Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 4/In the News

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Edgar Hernandez

Diversity: Revolving Change in America's Classrooms[edit | edit source]

Learning Target Reader should be able to review the work of different media outlets, when it comes to diversity in the classroom. Reader will be faced with world wide opinions and measures being taken in classrooms all over America that deal with diversity.

Diversity in the Classroom[edit | edit source]

As the nation we live in changes, so does the classrooms in which learning is taught. Diversity is often encountered in the classroom whether it is by ethnicity, race, or gender of the students. Many of these diverse situations often encounters problems with stereotype and makes it that much more difficult for teachers to conduct an inclusive classroom. Reports by major newspapers such as the New York Times and media outlets like CNN and MSNBC have carried out developing stories occurring not only in Virginia but in classrooms throughout the United States and even the world which deals with diversifying classrooms.

The New York Times reported on April 22, 2009 in an article titled "Diversity in the Classroom" that due to heavy immigration of people, student demographics have changed in 17,000 counties in the United States ( New York Times, 2009). This article also states that Hispanic and Asian student enrollment in schools has increased by 5,000,000 since the 1990's. This demographic of student enrollment increase automatically makes a diverse classroom, ethnic wise and race wise. Author Judith Shulman wrote a book to help teachers carry out lessons that help every student: no matter race,country of origin and/or language (Shulman, 2007).

Some students have more difficulties than others if they do not understand the language. Schools throughout America have taken this immigration issue seriously by incorporating a curriculum that has mandatory English classes for non-English speakers. Foreign language education though ignored by many is becoming more of a requirement as the population of the United States increases annually. Diversified classrooms could be very beneficial for students in the long-run. Why? well as the United States becomes more diverse culturally, students are faced with the fact that employment opportunities are going to be offered to that bilingual student.

In CNN, America's scapegoat for news, there was a report from a student named Marcia Hutchinson who faced stereotypes and discrimination in a British classroom, being from Jamaican decent ( Hutchinson, 2009). This type of bullying could lead to the student suffering severe psychological damage and therefore teacher training should not be taken lightly. Teachers in every classroom around the world are going through what is called "training" in order to learn how to deal with a diverse set of students, enhancing the change to have an inclusive classroom. This not only applies to classrooms in Europe this also applies to America's classrooms.

Author and early childhood education expert Barbara Biles write an article about how cultural diversity first starts with each individual's cultural and self-awareness (Biles, 1994). She promotes the use of skin-colored crayons in her teaching techniques for preschool students so that they are more self-aware but most importantly, more aware of those around them. This is a process in which the child learns that people are not all the same. Some will be much more different, other will be more alike, nonetheless they need to know that just because someone is different, prejudice should come into role. When cultural and racial awareness is established in the classroom, it will help teachers bring up some classwork and/or activities to help children "accept themselves and accept others" (Biles, 1994). This awareness will ultimately unify the classroom, but create a person who is less likely to bully others in the future.

Ultimately, teachers should always be aware that never will they conduct a classroom where each child is exactly the same as the other. Since classrooms across the United States, including Virginia, are becoming more diverse as the days pass, teachers take into consideration learning new teaching techniques in order to accommodate each child's learning needs and ways. No child learns the same. Some learn my repetition, other by visualizations, others by auditory lessons.Teachers should assess each child's need in order for a fair grading system. These techniques should be incorporated in an inclusive classroom.

Diversity is often to blame and becomes the scapegoat to children teasing others. Bullying can cause deep psychological trauma and/or issues upon an individual. In this case, a student. Bullying and other hurtful stereotypical accusations made towards others are often the center of media (News) and prime time television. It has been heard of in popular prime time shows like Oprah, or late night documentaries like Dateline or CNN. It is up to the teachers, the head of the classroom, to incorporate a friendly environment for all. Make sure that students get along not only between classroom walls but outside in the playground as well. America could be stronger starting by the classroom. Ehern004 (talk) 01:21, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Side Bar: http://www.pbs.org/kcts/preciouschildren/diversity/read_activities.html

Multiple Choice:

Question 1: According to Barbara Biles, what is the age range where people develop self-awareness?

           A. Teenage Years (13-19).
           B. Early Primary Years (3-8).
           C. Adulthood (18+).
           D. Infant Years (0 months-2 years).

Question 2: Why are skin-colored crayons applied to use in preschool activities?

           A. To enhance coloring skills.
           B. For provide color accuracy for a drawing.
           C. To raise awareness of diversity (yourself and others).
           D. To prevent psychological issues when relating to yourself and others.

Question 3: Psychological issues reported on different media outlets cite bullying for the damage. What is the main reason that leads to bullying at schools?

           A. Financial Status.
           B. Classroom performance.
           C. Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Differences.
           D. All of the above.

Question 4: Media aside, what are other ways that awareness towards diversity can be raised?

           A. Teachers training to become more aware of the situations in their class and taking action.
           B. Write a book to document and teach others about how to deal with cultural diversity.
           C. Let the situation develop and solve itself. Good or bad.
           D. Nothing can be done without the help of the media.

Answer Key: B,C,C,A.

Work Cited:

Biles, Barbara. "Activities that Promote racial and Cultural Awareness in the Classroom." Precious Children 1994.

"Diversity in the Classroom." The New York Times [New York] 22 Apr. 2009: 20-20.

Hutchinson, Marcia. "Britain: Diversity in the Classroom." The New Black Magazine 16 Mar. 2009: 1-1.

McCracken-Brown, J. 1993. "Valuing Diversity: The Primary Years". Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children

Smith, Dr. Robin. "Diversity and Understanding." O Magazine 2009: 11-11.

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