Diversity in the classroom: Positive & Negative
School and colleges impart education to the students so that they gain knowledge and become good professionals as well as human being. There are numerous students in the classroom who study together in a collaborative learning environment without any hassles. With the majority of them belonging to the diverse background, the group is a heterogeneous mixture of people. Imparting education to them has its own advantages and disadvantages:
Positive aspects of diversity in classroom:
Cultural information: A student with different ethnicity and culture come together in a classroom not only to get educated but also to know about each other in detail. It is fascinating opportunity to extend the knowledge and obtain information about the cultural behavior of the class. People become more tolerant of diversity as they learn to respect the difference of opinion. It is a huge experience especially for the students coming from homogeneous backgrounds. They are introduced to a completely new world that broadens their exposure.
Rise in maturity level: Initially, the students may not like the habit of other students with different ethnicity or religion, however, mingling with them provides a great opportunity to learn about their lives. Over a period of time, they become friends and accept their presence in spite of the differing views. As a result, students become more mature and are less likely to suffer from tunnel vision syndrome later in their lives.
Learning new language and culture: It is one of the biggest advantages for the students because they learn new languages widening the linguistic knowledge. The era of globalization requires the future professionals to be able to work in diverse environments across the Globe. Learning with students from different countries is a wonderful experience as it will prepare to be more accommodative and accept changes in life.
Negative aspects of diversity in classroom:
Loss of cultural identity: Students from a different cultural background may not find the foreign history interesting if it is taught in the class. Moreover, they might fail to relate to them in the long run. It may lead to loss of cultural identity and create more confusion in the minds of the students.
Segregation: It is the biggest problem that a diverse classroom may face. Students of similar cultural background tend to stick together rather than mingling with others who are different from them. As a result, new groups are formed hampering the process of collaborative learning. Due to the formation of different social groups tensions are bound to occur making students less tolerant of each other.
Quality of teaching: The quality of teaching suffers if the knowledge levels of the students are dissimilar. Teachers may face enormous problems in teaching new students especially if they are not able to understand the concepts. In addition, few students face language barriers that can hamper effective communication. Instructors need to work overtime in order to eliminate the differences. Sometimes learning difference may create stereotypical views in the minds of the teachers which transforms into prejudices over a period of time. It can spoil the learning process leading to poor results in the class.