A World Without Racism is Diverse
Diversity In Classrooms
Although our society as a whole is becoming more diverse, with about 44% of American students today being nonwhite, the education system is becoming separated and unequal. This trend of resegregation and lack of diversity began in the 1980s, and has yet to substantially turn into a better direction. The result? A large majority of the children in these minority groups are ghettoized and fall victim to being dropouts.
Why is this an important matter? Not taking into account the mere fact that education should be fair and equal out of pure morals and virtue, diversity also prepares children to be global citizens. Diversity is key for children in order to be able to learn how to get along with people from different backgrounds and to understand why different people are as they are. Diversity education is shown to promote tolerance. In fact, a study done by UCLA showed that students from diverse settings showed less racial and ethnic prejudice than those students who interacted with non-diverse groups.
Among these benefits, there are a plethora of others when there is diversity present within a classroom. For example, diversity improves cognitive skills and creative thinking. This is so because of the fact that in a diverse classroom there are a multitude of perspectives and opinions that are different from the students’ pre-formed perceptions based on their circle in life. As a result, the students are forced to think critically when presented with these differing viewpoints. It also promotes creativity by enabling the students to be able to use all of the different ideas and experiences the students have encountered in order to bring them all together and make it into something new and unique. In fact, a study cited by Scientific American found that in problem-solving scenarios student groups that were racially diverse tended to outperform the groups which lacked diversity.
So then what is the dilemma? Oftentimes parents feel as if they have to choose between giving their children an education that offers diversity or an education that offers excellence in the quality of the education the kids receive. Although this is the overall trend throughout the country, there are schools within the nation that offer both diversity and great, quality schooling. According to Richard Kahlenberg when students go to a high poverty school they tend to be about two years behind their peers who are in low poverty schools, but this imbalance disappears when the students go to economically mixed schools. When this happens the low-income and minority students receive a benefit, by having increased achievement, meanwhile, the student body as a whole does not have a drop in their achievement. It seems like a win-win situation. More and more schools are trying to implement policies to address diversity, but the change is small so far. We need to continue to strive towards an equal, diversified education.