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Diversity in School and Its Advantages Research Paper


Abstract

Diversity incorporates different features among individuals, including ethnicity, socio-economic, language, and gender, orientation, as well as those with special needs and the giftedness. School classrooms need to be responsive to diversity for varied groups to interact and leverage the benefits of diversity. Diversity brings on different board individuals with strengths and weaknesses, which integrate to provide equilibrium of standardized performance. School manages, and classroom teachers have a duty to make diversity to work for them as well as to the learners. Moreover, with diversity, the learners can redeem their weaknesses and unleash their potentials greater to impact on their overall performance.

Introduction

On many occasions, research has maintained that diverse schools offer a greater likelihood of producing better results. The essence of leading diverse schools, therefore, warrants school leaders to seek out learners and teachers with diverse orientations to make this proposition a success. Race, personality, gender, and educational orientation are unique elements that schools can model to leverage individuals to offer their exceptional abilities, whether they are learners or teachers (Echols, Solomon, & Graham, 2014).

The capacity to engage human potential to discharge preferentially their very best is the prime focus of diversity in education. In an attempt to establish an effective education structure that embodies the norms of diversity, researchers have identified several factors that diversity takes into consideration to give the best reward possible. These elements consist of mutual understanding and respect, interaction, optimism, determination, dedication, and discipline in schools (Cole, Case, Rios & Curtin, 2011).

School diversity is among the most challenging yet empowering aspects of school management for modern-day education systems. Changes in the demographic trends, according to Echols et al. (2014), imply that school management will have to bear with many heterogeneous groups to capitalize on the merits of diversity. With increased globalization, educational facilities, and organizations will have to step up the quest to embrace diversity for its inspiring benefits. Most of the research in this field unanimously concludes that institutions with more diverse learners are formidable centers that guarantee greater competitive advantage. Essentially, diversity does have a greater impact on students’ performance.

Diversity as an incentive for greater performance

Diversity in schools is an incentive for performance since it guarantees a more extensive learner base. According to Braster and Dronkers (n.d.), as schools become more diverse, the learners to become more effective, especially in communicating with diverse learner subgroups and varied educational facilitators. This, in essence, gives the schools an advantage over their competitors that are not diverse. As there is a popular assumption that diverse schools yield impressive results, research validates that heterogeneous learners normally offer a broad spectrum of ideas with strategic solutions (Gottfredson et al., 2008).

These strategic solutions aimed at solving a number of problems that tend to stifle educational facilities. However, Hite and McDonald (2010) hold on to a different submission contending that very minimal empirical studies have been conducted in this area; hence, it could be hard to stake the claim that diverse schools guarantee better performance. As such, Hite and McDonald (2010) posit that it would be premature to conclude that diverse schools give learners and educators a head start to outdo their competitors in other facilities

Using the knowledge of diversity to produce classroom performance

For schools to use optimally, the knowledge of diversity to produce better results, Gottfredson et al. (2008) opine that three important factors must be taken into consideration. All-round diverse learners and education facilitators must possess varied abilities, skill sets, strengths, and weaknesses to make them diverse. Under these assumptions, schools may gain abundantly from complementarities and criticism among its varied members. With a greater orientation to many ideals that come from diversity, individuals will always want to perfect on all that they do a hence greater performance. Diversity, according to Hansen, Owan, and Pan (2006), comes with dissimilarities that characterize individuals. To beat such dissimilarities, individuals adjust to reach an equilibrium that sets the performance structure.

Managing communication for an enhanced diverse environment

Managing communication within a diverse learning center is very important as part of the process of realizing the benefits of school diversity. Communication is a necessary ingredient for a learning institution to grow in stature, especially if they embrace diversity. It is an organizational requirement for the management to ensure that team members perform the relevant tasks in joints that engage knowledge transfer for enhanced productivity (Osteen, Vanidestine, & Sharpe, 2013).

Normally, it is imperative for individuals to acclimatize adequately with the diverse groups in schools to draw individual team members to yield their very best. Most researchers agree that education founded on diversity offers the capacity for schools and teachers to yield better results. Given their reservoir of multiple abilities, schools that embrace diversity often tend to be more innovative and productive than those organizations that are not. Through effective management, diverse schools are expected to yield abundantly. However, this advantage cannot only be achieved by merely setting up a diversified learning institution.

Leading such schools efficiently and motivating them towards the desired objective is what the people who are charged with leading diverse schools should always aspire to achieve. The essence of diverse schools is to reach out to optimum efficiency. It is expected that diverse schools guarantee different abilities that can be integrated and inducted to achieve the desired goals with considerable ease.

Diverse schools can address the growing diversity problem

In response to the ever-growing diversity problem, Keller, Shircliffe, and Zalaquett (2009) formulated specific policies and programs aimed at enhancing the recruitment and inclusion as well as the promotion and retention of those employees who have the capacity to deliver outstandingly. Serow and Solomon (1979) observe that diversity management policies and programs should be designed to create a viable organizational environment to render the service of those individuals who have been interested in handling various challenging tasks. In his observation, the author maintains that diversity is not only an avenue of achieving educational but also a means of attaining institutional goals. He, however, warns that merely adding people with diverse backgrounds to a homogenous environment does not necessarily create the more desired and stimulating school experience (Serow & Solomon, 1979).

Long-term efforts, inter-personal engagement, and substantial attention are some of the essential elements for the realization of the full benefits of that diversity readily offer. Keller, Shircliffe, and Zalaquett (2009) further posit that to ensure that all the stakeholders of the academic community are involved, there must be a duty of respect, and all the stakeholders must be listened to and valued at the same time. Diversity directly advocates for active participation and inclusion of purpose. In the classroom, laboratory, committee, and departmental settings, for example, learning facilitators must work inclusively to ensure that all the stakeholders have an opportunity to voice their opinions, share their concerns, or pose their questions. Moreover, diversity roots for the acknowledgment and attribution of ideas, suggestions, as well as comments from various stakeholders that are involved in decision-making.

Diversity addresses the challenges in learning institutions

Addressing the challenges of diversity in schools remains a big challenge for the United States six decades later, after the America society thought it had overcome it. More significantly, developing a great sense of awareness of cultural values continued to dodge the education sector unrelentingly. Osteen et al. (2013) note that it is sad that after the landmark Supreme Court ruling, which sought to desegregated schools still represents major setbacks that the civil rights movement sought to address. The education system in some parts of America, for example, remains segregated to the core, making it hard to make diversity a success.

Part of this problem, according to Seaton and Douglass (2014), is that some regions, such as Boston, had a huge marginalized population. Precisely, the majority of schools in Boston were at least 80% of minority students and teachers. With the problems of diversity taking shape in extremely segregated communities, charter schools increasingly become prevalent as a variety of socio-economic challenges sink in. In Boston, a city once heralded as the modicum of national excellence, the degenerating motif of diversity has led to a rapid re-segregation leading to poor performance in schools (Seaton & Douglass, 2014).

However, McHatton, Keller, Shircliffe, and Zalaquett (2009) opine that making diversity realizable is a sure way to fight such discrepancies. It is important to pursue academic success while at the same time, outlining the significance of diversity in integrating students of diverse orientations. To promote learner confidence, the learning institutions must seek to nurture the students to learn to accept their natural orientations such as culture, race, and religion (Konan, Chatard, Selimbegovi, & Mugny, 2010). Osteen et al. (2013) exude confidence that in diversity, students have the strength and that they can succeed magnificently if they embraced one another based on their differences rather than on their similarities.

Most often, diversity may appear coherent to improve students’ performance or creation of possibilities previously unavailable. More research shows that introducing diverse groups in the learning institutions improve the quality of learning (Sciame-Giesecke, Roden, & Parkison, 2009). The implementation of the change process in schools is often a key challenge in school management since most managers do not fully understand the task. Before implementing any changes in the school, a sense of teamwork is mandatory between the government and the schools. Thus, the state needs the support of the teaching staff in order to be able to make progress in the delivery of e teaching.

Furthermore, implementation of diversity in the school requires prior planning as it will enable the teachers to give directions to pupils and other role-players as per the vision and goal of the school education. According to Sciame-Giesecke et al. (2009), planning helps the teachers to know precisely how to use their time and energies effectively in improving student performance within diverse groups.

Diversity in the learning institutions may point to a larger school population, higher concentrations of poor students, and an imbalanced teacher-student ratio as well as higher levels of risk factors affecting children’s health and well-being. In fact, these conditions are among the many non-poverty attributes of urban locations that contribute to the differences observed between urban and non-urban schools, though they are not explicitly under sufficient test in the analysis. Rather, the analysis tests paper-based and computer-based assessment and how these can improve student performance.

Diversity in classrooms offer challenges that bring success

Whenever different groups bring their different backgrounds and experiences together, then diversity exists in that organization or workplace. Managing classroom diversity, according to Hansen et al. (2006), entails capitalizing on the various resources available as well as the diverse experiences for the betterment of the organization. The authors note that knowing how best to do this demands an optimum understanding of one’s own background.

However, the most important factor is how this background impacts on the perspectives of various individuals (Hansen et al., 2006). Diverse classrooms come with tough challenges that ensure individuals conform to the set rules that make diversity work. For example, having a diverse classroom would mean that students would have to nurture various language skillsets to communicate properly. Apart from that, diverse classrooms help to horn learners’ decision-making while molding individual behavior to desist from personal prejudices.

A successful learning institution that has the ability to handle diverse groupings, according to Konan et al. (2010), is one with the innate ability to cultivate and nurture a culture of tolerance across different groups. Diversity in learning institutions imparts several virtues achieved through education. With diversity in schools, individuals are likely to attend numerous training sessions to acclimatize with varied groupings. Innovations in communication technologies, such as the web and cellular phones, are increasingly making the diverse groups integrate, making individuals have a broader view of the world around them. As such, in order to stay alive in the marketplace under the impending wave of change, Konan et al. (2010) observe a learning institution schools must be able to utilize and effectively manage its diverse workplace appropriately.

The authors maintain that managing school diversity should be part of organizational culture. This position further suggests that school diversity can offer great benefits, given its likelihood to inspire morale, horn critical thinking, and enhance teamwork. More than anything, diversity in classrooms presents to both learners and teachers an environment of respect and mutual understanding for all.

Diversity in learning institutions helps in dealing with cultural differences

With increased globalization almost in all sectors of the economy, the need to effectively work with culturally diverse workforces becomes a necessity. As such tending diversity to classrooms at the earliest opportunity is such an inspiring idea. While nurturing diversity in learning institutions has its fair share of challenges, the benefits are great. The challenges, according to Konan et al. (2010), includes but not limited to communication problems, dealing with negative ethnicity, decision making, criticisms, and disagreements, as well as the problem of interpreting the ever-changing learning environment. As Konan et al. (2010) note, the benefits of earmarking knowledge reservedly for stepping up the necessary strategies for routinely intellectual cultural interaction helps to guide intercultural communication and organizational behavior among learners and between learners and their teachers.

The authors use concrete examples that they refer to as critical incidences to illuminate the fundamental psychological paradigms that play an integral part in effective intercultural interactions within and across the institutions of learning (Konan et al., 2010). Braster and Dronkers, (n.d.) observe that the differences that diverse teams face consists of individual and collective differences, the institutional emphasis on the status and individual importance, behavior relative to cultural background and gender expectations in the workplace. Konan et al. (2010) give insightful accounts from which school managers and class teachers can learn and grow, rather than continually be challenged by intercultural differences that characterize diverse teams. Diversity demonstrates how successful business executives recognize and deal with the manifold intercultural aspects at home and away, hence making it a school routine that is part of the art of perfecting it.

Diversity in schools provides a variety of perspectives for both learners and teachers

School diversity, according to Hite and McDonald (2010), is a broad faculty that covers not only the differences between colleagues and coworkers but also the understanding, celebration, including the acceptance of those differences. As Gottfredson et al. (2008) note, diversity in an organization provides a variety of perspectives, especially when it comes to making a decision, accessing a wider client base, and broader audiences.

Establishing and managing diverse environments; therefore, comes with preventable and immitigable challenges that can be damaging to an organization. The challenges that bedeck most diverse organizations are, in most cases, concerned with communication problems. Poor communication between the teaching staff or between learners has the capacity of weighing down an organization in ways that could be unredeemable. In a diverse environment, misunderstanding is normally very easy, and this normally leads to communication breakdown. Gottfredson et al. (2008) warn that misunderstanding has the capacity to lead to misinterpretation of concepts as well as poor office relationships. To beat the challenges of diversity in these regards, the authors suggest that people in managerial positions have no choice but to take an organized approach to leadership.

Moreover, managers of learning institutions and classroom teachers must plan their work and work out their plan in a critically thought out procedure to ensure diversity yields. These, according to Gottfredson et al. (2008), are achievable through brainstorming with managers and different executives categorically tasking them on how to implement school diversity effectively. In ordinary cases, the author proposes bringing a diversity consultant on board to assist in making up a diversity plan. Cole et al. (2011) profile departmental effectiveness in managing diverse teams. The author maintains that diverse teams offer a greater likelihood of producing better results.

The essence of having diverse schools, according to Hite and McDonald (2010), warrant the learning institutions to seek out for professionals with dissimilar socio-cultural and political backgrounds as classroom teachers, students, or the support staff. Personality, gender, and educational training are unique traits transformable under diversity to leverage individuals to offer their utmost capabilities for success.

Conclusion

There is increasing reason to be optimistic about the future of education with the endowments that diversity brings forth. More categorically, argue that there is a need to do more than explain post-analysis on why schools are not performing even with the society’s inclination to diversity. With diverse schools, there is a significant motivation for learners and their teachers to interact and fix their areas of weaknesses. Apart from that, such endowments could help classroom teachers be able to predict students’ improvements and then model them within the learning outcomes. Diverse orientation assessments kit, just like paper-based assessments, equally come with challenges that may bog the learning institution. However, under good institutional management, diverse learning institutions offer the best in terms of student performance.

Diversity in the learning institutions is perhaps among the most challenging yet empowering learning aspects in schools today. Changes in the demographic trends imply that school management must bear with many heterogeneous groups to take increased advantage of diversity in schools.

References

Braster, S., & Dronkers, J. (n.d.). . Web.

Cole, E., Case, K., Rios, D., & Curtin, N. (2011). Understanding what Students Bring to the Classroom: Moderators of the Effects of Diversity Courses on Student Attitudes. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 17(4), 397-405. Web.

Echols, L., Solomon, B., & Graham, S. (2014). Same Spaces, Different Races: What can Cafeteria Seating Patterns tell Us about Intergroup Relations in Middle School? Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20(4), 611-620. Web.

Gottfredson et al. (2008). Does Diversity at Undergraduate Institutions Influence Student Outcomes? Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(2), 80-94. Web.

Hansen, Z., Owan, H., & Pan, J. (2006). The Impact of Group Diversity on Performance and Knowledge Spillover — An Experiment in a College Classroom. National Bureau of Economic Research, 12(9), 23-41. Web.

Hite, L. M., & McDonald, K. S. (2010). Perspectives on HRD and Diversity Education. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 12(3), 283-294. Web.

Konan, P. N., Chatard, A., Selimbegovi?, L., & Mugny, G. (2010). Cultural Diversity in the Classroom and its Effects on Academic Performance: A Cross-National Perspective. Social Psychology, 41(4), 230-237. Web.

McHatton, P. A., Keller, H., Shircliffe, B., & Zalaquett, C. (2009). Examining Efforts to Infuse Diversity Within One College of Education. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 2(3), 127-135. Web.

Osteen, P., Vanidestine, T. J., & Sharpe, T. L. (2013). Multicultural Curriculum and MSW Students? Attitudes about Race and Diversity. Web.

Sciame-Giesecke, S., Roden, D., & Parkison, K. (2009). Infusing Diversity Into the Curriculum: What Are Faculty Members Actually Doing? Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 2(3), 156-165. Web.

Seaton, E., & Douglass, S. (2014). School Diversity and Racial Discrimination among African-American Adolescents. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20(2), 156-165. Web.

Serow, R., & Solomon, D. (1979). Classroom Climates and Students’ Intergroup Behavior. Journal of Educational Psychology, 71(5), 669-676. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Diversity in School and Its Advantages." June 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/diversity-in-school-and-its-advantages/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Diversity in School and Its Advantages." June 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/diversity-in-school-and-its-advantages/.

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