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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Preparing for Cultural Diversity: Resources for Teachers

How can teachers effectively engage with students from diverse backgrounds? It's a question many teachers face at the beginning of the school year, and of course, there isn't one prescribed strategy to use. Luckily, there are many useful resources to help new and veteran educators explore the subject.

If you're looking starting point, "How Can We Prepare Teachers to Work with Culturally Diverse Students and Their Families," an article from the Family Research Project at Harvard University, features insightful advice and useful tips from from leading diversity education leaders. One underlying message these researchers agree on is that communication plays an integral role, but there’s also insight into preparation, connecting with students, and building relationships with families.

Two other sources of inspiration are Yvonne Pratt-Johnson's article "Communicating Cross-Culturally: What Teachers Should Know" and the book excerpt from ASCD's "Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners." In addition to these two articles, here are a few other resources that will help educators develop inclusive learning environments and approach topics of race, gender equality, empathy, and bullying prevention during class.

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Originally Published August 29, 2013

Comments (6)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

DbaiG's picture

Educative and learning post! The issue relates to educational psychology. All the points you have made are worth-considering. Teachers must find creative ways through different opportunities that our era offers. And above all, the communication with students plays a vital role.

DbaiG

andrearpns's picture
andrearpns
1st grade teacher from Belmont, Calif.

There definitely isn't just one prescribed solution to working with children of diverse backgrounds. I found that communication is key. Primary students love to share their world and it is important to incorporate lots of opportunities for this throughout the school year. It's the best way to build a sense of community, tolerance, and acceptance. I'm sharing this post with my colleagues.

Syolivette Ramirez's picture
Syolivette Ramirez
3rd grade teacher fro Colorado

AS an ELD teacher multicultural awareness is a key component of my lessons. It is important to me to make sure that my students can share about their culture, while the rest learns to respect other views and traditions. This is also an opportunity to make them feel like experts on the topic. Thanks for all the valuable resources.

OliviaYangZii's picture
OliviaYangZii
Communication major student

As a communication major student, I have learnt a lot about diversity conflicts due to differences. I notice that teacher is playing an important role on influence people's attitudes toward difference. Teachers have to help young kids establish right thoughts and behaviors when they meet people who are different from them. In order to decrease stereotype, discriminations and prejudice, we have to concentrate more on young generation, and that is why education matters. This blog provides precious resources about how teachers can lead children to have better understanding and treatment about diversity, like diversity of gender, race or social classes. As the development of globalization, conflicts cause by difference may become more serious. So teach students how to treat difference should become a necessary ability for each teacher to grasp. To be proactive is a useful way to communicate in this context of diversity, and education is something that can make effort.

Kenya's picture

This is an amazing opportunity for teachers to teach children about diversity. It is very important for everyone to know and accept diversity. I didn't learn a lot about diversity until I come to college. I don't want children to do the same. Children will able to accept and comfortable with people from different backgrounds. I am highly encouraging all schools to use this resources.

Jemeecia Johnson's picture

As a student myself I believe that teachers play a huge part in children's lives growing up. If teachers start preaching diversity consciousness and respect at a young age it is more likely to be effective and stick with children through adulthood. I understand that it may be difficult but if teachers get to know each student and about there background it will make communicating a lot easier. This will help them understand their communication methods and why.

Jemeecia Johnson

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