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Growing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the United States - Research Paper Example

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What is interesting is when one concentrates on someone’s cultural background and takes so much learning from their traditional belief systems, practices, food, entertainment, aesthetic styles, and so on. When one discovers that there is a world of difference out there, it opens the mind to much learning and acceptance. However, such is not always the case. In education, several issues have come up with regards to the growing racial and ethnic diversity in classrooms. Schools are challenged with the mounting diversity of students enrolled every year. The fact that teachers need to cater to the individual needs of students in a homogeneous class of students from one culture is already a challenge, then how much more if students from other cultures are added? In Canada, for instance, schools continue to face significant challenges in accepting diversity (Levin, 2008). Schools may recognize holidays celebrated or foods or costumes of different cultures. However, those are only superficial as compared to understanding difficult issues around accommodating so many diverse beliefs and customs. On top of this, schools struggle to accommodate students whose first language is not English or French, or other similar needs because they lack the specialized capacity to provide for them (Levin, 2008). Diversity can affect both the environment of the class and the students. The language differences may lead the students to a communication gap. Students belonging to a different culture may face different problems in accordance to their living standards. The skill level expectation of the students depends upon their origin and culture. For example a student of Poland a would face difficulties while studying in the US. This is because the student is not able to cope with the standards of education in the US as he has always studied in the standards of Poland. He may face difficulties in understanding the language and writing according to the standards in the US. This has a massive effect on the way one studies. In such a situation a teacher is the person who may greatly help students by identifying their problem and finding appropriate solutions for it. If one cannot adjust to the environment of the school he might face the problems of depression and stress and may not be able to study properly. Teachers should make an effort to find out about the cultural background of their students and adjust their curriculum to accommodate them. For example the teacher should know about the standards of education in Poland and should not force the student from Poland to work on the standards of the US immediately. If the student is forced to comply to standards he is not familiar with, it is possible that he may be discouraged and even quit his efforts to progress (Opsahl 1996). In view of this, schools authorities must be knowledgeable about policies and practices regarding issues dealing with the growing diversity in schools which include immigration policies, access of immigrants to social and educational services and US language policy regarding the official status of English. On a much more specific level, culturally relevant teaching must be learned by teachers. It takes into consideration the cultural background of the students at all times. It also keeps in mind cultural aspects in all interactions with students on both personal and educational levels. ...Show more
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Summary

Growing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the United States The United States has been known to be a melting pot of various cultural groups coming together to enhance the land of the free. Americans have embraced so many different people from various backgrounds and go further to learn more about those backgrounds to add them to the diversity of the American culture…
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