Cultural diversity is one of the issues that is slowly crippling education system in many nations. Cultural diversity arises from the fact that one nation can be compromised of many cultural and ethnical groups all, which have different practices. Managing a class with students from a culturally diverse background can prove challenging. Thus, there are strategies that ensure that cultural and ethnical diversity does not impede learning.
Challenges associated with the teaching strategies aimed at eradicating cultural differences
One of such strategies include including cultural education in the school curriculum. This entails choosing a culturally relevant curriculum and instructional materials that incorporate and reflect on the students’ various heritages. The major challenge preventing full realization of this strategy is the lack of resources (Cole, 2013). The school teachers and people in direct contact with the students are usually not involved in drawing the school curriculum. Another teaching strategy is to develop community ties and building of community schools. However, the strategy is more theoretical than practical. People from different ethnical backgrounds tends to live together with minimal or no contact with other people. In addition, building community schools may be limited to economically able communities and the desired effects may not be realized. Another strategy involves dealing with the students at a personal level. The teachers should get to know the students individually, about their dreams, concerns and hopes. The challenge with this is that the schools may be understaffed and the teachers may not have enough time to deal with students individually. Another problem is that the students may not be forthcoming with their problems. Other parents may also not be cooperative and may not allow the teachers to check the students’ backgrounds.
Conflict theory states that the educational system is responsible for propagating social inequality. Conflict theorists see the education system as a mechanism to divide people along economic, ethnic, and race lines (OpenStax, 2013). People from poor economic backgrounds are not offered the same opportunity as those from a higher social class. The minority groups comprised of the marginalized ethnic groups are usually disadvantaged. The inequalities beginning from school levels then progresses to the social levels. The communities exhibit class divisions with the high social class socially excluding people with poor backgrounds. Thus, to some extent the conflict theorists argue that the education system generates the inequalities. In addition, lack of enough resources contributes greatly toward the social division. The schools do not have enough resources to reset the social imbalance created by the cultural diversity.
Solutions towards solving cultural differences
Cultural diversity can be eliminated by raising awareness among different communities. People from different ethnic groups living in the same community can be encouraged to organize social events to enhance interaction. From enhanced community interactions, the children also learn to interact with others (Naeyc, 2009). The other challenge of dealing with student individually can be dealt with opening counseling centers. The students should be encouraged to seek out their friends and follow up on them. Student interaction can be steered both in social direction and in academic direction. The teachers can also encourage the students to reach about their own backgrounds and have a teaching presentation in class. In this manner, the children will learn about their fellow students and appreciate their heritage.
Cole, W. R. (2013). Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107003/chapters/Diverse-Teaching-Strategies-for-Diverse-Learners.aspx
Naeyc. (2009). 10 Effective DAP Teaching Strategies. https://www.naeyc.org/dap/10-effective-dap-teaching-strategies
OpenStax College. (2013, July 29). Theoretical Perspectives on Education. Retrieved from the Connexions Web site: http://cnx.org/content/m42905/1.4/