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Diversity Issues in EducationResearch Paper

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Diversity in Education

Concerns of Diversity Issues in Education among the Several Areas Addressed in the Research

This research paper focuses on how students perceive the multicultural education and diversity as a topic worth discussing in and out of the classrooms. There are thousands of foreign students incoming each year into the international universities and diversity is the challenge that student and teachers have to face intelligently. The paper starts with stating the issue topic and why is this topic relevant. The topic is important since college or university might be the first time student would have to interact with different types of people from different backgrounds in real life. It is a way of life in which socialism develops and enhances worldliness in order to develop and maintain social relations. Besides, the diverse educational arena would help the students get prepared for the professional platforms where they have to work with culturally diverse people as well.

Further sections of the report discuss what we know about the topic, what we do not know, and highlighting some related research to fill in the gaps. The next sections elaborate on how the indentified gaps should be filled so that better academic performance of the students should be addressed. Lastly, all the diversity issues and the concerns are consolidated to present a single paper with precision and validation of the findings.

Concerns of Diversity Issues in Education among the Several Areas Addressed in the Research

Multicultural education is about encompassing students from different cultural backgrounds so that they work with equality in education for a social change. The multiple identities that these students bring in their educational institutes are acknowledged but have to f ace challenges too, such as oppression and bias from other students. This paper would analyze the diversity issues in education addressed in the research by scholars in different sections and modules of the report here.

Module 2: What We Know

An international classroom is a challenging place to teach where children from different ethnic backgrounds have to sit and merge together for gain of educational aims. Student in such classroom have their own perception regarding diversity for better meeting the needs of education. A study explored these students' perceptions in an international classroom in an international university in Thailand (Jeannin, 2013, p. 6). A survey was conducted among the students to evaluate their perceptions about their classmate's diversity factors, such as cultural knowledge difference and language dissimilarities etc. It was found that students chose to study in this university to improve their English language and to learn in a multi-cultural environment in order to gain multi-dimensional experience. Other students have to struggle to understand their different language and understating on the topics is different as well. There are difficulties in communication with them on the same discussion point as their knowledge levels are different. However, the respondents also revealed that cultural diversity helps them in gaining knowledge about certain cultures which is good for their learning; 94% of the respondents acclaimed it.

It can be inferred that the above-mentioned study findings are in accordance with Banks' philosophy of cultural diversity in education, which is diversity in the form of social-class, regions (Bode, 2009). Religions or social groups support in achieving certain educational goals within the same schools. This was verified by the 94% of the students as well. It can be attributed to the teachers' facilitation in related student learning since they have to define the key terms to the foreign students and the others in the international classroom which leads to better understanding of concepts and higher grades (Stone, 2006, p. 334).

Another similar study explored international graduate students' perceptions about studying in a different cultural learning environment (Akinkugbe, 2013, p. 3). A qualitative research design was adopted to evaluate how these graduate students perceived the different cultural environments impacted their learning. Interviews were conducted with 11 participants and analysis was done by think descriptions and quotes of those respondents about the research question. The results revealed that the participants enlisted cultural differences, dissimilarities in learning environments and host environment as the major factors in their perception about diversity. Also, the results were in line with the previous literature review that mentioned that the international students become accustomed to new demands, environment and culture leading to better academic performance (Li, Chen, & Duanmu, 2010, p. 401) along with better mental capabilities and stability.

On the other hand, there are studies that indicate that international students that come to U.S. for studies face financial, academic and cultural difficulties while adjusting in the U.S. culture (Lin, 2012, p. 333). The study was conducted by taking a sample of 2,000 students from Southeast United States out of a 45,000 total population. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and data was analyzed through theme identification, memos, and content analysis. It was deducted that it is not necessary to perceive cultural diversity positively by the students or think that it has positive effects on their academic achievements. Pursuing higher educational goals in America has proved to be an overwhelming life experience for some international students. The students indicate that cultural differences hinder their social relations in educational institutes, for example, Asian students like to socialize with each other, deeming American students difficult to approach or to mingle with.

Another similar study states difficulties minority students face in international classrooms. They perceive that they have been negatively stigmatized and the teachers interact differently with them too (Ruggs & Hebl, 2012, p. 2). For example, they engage more White students as compared to the Blacks. Moreover, the difference is also seen between boys and girls since the beginning of high schools that lingers one to the higher studies, especially in engineering. It has been stereotypes that engineering is less suitable for girls; the minorities also have to face some part of this differentiation in international educational environment.

The overall conclusion of the literature review on how students perceive educational cultural diversity as an issue needs more research since some studies mention positive results regarding diversity and its perceived impact on student's academic excellence while others indicate negative impacts.

Module 4: Research to Fill in a Gap

To fill in the gaps between the cultural diversities in the educational institutes, teachers and top management of such higher schools and universities have to play their part astutely. The information from the literature review mentioned above is very helpful in this regard as the perceptions of children can be a viable source for molding the educational design to cater the needs of the foreign as well as the local students at the same time. If the students perceive that cultural diversity helps in their academic performance then teachers can design the classroom discussions, for example, that might incorporate examples and case studies from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds so that foreign and local students like to learn about new concepts daily. If the students perceive that cultural diversity impedes their social relations within the educational institutes as well as hinders them in achieving academic excellence then teacher might have to work hard to bridging this gap. This can be done by providing a meaningful curriculum that fills in with the students' backgrounds. For example, in a study, it was mentioned that teachers tried to bridge this gap by some unique actions taken for the learnings in class, for instance, once inviting parents of three culturally diverse students (Scaffold, 2007). They talked about their culture in the class; afterwards, the teacher asked the students to write about 'peace' in three different languages and make holiday cards for the related community. This helped the students in learning about each others' cultures.

It not wrong to say that teachers have a high responsibility towards those students who are different in culture, language, abilities and many other characteristics. The kinds of behaviors the foreign students practice in their home towns and those that they have to comply with in the international states are quite distinct. The teachers can help fill this gap by developing "culturally responsive pedagogy" (Richards, Brown, & Forde, 2004, p. 3). This means that teachers have to have faith in their own values that should be reflected in their teaching style so that teachers' negative perceptions about the culturally diverse students and bias towards them could be completely eliminated from the teaching practice in the classroom. Once the teacher displays such attitude within the class, the other students would automatically accept the culturally diverse students in a welcoming way. The building of an atmosphere of reliance, approval and recognition is the foremost duty of teachers in bridging the gap. Moreover, the teachers need to explore themselves as well as the differing abilities of the culturally diverse students. With their own exploration of past and current experiences, the teachers would be able to understand their culturally diverse students more deeply and encourage greater positive reception of the differences.

Some specific steps that the teachers can take to become culturally responsive towards… [END OF PREVIEW]

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