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I’ve been wondering a lot lately about the importance of diversity. Too often in the classroom teachers are trying to create an “ideal” student, or a student that fits their particular preference.
When we think (or when I guess environmentally minded people think) about the environment we think of the strength of diversity. How it helps make our system stronger, which in turn helps make us, as humans, better. I guess I wonder who does this in class, we often talk about how we appreciate different perspectives, and different ways of knowing, but in my trips through classrooms I don’t know how this is championed or truly used.
How can we as groups look more towards the diversity of our classroom? How does it push our thinking? How does it makes us better learners? Then, can we look outside, and see how our local community works, see what makes it strong, it’s not everyone being the same, it’s everyone being different.
How can we engage learners in our class to focus on diversity? Recently I read an article about student centered learning my biggest takeaway was this.
You cannot counter structural social inequality by good will. You need to design structural equality into the classroom.
Structuring equality in classroom discussion–in a lecture or a seminar–is actually quite easy to do but it is not intuitive. At least, it was not intuitive for me. I learned several tricks from other people and I pass them on every time I give a public lecture and use at least one or two of them every class period. They work. They change the dynamic. They change the way everyone participates. When the situation is equal, no one hides, no one wants to hide, and no one bullies.
Looking forward to trying to make this happen