There’s more and more talk about topics like cultural diversity nowadays, and the importance of being inclusive of others. And yet, it seems like these topics receive far too little attention in the most important circles that matter – the classrooms of our very own schools. It’s important to ensure that our kids are given a solid foundation in terms of diversity training, and that they’re taught the important nuances that exist in this field. Because otherwise, it will be much more difficult to prevent them from making some of the same mistakes as this generation, and the ones before it.
A Changing Situation
Diversity is becoming a hot topic these days, mostly because of the globalization trend that’s been taking the world by storm. And while that’s by no means a bad thing, it can be problematic when it’s approached the wrong way, without giving students the right kind of information on the topic or preparing them to deal with these situations on their own. The approaches that used to work just a decade or so ago are quickly becoming obsolete, and it’s starting to get more and more clear that children need to be actively guided on the right path in this area.
Paying Attention to All Factors
There are many forms of diversity, and therefore many areas to pay attention to when dealing with inclusion and similar topics. It’s not just about race and gender – there are subtler forms of discrimination out there that children will have to learn to face appropriately. From disabilities to age, there are many factors that can be turned against a person, and we’re starting to understand that much more clearly in recent times. Even something as simple as dying one’s hair an unusual color can sometimes draw unwanted negative attention, and it’s important for children and teachers alike to understand how to deal with those situations without making fun of others.
Promoting Understanding and Respect
To that end, it’s not a bad idea to organize some exercise sessions which can serve to improve the way students understand these topics, and to develop a stronger bond between those of different origins. This can be done easily by doing things like a cultural food day, or even having students do a small presentation about their own cultural values and similar topics. Whatever you pick, the important thing is that it gets the point across in the longer term, instead of only serving as a momentary block that the students have to go through.
It will take a while for the system to fully adapt to the way things are going, but this kind of change is going to be critical in the long run. Because the better we prepare our students for dealing with situations of inequality and disrespect in the future, the better they will fare in the society that’s forming right now. And unfortunately, it seems that the amount of attention being paid to this right now is far too low for what it should be.
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