Is diversity a core value in your school? - Education Matters Magazine
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Is diversity a core value in your school?

The student population in Australia has become incredibly diverse with a growing range of languages, races, cultures and values. This has resulted in an increasing gap between teachers and students as there is a struggle for teachers to be more understanding of demographic change.

Every student brings a unique culture to school, and every day students are forced to face the different culture between home and school. Too often, many teachers are not adequately educated to see cultural differences as assets. The acceptance of different cultures is a pivotal component to the creation of a loving and equitable school environment. Diversity is not based on just race but rather culture, religion, gender and socio-economic background. When lessons are being taught or incorporated, diversity is key.

For schools and teachers to become diversely responsive, there needs to be a support quality process in place where students know they are accepted regardless of their upbringing. It is fundamental for teachers to make their students feel like there is no such thing as educational excellence without equality. That is why it is essential for teachers and administrators to take up initiatives that educate them about diversity and when the appropriate time for sensitivity is needed. Understanding the full impact of inequities is the first step to an inclusive and supportive environment.

In a multicultural society such as Australia, children from all over the world go to school together. However, there is not set expectations from children in regards to how they act. For instance, in certain European countries, children are encouraged by them to be silent unless they are spoken to (this is a sign of respect), however in Western countries, that is not the case, silence can be interpreted as shyness.

Teachers hold such an important role for both primary and secondary school students development; therefore, it is imperative for them to be conscious of students’ learning abilities and be able to handle each different style effectively. Quite often there are children that may have a learning disability and they may need extra attention; this is just one example of diversity in the classroom. Students will have a greater chance at success if the teacher recognises these differences early-on and educates accordingly.

Educational wellbeing is about creating an environment where students and teachers alike are in an element where they are best suited to learn and grow. This can be difficult for schools to achieve because they are not equipped with the skills or resources to do so.

If teachers and school stakeholders created an environment where wellbeing is a lifestyle it will improve the overall social and emotional state of everyone in the school.

When diversity is valued in schools, it is not about different ethnic backgrounds coming in one space, but rather it is about implementing acceptance of difference and wellbeing.

In recent years, exploring the emerging trends of educational leadership has become so popular because teachers and administrators alike are searching for ways to future-proof their schools by readying for the ever-changing future.

If teachers and school stakeholders created an environment where wellbeing is a lifestyle it will improve the overall social and emotional state of everyone in the school.

When diversity is valued in schools, it is not about different ethnic backgrounds coming in one space, but rather it is about implementing acceptance of difference and wellbeing.

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