Martin Luther King’s speech in 1963 holds a place in history for it advocate on the rights of black people to be recognized by white Americans who discriminated them (Jameson and William 2007). The speech offered a powerful insight especially in education sector. Martin’s speech encompasses respect and acceptance to each other despite difference in race, ethnicity, religion, different ideologies and many other differences. One can argue that Martin Luther King actually anticipated the concept diversity. Schools, just like society have addressed diversity in different ways. Tracing back to history of America, there was an attempt to adjust cultural diversity during colonial era. The need for common culture prompted basis for the educational forum.
My former school had adopted multicultural education. Multicultural education impact and prepare young people to develop and live with better cooperation, understanding and dedication to equality worldwide (Thomas 2007). This concept never escaped any teacher’s thoughts without sharing it to us. Diversity was given priority in my school. I was meant to realize that each an every individual is unique. To ensure that diversity is fostered by many, goals and rules were set and implemented to be followed by everyone.
The administration in my former school made us believe that we are unique from each other despite race, ethnicity or religion. Statement of respect was set. There was zero tolerance policy, the administration imposed biased response team-education whose role was to monitor and act on incidents, investigations and increasing university programs.
There are quite a number of observations that I have made on the way diverse learners are treated. Teachers treat all students as individual with unique strengths, weaknesses and needs rather than generalized overview or representation of a particular ethic group, race or cultural group. The style of teaching employed is totally different and of various variety. This is done to meet the needs of diverse learners. Also there is creation of open lecture halls and classrooms that place a lot of importance on perspective and experiences of all students.
Everyone benefits from inclusion. Inclusive classrooms have a lot of benefits to all children. It improves the educational experience especially in kids. When children with disabilities are accommodated to participate in educational and community activities, they tend to reduce that fear of human interferences. This is accompanied by increased comfort and awareness. Warm and caring friendship, improvement in self-concept and also growth in social cognition are some of the benefits of inclusion.
Children in inclusive classrooms definitely realize that all they do is part of learning. They will feel safe and sound within the surrounding environment. Communication brings understanding. This is very important in inclusive classrooms. Individuals find the opportunities to learn how to communicate with others from different cultural background. Students are also exposed to multiple ways of expressing themselves and understanding others.
I believe the world has changed and is still changing to date. I expect to schools to be multicultural in the sense of ethnic or racial background. If there is someone who discriminate against his or her brother and sister because they are either black or white, then that individual is lost and he is on the wrong place.
Cook. L. & Friend. M. (2010). Interactions: Collaboration Skills for School Professionals. (6th Ed.)White Plains, Longman Publishing.
Giangreco.M.F. Chigee. J.C. & Iverson. V.S. (2008). Choosing options and accommodations for children: A guide to planning inclusive education (.4th Ed.) Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
York. J., Doyle, M.B., & Kronberg, R. (December, 2012). A curriculum development process for inclusive classrooms. (7th ed.). New York, Norton Company.