Diversity in Higher Education Is Undeniably Important
Because of the increasing demand for higher education, the total number of students enrolled in higher education is predicted to reach 594 million by 2040. However, when you look at higher education in the past and now, it is evident that minorities are underrepresented.
Students of color are underrepresented throughout the educational journey in the United States, including at the time of application, acceptance, and degree completion. The value of variety in education cannot be overstated.
Let’s discuss the advantages of diversity in school, as well as ways to attain this aim. We’ll also take a look at some mind-boggling statistics that illustrate the present state of affairs and the urgent need for change.
The Advantages of Diverse Education
When it comes to diversity, there is more to consider than just race. Diversity may also relate to disparities in gender, socioeconomic background, religion, and even learning methods. Promoting inclusiveness may result in a more positive educational experience for everyone who is a part of the process.
The following are some of the advantages of variety in education:
Performance that has higher quality
Students who study in a variety of settings outperform their peers, according to research. When students from diverse backgrounds get together to collaborate on a project, they are compelled and motivated to go on and do their best. Not only does having several points of view improve problem-solving skills, but it also adds an unrivaled amount of creativity to the mix.
A sense of belonging is a positive emotion.
Students who are able to study alongside individuals who they can connect to will have a greater feeling of belonging to the school. When students feel at ease in their surroundings, they are more likely to speak out and feel confident in their ability to answer questions. When someone feels isolated and alone, they are less inclined to contribute to the group, which may result in reduced confidence levels.
Preparing for a variety of employment environments
The world is a fascinating place full with contradictions. As a result, students gain a great deal of valuable life and professional skills while in college. They are being prepared for real life by participating in activities in an atmosphere that is similar to what they may anticipate to encounter in their workplaces. Not only is there variety within professional settings, but with the advancement of technology and globalization, it has become unavoidable that individuals will connect with people from cultures different than their own while they are at work. That is why acquiring these abilities prior to joining the workforce will be quite advantageous in the long run.
Increases the ability to be creative.
Diversity in concepts, attitudes, and cultural backgrounds fosters the development of innovative thinking and action. Instead than being stifled, it fosters an atmosphere in which open-mindedness is respected. The more ideas and experiences that a person participates in, the more equipped they are to approach a job or solve an issue from a variety of angles.
Enhances the ability to think critically
It’s easy to accept things as they are in life without questioning them. When someone grows up in an atmosphere where they are surrounded by individuals who are similar to them, they are only exposed to one style of thinking or doing. Students, on the other hand, may explore ideas, cultural views, and viewpoints of people who come from diverse backgrounds when there is variety in the classroom. This may cause individuals to reevaluate what they have grown up believing and can help them to develop better critical thinking abilities.
Underrepresentation in higher education continues to be an issue.
Unfortunately, underrepresentation and a lack of diversity persist in higher education, despite the fact that it is difficult to believe.
Take, for example, America, which is known as the “melting pot” of the globe. According to statistics:
The number of black graduates from technology degrees is decreasing, despite the fact that need is growing.
Although people of color declare STEM majors at roughly the same rates as their white counterparts, there is a significant achievement gap at graduation, with white students earning their degrees at a rate of 58 percent, compared to 43 percent for Hispanic students and 34 percent for African-American students.
This results in a decreased level of diversity in the workforce. Despite the fact that black people account for just half of the workforce in STEM professions requiring bachelor’s degrees, they account for 7 percent of the workforce in STEM jobs requiring bachelor’s degrees.
The disparity between college opportunities for students of color and white students is widening, even as the country’s diversity increases. The disparity between white and Hispanic students getting bachelor’s degrees, for example, more than quadrupled between 1974 and 2014, rising from 9 percent to 20%.
How to Encourage Diverse Learning Environments
As an alternative to policies that aim to close the opportunity gap in higher education, instructors, administrators, and students within educational institutions may work together to encourage and support diversity in the classroom.
Here are a few examples:
Examine the instructional materials
Teaching materials, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, often assume a white, male, and middle-class narrative as the default. Make certain that you are representing a varied range of viewpoints by selecting a diverse range of resources and reading materials.
Learn about the students.
Students may benefit from the time spent by teachers and professors getting to know their students. This is simple to do by just looking around the room and noting the many different faces. However, it goes far deeper than that. You may create assignments that recognize and value variety while also allowing students to express their own distinct opinions.
When differences aren’t addressed, there’s always an elephant in the room. Create a secure environment for pupils to express their concerns regarding prejudice they may have encountered. The more open you are to discussing it, the more likely it is that kids will feel comfortable talking about it and that solutions will be found to remedy any concerns.
Employ a varied group of individuals.
It is critical that people in teaching and administrative roles reflect the kids who are under their care. Student diversity in hiring is essential to ensure that students from a variety of backgrounds feel comfortable attending the university.READ MORE—–What is the importance of active listening for your success? How to Find a Mentor Who Can Help You Advance Your Career Why Study History And How Can It Help Your Future?
The use of online forums and conversations to foster the sharing of multiple views, learning styles, and viewpoints allows students from all different walks of life to study together and interact with one another.
Lastly, a word about
Education should be diverse, and this should be a fundamental premise of all higher-education institutions. Underrepresentation may be addressed by creating situations in which students from diverse backgrounds can study together, exchange ideas, and broaden their perspectives by tackling underrepresentation.
In order to create a society in which diversity is both respected and valued, the advantages gained in the classroom are carried over by graduates into their respective jobs or practical life contexts.
There are four reasons why diversity education in the classroom is necessary.
Student progress is strongly influenced by the atmosphere and culture of the school. Therefore, it is especially vital for the school culture (as well as the classroom culture) to reflect, recognize, and appreciate differences. When faced with a slew of additional efforts on their ever-shrinking calendars, it may be difficult for educators to turn these good-feeling concepts into reality.
As an instructor, I believe this is so critical that you must devote the necessary time to it. Diversity in the classroom is a topic for another essay, but for now, I want you to start your journey by understanding why it is so vital in the first place.
1.The concept of “diversity” itself is not easy, for a number of reasons Not only do schools need to acknowledge the variety that exists within large racial and ethnic groupings (e.g., Asian or Hispanic), but they also need to understand the diversity that exists within those groups. When it comes to cultural features, Chinese and Japanese students, for example, may have shared cultural traits since they are Asian, but they will also have specifically Chinese and Japanese cultural qualities that distinguish them from one another as well. The same is true for Caucasian kids who come from a diverse range of familial origins, even though they live in the same neighbourhood.
Teachers and administrators must acknowledge the uniqueness and individuality of their pupils if they are to treat them equally, provide them equal opportunities for success, and provide them with equal access to the curriculum.
2. It is the job of teachers to notice and plan their classes so that they account for the variances amongst students. Student recognition of their own and other people’s individuality is facilitated in this way. Moreover, it fosters an awareness for a varied school population and fosters a feeling of connectedness between various cultural heritages that exist within a single school’s cultural identity. Certainly, educating children and teachers about the richness of our variety is in their best interests. In order to treat pupils fairly and equitably, we must first recognize and acknowledge our differences.
3. In order to make the whole learning process more efficient. One justification for identifying and addressing cultural variations among students is the notion that learning is a process of information transfer from past knowledge and experience. It is critical to recognise the students’ prior experiences and to confirm and include their prior knowledge into the process of obtaining new information in order to aid in the transfer process.
The abilities and knowledge that all kids enter school with are based on their home cultures, and this framework is shared by all pupils. The ability to read and write their names, as well as a fundamental awareness of the alphabet, arithmetic, and computer operations, as well as some basic knowledge of a second language, may be required. The house also instills a set of customs, etiquette, and social expectations that are passed down from generation to generation.
4.So that you can assist them integrate what they’ve learned into their existing knowledge base. It is possible for a student who does not have the ability to relate new information to his or her own experiences or to a familiar concept to perceive the new information as frustrating or difficult. He or she may choose to dismiss the new information completely, believing it to be in conflict with his or her already shaky understanding of the world. In order to assist students in developing a framework for understanding, teachers must look for cultural building blocks that pupils already possess.
This technique is referred described as “scaffolding” in certain educational approaches. Students’ cultural diversity are acknowledged, which offers a healthy foundation for productive learning and a “safe” learning environment. The curriculum will be received differently by each set of pupils. As a result, instructors must continually alter their approaches to ensure that they are as varied as possible, both theoretically and practically.
Do you have any simple ideas for promoting diversity in your classroom that you’ve come across recently? Fill in the blanks with your thoughts and opinions.
If you’re interested in learning more about ways to celebrate diversity in the classroom, I’ve included some suggestions for you as well.Reasons to Read What skills do successful entrepreneurs have? What is the significance of trends in business?