The effects of diversity in the classroom environment are not limited to only cultural identity but also include other aspects, such as race, social class, religion, gender, and language. Cultural identity is said to affect teaching, learning and home-school relationship in a variety of ways. Students from different cultural settings always face culture shock in a new class, which affects their ability to learn. In some cases, cultural identity can create physical and emotional upset, especially when students feel uncomfortable in the classroom. In extreme cases, when students feel that their cultural values are not considered, or their culture is put into question, teaching, learning as well as home-school relationship are affected, and the outcome of such a situation may include physical and emotional stresses as well as aggressive behaviour.
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The issue of poverty has highly contributed to making classroom education extremely diverse. This issue is becoming a big problem for students as it affects their learning. It is also a challenge to teachers as it has an impact on teaching. The conditions and learning environment in which these students live may greatly influence their education. Due to the mobility of the families of these less fortunate children, making new friends becomes very difficult for them. In the academic and social aspect of school, it may be very difficult to improve their records or even involve these students in a classroom with additional activities from which their education may benefit.
In order to make the learning environment favourable to students faced with cultural identity issues, parents need to be directly connected and involved in managing these diverse background issues. This is because negative information caused by cultural differences may reach the parents and, in turn, greatly affect their relationship with the school. Hence, to enhance a positive relationship, the school needs to improve the involvement of parents by welcoming the last to participate in their children’s schooling, positively and respectfully communicate with them, be flexible in planning parents’ involvement activities and ensure there is a good and warm atmosphere to attend the various school events.
The way in which the school communicates with the parents determines if there will be a good relationship and partnership between the school and the parents. The most important thing to have in mind is that the message to be addressed to parents need not create any confusion that might bring the conflict between both sides involved. The goal to create a positive partnership may be achieved through respectful and positive communication. This is because most families are willing to ignore the language barrier when they get the feeling that they are respected. Enhancing good communication between parents and school needs to be done both in oral and written form, and in some instances, information should be provided in a home language.
The event details of parents’ involvement in the one-year plan include curriculum development, midterm meetings, and child welfare. The objectives of these events are to enhance the student’s development in class as well as social life both in school and at home, in order to improve their performance despite the cultural identity issues students face and to promote a good relationship between parents, students and school.
The chart below shows the detailed plan on the level of parents’ involvement in three major school activities, which include curriculum development, midterm meetings, and child welfare. Parents are seen to show a higher level of involvement in activities if the child welfare is concerned as compared to curriculum development and midterm meetings.