Socioeconomic & Cultural Diversity in Classrooms
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More Diverse Teachers for More Diverse Schools

More Diverse Teachers for More Diverse Schools | Socioeconomic & Cultural Diversity in Classrooms | Scoop.it
Jennifer Rokosa explains why the nation’s demographic shifts are already pointing to the need for more teachers of color to work with the growing numbers of nonwhite students.
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

Another article here on the necessity of diverse teachers in diverse schools because it is something that is very influential on the diversity of classrooms and the way students are schooled. Interesting tidbit from this article is... "schools are diversifying at such a rapid rate that within 10 to 12 years no clear racial or ethnic majority will exist in our public K-12 system." That is an amazing prediction because it shows how the U.S. is shifting and diversifying and being reflected in schools, but the system needs to catch up to it as well. 

This gap is coming about because for various reasons that I'm hoping will change or that we can change as a society. The difference in academic achievement is one of the main things that is affecting the number of diverse students getting a diploma and then going off to college and getting degrees in things like education. Only 58 percent of Latinos and 57 percent of African Americans earn a high school diploma within four years, compared to the 78 percent of whites that do.

Another serious thing that I know has made me constantly rethink my career path is the money. This article brings up that often times there isn't the financial incentive for minorities that may not affect whites as much. The article has the statistic, "only 37 percent of African American and 46 percent of Hispanic teachers are happy with their salary, compared to 53 percent of white teachers." These are serious dilemmas because if they can't see the benefit in the long run then there are various other careers that will be more financially beneficial. I know that the money isn't something that only turns away minorities, but it is a bigger thing for them more often. 

In oder to fix this, we can't quite increase the pay so quickly, hopefully that happens over time and soon so that it will be easier to pay off the college debt that follows most students. But, one thing that can be done now is the high quality recruitment programs can be expanded to go off and find more students of color that want to go down a career path in education. 

As the classrooms get more diverse it is beyond important that the teachers educating them reflect the changing society, and that takes more reaching out and informing people of the options they have. 

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The Vicious Cycle of Education - YouTube

The vicious cycle - from low access to education, to illiteracy, to poverty, and low socio-economic status (and back again) - turns virtuous as described in ...
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

This video was a very interesting way of explaining the cycle that happens in education. I enjoyed it because I was able to follow along with more ease than if it were being spoken to me or written out for me to read. I can see the way that this is a cycle that is present today no matter how people think that there isn't this disparity in education. The quote used in this video: "Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world" -Nelson Mandela is one of my favorite ones dealing with education. It is a true statement because knowledge is something that can change the way people see the world and the way they solve problems. Being illiterate is a terrible reality for many people around the world and without this key part that allows them to teach themselves and learn, they will remain unaware of the things that go on around them and that would change their lives. With education they can help themselves and in turn help the world better as well. 

The low socioeconomic areas have school enviroments of lower quality. The students in these areas are also more likely to drop out due to factors such as disinterest in school, lack of support and the situations they find themselves in. The priorites of people in these low socioeconomic groups around the world are often skewed because education is often towards the bottom when thinking about health and sustinance. The thing they fail to realize is that in getting an education, they will have more help and be better able to support themselves and thier families, as well as be better prepared in health situations. Although this video speaks of the problems around the world, it is also present in the U.S. in familiar ways though perhaps not to such extremes. Education needs to become more of a priority so that everyone can be helped, and money needs to be funded to the lower income neighborhood schools as well. The quote from the video on the ESL board I have about urban schools not knowing what to do with money they recieve is relevant here. They could and would figure out where to place the money if they were given it, but the pessimistic attitude that the senator with that statement had would not be helping.

The crazy part is that these goals were supposed to be reached by 2015, which is now one year and some days away and I don't see us being anywhere near bettering the situations. 

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Responding to Diversity and Inequity in Schools | Education.com

Responding to Diversity and Inequity in Schools | Education.com | Socioeconomic & Cultural Diversity in Classrooms | Scoop.it
Summarizes strategies teachers use to educate students about the diversity in their classroom. Highlights the inequity that exists in our educational system today.
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

Teachers can begin to address the changing racial statistics that are taking place outside of the classroom by being aware themselves and promoting a diverse enviroment through posters and books that show a range of gorups and cultures regardless of those in the classroom. The rooms should not reflect the dominant culture but in turn expose all the students to the variety that is a part of the world. Broadening the culture that the children are exposed to can help students who otherwise wouldn't feel included feel comfortable and like a valuable part of the class and the world. There are different ways for teachers to try and make the classroom more diverse and they should be doing it how they see fit as long as it is fair and unbiased. I know that being exposed to different cultures young is important so that in growing up there aren't any prejudices against cultures that are different from your own or against people who look different. Inclusion is a very important part of any classroom. 

This excerpt of the book also touches on how the inequalities of the schools widen the diversity gap. Funding is vastly different from lower income areas to more priviledged ones and that affects the resources that are available to the teachers and the students in their classrooms. It is in no way fair that their education should be hurt because of the area that they can afford to live in. This is something that causes stereotypes about certain groups. 

The sad truth that is at the end of this excerpt is this, "It’s quite likely that the child of wealthy or even middle-class parents will get a much better education than the child of poor parents." And that is something that I want to gradually change over time with the help of teachers around me and others who feel the way I do. Everyone deserves the best education so that they can help improve themselves and the world we are all a part of. 

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Kids With a Diverse Group of Friends Feel Safer at School - The Atlantic Cities

Kids With a Diverse Group of Friends Feel Safer at School - The Atlantic Cities | Socioeconomic & Cultural Diversity in Classrooms | Scoop.it
The Atlantic Cities Kids With a Diverse Group of Friends Feel Safer at School The Atlantic Cities But in more diverse classrooms, another principle of friendship emerged – "propinquity." That word is used to describe the tendency to make friends...
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

One of the most important things for children is that they feel safe when at school because it is impossible to focus if that is not the case. I am not surprised but I still find it interesting that having a diverse group of friends makes children feel safer in school. It is important that children are exposed to an array of people and cultures so that they do not grow up to have prejudice against any specific group based on a lack of exposure. The only way to end race and culture problems is to stop it starting with the youngest generation they are the future. 

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Column: Socioeconomic diversity strengthens schools

Column: Socioeconomic diversity strengthens schools | Socioeconomic & Cultural Diversity in Classrooms | Scoop.it
Ruth Lopez Turley: Our public schools need a critical mass of advantaged families.
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

One thing I really liked about this article is the truthfulness in the beginning where the truth is pointed out saying that priviledged families often feel tension in deciding where to send their kids. They know that it would be beneficial to society to create socioeconomic diversity in the public schools and bring about more equality, but they also worry for their kids quality of education. With this, the majority of them then go to where the majority of other priviledged families go and continue to create inequity in education. 

Another way that families in higher socioeconomic groups help improve public schools is in their involvement. They often have more influence and so they will go to greater lengths to improve things and they'll get done quicker. It's a sad truth but if they have more money and more influence they will be better listened to. In order to get these parents to attend the public schools in their area that may appear to be of lower quality due to the class and racial composition, we have to help them look at other factors of the school. If there is a group of parents commited to the increase in diversity then they can be influential to the other parents and begin to create change. 

Everyone has something to contribue to the world and the educational system, they just need to be better represented and helped along the way. Getting the more priviledged families to be involved will be difficult but they need to open their eyes to the benefits of public schools and their programs as well. 

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Memo to Department of Education: Diverse Classrooms Create a Better America

Memo to Department of Education: Diverse Classrooms Create a Better America | Socioeconomic & Cultural Diversity in Classrooms | Scoop.it
School integration at the K-12 level, as well as in in higher education, needs to be a national priority -- and needs to be given a central role in the Department of Education's Strategic Plan.
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

Diversity is something that I find extremely important given that I have grown up in a truly diverse area and gone to diverse schools throughout my education career. I feel as though it has only helped me develop as a student and a person and that is one reason that I enjoyed this article because I do believe that like the title says, diverse classrooms are the way to create a better America. This article brings up various studies that show how the diverse schools have only helped the students in their futures healthwise and also in their achievements. There was a study done in Connecticut by the Department of Education that showed that the racially and economically diverse classrooms had a higher percentage of students who got at or above proficient on state tests by 20-40% than those classrooms that were not diverse. This is something that has remained consistant over the years showing that diversity  can only help the students on either end of the socioeconomic spectrum. I feel that this is because the students push each other more rather than being surrounded by people that are all the same as you. 

Another point that they make in this article is that it doesn't only help the minority students to be mixed in a diverse classroom, but it also help the white students being aware of other cultures and reducing prejudice. They also benefit because it helps their problem solving and critical thinking more than the students in "racially homogenous schools". 

If a good education is not available to a wide range of students then the gaps in achievement will continue to widen between the different races and socioeconmic groups. All levels of education benefit from more diversity and so, it should continue to be a goal to diversify the classrooms around the U.S. 

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GUEST EDITORIAL — Closing the diversity gap in public schools

GUEST EDITORIAL — Closing the diversity gap in public schools | Socioeconomic & Cultural Diversity in Classrooms | Scoop.it
No school factor — not budget, not class size, not curriculum — is more important to a child’s experience in the classroom than the teacher, but that’s not how we treat teachers in the United States, and it shows.
Kassandra Saravia's insight:

The first statistic of this article and the one that surprises me the most is that 40% of teachers leave the teaching profession within the first 5 years of their career. That is something really unsettling because it is for a variety of reasons, a prime one being monetary things but also because of the working conditions.

In Battle Creek the area that this article writes of, there is another surprising statistic that while 20% of the students in the area are of color, only 3% of the teachers are. This is something that hurts me when thinking about it because it is important to look up to and see role models that can remind you of yourself. Students are very influenced by the people around them and so I feel that being surrounded by people that they can relate to, it would allow them to feel more comfortable. This quote, "Teachers of color serve as role models for students, giving them a clear and concrete sense of what diversity in education — and in our society — looks like." is one that most stood out to me in the article. If a student isn't exposed to a variety of people and cultures, they'll be unprepared for the diverse world that lies outside of the classroom. It also lets them know that the color of your skin, and your ethnicity are not barriers in any way and that most places are diverse like the schools should be. 

Also, something key that I also realized is that teachers of color have more likely been exposed to more diversity in their lives and so are less likely to have biases against those of a certain culture. Biases are possible no matter who you are, but like said in this article they may find it easier to identify with the minorities in a classroom so they feel comfortable. It also influences the way students perceive education, where minorities feel more targeted in a bad way which would be easier to disprove with teachers that are as diverse as the students are. 


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