Segregated public schools have been ruled unconstitutional, and now, we live in a world where integration and diversity should be a hallmark of the school system. As borders come crashing down, societies and the global economy are becoming characterized by differences. The diversity agenda is being pursued by university officials, employers and parents who want to prepare students to live in a globalized world.
Fosters Better Collaboration
Diverse classrooms prepare students for careers in job markets with less and less concern for national or community boundaries. Through integrated classroom environments, students learn to communicate and collaborate with people from other backgrounds and cultures.
Diversity prepares students for success and citizenship in the global economy with its dynamic multicultural makeup.
Creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving are all fostered in integrated classroom settings. Being among people who are different also helps students confront and combat stereotypes, understanding the complexities that are found in the human race.
If children are educated and live in racially isolated environments, they can develop discriminatory prejudices and attitudes.
It’s not just racial/ethnic diversity that is required in the classroom whether at school or home tuition. As Brown v. Board of Education held that separate schools for black and white students are inherently unequal, the Coleman Report suggests that socioeconomic school integration could increase academic achievement even more.
Many sources show that diversity in the classroom benefits all students. Research has shown that racial and socioeconomic diversity in the classroom yields social and cognitive benefits. Yes, evidence has shown that diversity makes us smarter and students in integrated schools have higher average test scores.
Patrick Kelly, a teacher at Blythewood High School in South Carolina, has said that “both research and my experience show the link between quality and diversity in schools.”
Creativity and Confidence
Studies show that students can go further and concentrate better with people of different backgrounds working in the same environment. People with differing viewpoints have unique things to bring to the table, enabling more creative solutions. Contrary to feelings of danger or discomfort, a study in the journal “Child Development” has illustrated that students feel safer in life and school when they are educated in a diverse environment.
Due to learning about different types of people from different backgrounds and cultures, they become more comfortable with these differences and with themselves.
Integrated classrooms can improve students’ intellectual self-confidence. Research on diversity at the college level shows that when students have positive experiences interacting with students of other backgrounds and view the racial and cultural climate on-campus as affirming, they emerge with greater confidence in their academic abilities.
Organize a cultural fair. Sound out when you notice educators biased towards different student groups. Check in on whether there is a racial bias at the school staff and faculty level. When we help our students begin to understand how diversity is important and to celebrate our differences, we’ll see them slowly excel and achieve so much more.
The Benefits of Socioeconomically and Racially Integrated Schools and Classrooms (n.d.). Retrieved from https://tcf.org/content/facts/the-benefits-of-socioeconomically-and-racially-integrated-schools-and-classrooms/
Geraldine is an education writer, currently serving on the content team at Yodaa, a Singapore ed-tech startup. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business and Literary Studies. In her free time, she researches on parenting issues, education tips and technological trends.