Field Logs – Week Four: Diversity and Inclusion
Core Questions: What are the different forms of diversity that you observe within the school and classrooms? In what ways do you observe the school, classrooms and teachers using inclusive practices? How are classrooms honouring learners from different cultures? Is it possible not to observe diversity in Canadian classrooms? Why?
The forms of diversity that I have observed thus far include gender, race, ability, and social class. Two students need special attention within my class. The teacher uses inclusive practices by calling on the students equally, as well as giving them equal amounts of encouragement. This ensures that everyone is included and feels like they are part of the group. She creates the groups for activities so that each group is diverse. In addition, she tries to talk about culture and diversity in all of her lessons. So far, I have witnessed culture being taught or referenced in nutrition, community learning, reading exercises, at snack time, and by assisting a student with their patka.
The classrooms honour learners from different cultures in several ways. First, they use cultural differences to teach about why some students are unique. While cuts have been made, there are still some ESL programs available to assist children who need to work on language skills. The students also do a “daily five” exercise to work on literacy and language. This program not only benefits ESL students, but also English students.
I think that it is possible to have a classroom in Canada without diversity, but because diversity occurs in other ways than culture, such as gender, class, and ability, it is not probable. However, there may be less diversity in a highly affluent private school. The students in such a background will have similar race, ability and class because factors like cost of schooling and location will determine the general composition of the school.
Critical Triad Questions – Week Four: Diversity and Inclusion
- Does the teacher promote the diversity within the classroom?
I think that the teacher values diversity and views it as an essential part of her class. My reason for this assumption is the way and the frequency that she links culture to her lessons. She does not view ethnic groups with biased opinions, and allows for equal student participation to avoid favouritism. I would say she advocates diversity rather than promotes it because of the connotations with the word “promote”.
- What kind of activities can be done to promote diversity further?
If the school were able to bring back the programs for special needs and ESL, it would attract a more diverse population to the school because it can meet the needs of those groups. Without these programs, it is hard to increase diversity in this mostly white community. The reason for the increase in diversity right now is the reputation the school had achieved when it had those programs. Until these programs are brought back, diversity will be advocated in various ways, but not in the sense of promotional advertising.