Diversity rates are an essential indicator of the relationships between the members of the society, as well as the existence of ethnicity or race related stereotypes. It is crucial that the voice of every single member of the society should be heard, which is hardly possible once certain community is underrepresented in the society, be it a specific ethnicity, nationality, or gender.
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While introducing more diversity into a specific society, where a certain minority experiences considerable difficulties in becoming the members of a community is hardly possible, facilitating the environment, in which this minority can feel appreciated is quite practicable.
Though the research of the data regarding the Mercer County diversity concerns mostly its education establishments, particularly, local schools, the information obtained in the course of the research gives a lot of food for thoughts.
As the data acquired from ZIPskinny shows, Black and Asian people are underrepresented in the community considerably, Athens (one of Mercer’s biggest communities) having only 3.5% and 1.4% of the aforementioned ethnicities in the community correspondingly (The skinny on: 24712 (Athens WV), 2000).
The rates of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, as well as the Native American one, are close to 0% in most of the county’s communities (Communities in West Virginia, 2000). These rather surprising results indicate that the members of the county might have tangible communication problems in case of conversing with the representatives of other cultures.
The ethnicity and culture related issues are not the only problems that the Mercer community should pay special attention to. According to the U.S. Census Bureau map, the area of Mercer incorporates two minor civil divisions, Princeton in the center of the county and Bluefield in the northwest (Mercer County, WV – economic places, 2007).
The size of the areas shows clearly that the people inhabiting it are the county minority and, therefore, need to be represented properly, as well as have an opportunity to engage into the county’s social life and have their say in the decisions on major changes in the infrastructure of the county, the education related changes, political issues, etc.
Other sources point at the fact that Mercer County is not as much preoccupied with its diversity issues, as it is concerned with the education opportunities for students in general.
According to the recent report, the MCCC (Mercer County Community College) teaching staff members have recently “emphasized the need to increase postsecondary access and accelerate college completion to build stronger bridges from high schools, adult education, community colleges, four-year universities, and the workforce” (NCAA graduation rates, 2011).
Such an approach may be the sign of diversity concerns being rather low in the county; however, the lack of engagement with the diversity rates may also show that the county does not pay as much attention to the issue as it deserves.
Therefore, despite the fact that over the past few years, diversity rates have been increased slightly in Mercer County due to immigration (Diversity in the classroom, 2012), the situation still leaves much to be desired. It is important to realize that a range of outcomes for the Mercer County society hinges on whether all its members have been represented properly.
Since the diversity rates are increasing very slowly, a booster for the process must be created; in other words, various media for spreading awareness concerning the significance of diversity and the values of other cultures is crucial for the functioning of the Mercer County society.
As long as all members of the population are represented equally, considerable improvements in the relationships between the residents of the county can be expected, and several major economic and cultural issues are likely to be resolved.
Speaking of the significance of the aforementioned data or a teacher, one must admit that the information provided above may serve as a perfect foil for an educator to base the approach towards the students on.
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The significance of students’ background, both ethnic and social, is not to be underestimated, for it defines the background knowledge that the students may have and, therefore, the pace at which their academic progress is going to take place. More to the point, the students’ national, ethic and social background defines the approach that a teacher should undertake in order to motivate the students.
Indeed, the values and morals, which students are guided by are predetermined by their cultural background for the most part. Therefore, the facts acquired from the statistical data about the diversity rates among students inform the strategies that a teacher adopts in order to motivate their students for the learning process.
There is no secret that students are rarely capable of motivating themselves for academic achievements; as a result, in most cases, it is a teachers’ job to make students interested in the subject. However, reaching students is not an easy task if they represent a completely different culture and are motivated by different ideas.
Analyzing the culture of the students helps the teacher not only enhance the students’ performance, but also increase awareness concerning diversity and the problems related to prejudice among the rest of the class.
Communities in West Virginia (2000). Web.
Diversity in the classroom (2012). Web.
Mercer County, WV – economic places (2007). Web.
NCAA graduation rates (2011). Web.
The skinny on: 24712 (Athens WV) (2000). Web.