Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Elements of Diversity

Among the most populous of diverse students are those with physical or learning disabilities. These students may require adaptations in the process or product, but vigilance needs to be made not to simplify or change the curriculum, as these students both need and want to work with their peers. One of the philosophies that address the social needs of students with disabilities is inclusion; teaching students in the mainstream classroom as much as possible as opposed to pulling the student out for specialized instruction. This not only meets the students' education needs, but also the social and interpersonal aspects of their education experience.



Public education mandates a separation of church and state in the education of students, but this disregards a major passion that exists for many students. Litigation also dissuaded schools from addressing religious differences and education in schools. However, religious diversity should be seen as an opportunity to develop tolerance and understanding between members of varying religious backgrounds. To include students with diverse religious backgrounds, it is important to remember that in public education that you can teach religion, not preach religion, and this knowledge will build understanding.


Students with ethnic diversity are possibly the most observable form of diversity, yet possibly the least likely indicator of academic risk. Students of ethnic diversity are susceptible to stereotypical bias and bigotry, but background experiences may be heterogeneous with other members of the community. Ethnic differences may include cultural elements, skin and speech habits, and social interactions. Students with ethnic diversity tend to gravitate towards other members of their ethnic community, and self-isolate at times.

Sociology-Economic Status
Sociology-economic diversity is a major factor for schools, as this diversity impacts contextual experiences that students bring with them to school. The larger the diversity of status, the greater the differences in experiences and relations that these groups may have in common, which makes personalizing an educational experience for all students difficult for the teacher to provide. These students may also feel self-conscious about their monetary state, and compensate with actions that might provide disruption to the community.

Sexual Orientation
Students with diverse sexual orientations are often the targets of isolation and bullying activities from their peers. The stresses these students experience can have an adverse impact upon their education experience. These students seek community and associations with others to both express their diversity and to seek refuge from the stresses of their situations.


National Origin
Immigrant students and students with English language proficiency issues are a growing segment within the diversity element that schools must address. these are students who may also have diversity of religion and ethnicity, but due to the limitations with the English language, they have difficulty acclimating to schools, let alone perform proficiently of educational issues.


Gender is an element of diversity in schools where bias or limitations are imposed upon the group due to perception of abilities. An example of this diversity would be the membership of girls into STEM classes and fields. Generally girls are underrepresented in those areas because of the perceived limitations in those fields.


The issue of obesity in education is a recent element in which schools need to have awareness. Many issues have been associated with the trending group, from inactivity to food choices, but students with diverse body images are often isolated, bullied, or can suffer from adverse health effects from their size.


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