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