Intolerance still exists in our society. We might not see it as explicitly as, say, 50 years ago, but it’s there in the finer things. No one must be made to feel like they are different. Regardless of your skin, religion, or creed, everyone has a right to be treated equally in society. That’s the whole point of living as a society, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, this intolerance still persists within our educational systems. This seems to be the biggest tragedy as the one instrument vital for creating a tolerant society is plagued by the element it aims to fix. Hence, it is essential to create learning spaces that are inclusive of students from diverse backgrounds
If you want to learn more about the inclusion of diversity in schools, read on further. This article will highlight why diversity and inclusion are essential in education.
Exploration of new cultures
When students from different socio-cultural backgrounds study together, they expose themselves to new values and norms. It helps to broaden their learning experience. It would be a shame if children grew up with so much diversity around them yet still lived in a cultural bubble. The entire point of living in a globalized world like we currently do is accepting and embracing cultures and appreciating diversity.
In cultures with growing racism, social workers are often appointed to school systems to create a sense of awareness and acceptance. Cultural competence in social work is a significant factor in the inclusion of different cultures and reinforcing tolerance towards marginalized groups of students within the educational system. By working with students and academic staff, social workers help develop these competencies and encourage diversity and inclusivity within the system.
It prepares you for adult work-life
When you complete your education and move into professional life, you have to work with people from diverse backgrounds. For people who have had little to no exposure in the past, this can be somewhat of a shock to them and create barriers to enhancing workplace productivity. Hence, the significance of diversity and inclusion in the classroom is even more relevant as it prepares you for the practical world.
Today, organizations have large corporate work structures with thousands of employees working together to achieve common goals. It would be wise to have learned the foundation of tolerance before making your way into your career. Intolerance in modern times is dealt with by corrective action and social ostracism. In some cases, you can face legal consequences for misconduct.
It improves students’ communicative abilities
The more diversity students are exposed to, the better their communication skills are going to be. Once you learn to communicate with someone whose first language isn’t the same as yours, your overall ability to communicate with others improves.
Communication is one of the most critical aspects of our everyday lives. Not only with each other, but communicating with foreign people is an essential step in making them feel welcome in society.
It creates the possibility for schematic thought changes
As students develop the ability to create their own opinions and move away from schematic thoughts, they can apply that learning into their adult life. Education, in general, gives students the ability to think freely, devoid of any sanctions – or at least it should. Bring diversity acceptance into the picture, and you have students who can form their thoughts concerning social interactions.
Some people are blindly intolerant and have been for years. The stubbornness and unwillingness to change are what plagues our society by reinforcing resistance. If these people had been exposed to cultural diversity earlier in their lives (for example, during their academic years), they most likely wouldn’t harbor intolerance or prejudice.
It gives minorities the chance to express themselves and grow in society
Religious, racial, sexual, and disabled minority groups of students are often victims of intolerance in educational institutions. In their case, the behavior not only comes from higher-ups but also from their peers. The result of this is several roadblocks in their academic and professional development.
Inclusion and tolerance in the education system is perhaps the first step of the ladder to overall societal acceptance. Once minorities have access to equal education, they can learn, grow, and eventually pursue a career of their choice. Thus, the smallest step on the figurative ladder might be one of the most important.
Creating an environment where everyone can grow and feel equal in society is a responsibility that falls on all of our collective shoulders. Peers, teachers, and school/college administrative staff all have to promote diversity and inclusion. We pride ourselves on our societal and technological advancements in the 21st century. It would be a shame if we still held on to ideas that deprive people of the right to a sound education without discomfort.
The education system has notoriously been a problematic area when it comes to diversity acceptance. In the last few decades, a lot has changed. Yet much still needs to be done!
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