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Teaching Diversity

Essay by   •  June 13, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,290 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,686 Views

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The Classic Edition Sources... (Kridel, C. 2009) teaches about diversity in the classroom. The book refers to how diversity and race was taught in the past and how it should be taught in the future to make student's lives better. It explains that we should each teach tolerance, respect, reform and understanding. In addition, the author reveals what really makes people different, race not being one of those factors. The book was divided into multiple selected readings from many different places and in sections; therefore I will also discuss it in sections and at the end giving my opinion and my thoughts on the subject.

The book's main theme is that teachers, parents, administrators, and students need to do a better job of transferring the ideals of morality, hard work, and the value of education to people of the world. If we are unable to convince people that differences and variations in people are a part of life's make up, we will never get rid of this broad idea of racism.

As professionals and educators, teaching the reality of today's multiculturalism to students is paramount in today's quickly expanding society. I will also be addressing the topic of achievement testing and IQ scores in this paper.


There are two concepts I thought were very important throughout our semester readings: the way a person's own culture shapes their lives and how different cultures can still merge together without conflict. (Nieto, S 1992, as cited in Kridel, 2000, p. 59)When teaching culture to students we should help them understand that their own cultural norms have an influence on their behaviors, thoughts, perspectives, values, goals, morals, and cognitive processes and that most of the time this occurs without even thinking about it. (Maisto, A. & Morris, C. (2008). P. 121) Secondly, even though people come from many different cultural backgrounds, they can still be put together and work together effectively. (Martines, D. (2005).) I believe these two concepts sum up the essence of the Classic Edition Sources book, and should be taught to teachers and students alike.

The selection titled "Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom" (Delpit, L. 1995, as cited in Kridel, 2000, p. 69) states that a person's culture can create a bias that blinds them to anyone's alternate view. This could cause a person to view someone else's decisions as invalid, even if there are two ways to achieve the same goal. The selection implies that a person's background can blind them to why other cultures do what they do. Unfortunately, teaching different cultures in the classroom is not enough without also teaching the concept of cultural relativism. For example, in my classroom observations I noticed the relevance of programs like Every Day Math. The teachers were intent on pointing out the connection between the topics being taught to real world situations that could be used later in life. The lessons were not completely text oriented, but instead directly related to current events without ignoring the basic skills needed to survive in the world of work, thus making them culturally relevant to the students.

This classroom real world connection is not always taught; "When a significant difference exists between the students' culture and the school's culture, teachers can easily misread the students' aptitudes, intent, or abilities". (Delpit, L. 1995, as cited in Kridel, 2000, p. 69) What this means is that other people may not share our desires or perceptions and as teachers we should recognize this and adapt our teaching style accordingly. It also means we have to recognize the arbitrary nature of our own choices and be willing to reexamine them through the lenses of our students and their parents. In teaching children about culture and cultural relativism we must get across to them that racial differences in behavior does not make one persons decisions more accurate than someone else's, it simply means that person grew up with different values and therefore thinks in different ways. (Delpit, L. 1995,



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