Defining Diversity

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Defining Diversity

Defining Diversity * To me, diversity encompasses a wide range of elements in which to classify a student population. It includes the obvious such as race/ethnicity, culture, gender, disabilities, and socio-economic status. However, diversity goes so much deeper. Diversity also includes the various cognitive levels in students, the different styles in which they learn, and the various levels of motivation in students. Each of these diversity categories can be evidenced in an educational setting. The impact it has on a school can be positive if it is approached and handled appropriately by the school and its’ teachers. If it is not, it can have very negative effects on the school and the student. Having low expectations and showing bias toward one diverse group over another can have a very negative and lasting impact. It is important to acknowledge that ALL students can achieve if given the motivation and encouragement to do so. According to Janine Bempechat, high achievers in all ethnic groups believed that success was die to hard work. She concluded, “Teachers need to help low achievers understand that poor performance does not result from a lack of ability as much as from lack of trying” (Nieto & Bode, 2008). It is for this reason that it is of utmost importance that teachers convey positive messages to their students. Building self-esteem can be the first step in academic achievement. If students do not believe they have the ability they will get discouraged and little effort will be made to apply themselves. The second and very important aspect in a successful diverse classroom is to set high expectations and goals for all students regardless of their diversity but should be cognizant of the natural developmental differences as they grow. “The researchers found that teachers who modified the curriculum without…...

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