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The Benefits of Diversity in Schools

The New York Times’ project on immigration highlights the fact that, since the 1990s, Hispanic and Asian student enrollment in American schools has risen by more than five million, greatly impacting educational and social development at all levels of learning. While there are clearly significant benefits associated with diversity in education, the outcomes for students depend on how diversity is acknowledged in a classroom setting.

Understanding Diversity

Image via Flickr by Oregon Department of Transportation

While many individuals may immediately think of race when speaking about diversity, there are numerous aspects that actually play into diversity, especially in a classroom setting. Religion, gender, economic background and even learning styles are all notable factors, and it is crucial to remember each one when promoting diversity in schools. Incorporating lesson plans that account for all forms of diversity is key.

Better Education in Diverse Populations

Diversity among students in education directly impacts their performance. Studies show that students work better in a diverse environment, enabling them to concentrate and push themselves further when there are people of other backgrounds working alongside them. This promotes creativity, as well as better education, as those with differing viewpoints are able to collaborate to create solutions.

When talking about diversity, it's paramount to remember that the student body is not the only group that should be discussed. Diversity among staff is also important. Queens University of Charlotte’s MA in Educational Leadership coursework in leading diversity equips education administrators to analyze and interpret various staffing options through human resource management experience.

Promoting diversity in staffing also enables students from different backgrounds to identify with teachers, effectively enhancing their trust in a learning environment.

Students Feel Safer

A recent study in the journal “Child Development” illustrated that students feel safer in school and in life when they are educated in a diverse setting. Students are able to learn about different cultures and backgrounds, allowing them to feel a greater sense of comfort with these differences. That in turn makes them more comfortable with themselves, leading to a deeper sense of safety.

Implementing Diverse Education

Promoting diversity in schools is more than just encouraging students of different backgrounds to attend certain schools. It requires administrators to think critically about the ways diversity impacts education. A school administration degree readies graduates for promoting and teaching diversity as a means of accepting it. Educators and administrative leaders can help students better understand that while everyone is different, in the most fundamental ways, everyone is the same and should be treated with respect. This will go far in helping students accept diversity and promote it in their daily lives.

Learning skills to build communities promoting diversity and employing human resource functions, such as recruitment and orientation, are essential for educators that have a desire to lead one day. Those looking to further their career as school administrators must have a thorough understanding of how to implement diversity within education. Learn how to help shape tomorrow’s leaders today with an online MA in Educational Leadership from Queens University of Charlotte.

Mentors can help new school administrators develop a plan to foster a healthy environment for diversity in their schools. Read more about the importance of mentorship for school leaders.