Tools for Teaching began its diversity article by maintaining the thesis that teachers should treat every student equal regardless of race, gender, or special needs. Diversity in the classroom goes way beyond the idea of having a special education child with mental difficulties. Approaching classroom diversity with the right perspective means not assuming that women are dumber than men in math, that white are superior to blacks, or that someone with Tourette’s Syndrome cannot learn. Tools for Teaching discusses various classroom scenarios and gives tips on what to say to keep an enjoyable classroom climate. It further explained how to deal with students for whom English was not their primary language. Every teacher should treat students with equal fairness regardless of race, sex, background, language, or special needs.
I really appreciated the ideas and scenarios that Tools for Teaching presented in its article. I agree that teachers should be sensitive to their students’ needs despite what their diversity tendencies might be. However, I do not think that differences, especially cultural backgrounds, should be completely ignored. I personally find it fascinating to study different origins. Students should be proud of their heritage. Since I grew up in a Christian school, diversity of the extreme kind (typically just gender) was not present so I never really thought about how to deal with diversity such as race and special needs in the classroom. The tips that this article gives are practical and applicable to any teaching situation.
– Hannah S. Bowers
Davis, B. 1999. Diversity and complexity in the classroom: considerations of race, ethnicity, and gender. Tools for Teaching. Retrieved from http://honolulu.hawaii.edu /intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/diverse.htm.