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Diversity in the Classroom

Diversity in the classroom refers to the varying types of learning styles, experiences,

education level, support at home, culture and language. Simply, every student is a diverse

learner. Research clearly indicates that the identities connected with students background

impact on the ways students learn (Berry, 2016). Students from different cultural and linguistic

backgrounds will experience different barriers and facilitators to their learning. The experiences

and even lack of certain experiences also contribute to diversity in the classroom. Diversity

plays an important role in the classroom. Diversity can be positive when a teacher knows how to

utilize it effectively and ensure that all learners have the opportunity to construct knowledge.

I had an aha moment during a module on about diversity in the classroom while

enrolled at American College of Education (ACE). I when assessing my own diversity. I had

never thought of myself as part of the class of diverse learners. However, I am learning everyday

just as the students. Together we learn to navigate through our similarities and differences to

make progress towards achieving the academic standard and developing a life-long learner. I am

one of the diverse learners in the classroom along with my students. My culture, ethnicity,

gender, language, socioeconomic status, family support and education level, natural abilities,

opportunities to experience the world outside my immediate neighborhood contributes to my

ability to both collaborate with and connect the curriculum to all learners in the classroom

successfully. My level of diversity is directly related to the ability to create and provide

meaningful learning experiences for a classroom of diverse learners.

Reflection on the Application

Research clearly indicates that the identities connected with students background

impact on the ways students learn (Berry, 2016). The course illustrated the importance of
understanding the cultural and historical background of a subgroup to uncover evidence-based

methods that can assist with student achievement. Through research I learned about the barriers

that continue to contribute to the achievement gap of Hispanic students. Negative stereotypes,

segregation, and teacher preparation prevent Hispanic students from having equal access to

curriculum which results in Hispanic students underperforming in science.

With classrooms becoming more diverse each school year the need to diversify the

curriculum, supports and interventions increases as well. Each diverse learner has a unique set of

attributes that contribute to their learning. Through this course I learned that the success of the

students is dependent up the ability of the school to utilize this differences to have a positive

impact on student achievement. As educators in a pluralistic society, it is necessary that

teachers be adaptive, culturally aware, and sensitive to the challenges of teaching students who

may not share the same ethnic and cultural heritages (Chenowith, 2014). The researched shows

that culturally responsive teaching, an integrated multicultural curriculum and classroom

instruction that regards all learning styles can have a positive impact on diverse learners.

The development of a lesson plan for diverse learners allowed for application of the

research about Hispanic students. Implementation of UDL design will address Hispanic student

achievement by providing multiple methods to demonstrate learning. The negative stereotype

about work ethic and ability to learn will fade away because of the differentiated options. All

students can demonstrate their level of learning with the varying cognitive tasks available to all

UDL facilitates the attainment of learning goals for individuals with wide differences in their

abilities, without having to adapt curriculum repeatedly to just meet special needs (Rose,

Meyer, Strangman, and Rappolt, 2002). Students can build confidence because there are

appropriate instructional activities for all students to learn.


The environment of the school and the classroom contribute to the success diverse

learners. Students need to feel as if they belong to be able to be successful. Ensuring a safe, calm

environment where students feel comfortable taking academic risks increases student engage and

motivation to learn. One way to increase a students sense of belonging is to develop

meaningful relationships with teachers (Capern and Hammond, 2014, p.47). As a school

teacher I can enhance the supportive learning environment in my classroom by getting to know

my students. Getting to know my students lends to the development of lessons and activities that

will engage and motivate the students. Student-centered instruction also allows students to

develop as a learner and take the necessary academic risks.

Conclusion

Reflecting on what diversity means and how it impacts teaching allowed for a true

analysis my strengths and weaknesses when addressing diverse learners. Reviewing school

demographic data assists with understanding how the schools student diversity can impact

teaching and learning. The diversity should be used as an advantage to enrich the learning

experiences of all learners by providing appropriate supports and relevant, rigorous curriculum.
References

Berry, T.R., Ed.D. (2016). Module 1 presentations: Teaching diverse learners: Part1: What is

diversity Lecture presented in American College of Education.

Capern, T., & Hammond, L. (2014). Establishing positive relationships with secondary gifted

students and students with emotional/behavioural disorders: Giving these diverse learners

what they need. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(4), 1-23.

Chenowith, N. H. (2014). Culturally responsive pedagogy and cultural scaffolding in literacy

education. Ohio Reading Teacher, 44(1),35

Rose, D.H., Meyer, A., Strangman, D., and Rappolt, G. 2002. Teaching every student in the

digital age: Universal design for learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision

& Curriculum Development.