1) In a diverse classroom, classrooms are far more difficult to manage than in a traditional classroom. Cultural differences can lead to rifts between students, not to mention teacher-student conflicts. However, there are many strategies that can come in handy to increase levels of participation and academic achievement in diverse classrooms.
One of these is maintaining and encouraging respect for the diversity of the classroom. (Shobe 2003, p. 1) Students will not put forth their best efforts if they feel they are not heard and respected within the classroom environment. In a respectful classroom, diverse students can avoid feeling threatened by cultural differences, and motivate themselves to learn. It is the instructor’s duty to foster this type of environment.
Encouraging respect within the classroom involves making sure to treat everyone equally. Not a single student should be given up on; also, an instructor must be respectful of everyone’s cultural and home backgrounds. Many students in diverse classrooms have turbulent home lives; efforts must be made by instructors to create a welcoming, nonconfrontational environment in the classroom that they can feel is a safe place to learn and exist. (Shobe 2003, p.
7) Utilizing different teaching modalities such as seeing, reading and doing, as well as providing as much individual attention to each student can provide an effective classroom that provides students of every background a safe haven for education.
It is absolutely vital that instructors form relationships with their students. (Miller and Pedro 2006, p. 296) This allows them to feel much safer in the classroom, and trust the instructor to guide them in an effective and caring manner. This particular strategy is a great way to bring about greater cooperation among diverse students and get them in the mindset to learn.
2) Constructing a collaborative main idea web is a fantastic way to break down the essential components of a story into its primary sections and offer a graphical interpretation of the main ideas of the text. In a diverse classroom environment, this is ideal due to the universality of this concept. Dissecting the story in this manner provides a method of learning that people of all backgrounds can understand and appreciate, teaching them reading comprehension skills and showing them how to adequately analyze a story.
Questioning the author is one other method to teach critical thinking to diverse students. In making them ask questions about the story and levying criticism against the author, they are asked to interpret the author’s intention in writing the piece. They can also learn to not take a text as gospel and figure out what could be improved about it. (McKeown, Beck and Worthy 1993) No matter how diverse the classroom may be, this is also a universal way of interpreting a text, and students can learn from each other’s questions to the author, forming a greater connection with each other.
Analyzing text-to-self connections allow the student to link the story somehow with some aspect of their life or an event they know about. With diverse classrooms, a variety of perspectives can be reached, given the varying background of each student. If the students were to share these experiences, it could help bring about a greater understanding of everyone’s culture within the class. Different points of view can be explored, and the students can learn to read deeper into a text.
McKeown, M., Beck, I., & Worthy, J. (n.d.). Questioning the Author. ReadingQuest. Retrieved
April 12, 2011, from http://www.readingquest.org/strat/qta.html.
Miller, R., & Pedro, J. (2006). Creating Respectful Classroom Environments. Early Childhood
Education Journal, 33(5), 293-299. doi:10.1007/s10643-006-0091-1
Shobe, R. (n.d.). Respecting diversity: A classroom management technique a survey of
incarcerated adult students | Journal of Correctional Education. BNET. Retrieved April 11, 2011, from <http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4111/is_200306/ai_n9269916/>