Diversity in the Classroom Community, Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Another factor that impacts the level of community resources offered is that many of the schools do not offer intramural activities for elementary school students. Participation in these group activities are most often children from middle to middle upper class families; due in part to cost and accessibility.

Those representing the lower socioeconomic strata tend to take greater advantage of the social services available within the community. Social services purported to be available including both state funded and privately funded organizations that offer basic services including food, clothing and shelter, as well as public welfare such as Temporary Assistance to Need Families, Social Security benefits, Medicaid and Medicare. The Department of Family and Children Services is a large provided of social services and serves as the gatekeeper to many of the private agencies that offer foster care, domestic violence counseling services, child welfare services, as well as many levels of counseling assistance to families.

A number of the social services available in the community are based on socioeconomics and the factors that impact a family's financial status. Many of the programs that are posited to be available to those in the community require a referral, frequently mitigated by some negative or adverse situation or circumstance that has occurred. As such, the institutional barriers that exist are due to services being need based as determined by financial situations or posited maltreatment to children.

Plan of Action

In order to have a culturally competent inclusive pedagogy that address resource inequalities impacted by socioeconomics, race and power relationships the plan of action must include culturally responsive practices and beliefs of the classroom; referral practices and early intervention services that are culturally responsive; individualized assessment of each child to determine what their strengths and areas of increase are, the school environment; literature utilized and information shared is representative of the various cultures not just reflected in the classroom but in greater society through various medium including the internet, positive behaviors are emphasized; and materials are translated for non-native English speaking students and families. The plan of action would also include greater inclusion of parents and students circle of influence into the children's education.

It is important to note that in order for the plan of action to be most successful, some support from the school, administration, and community stake holders would need to be present. Students need to be able to see that it is not just one teacher, or one small group of people who are vested in their success and academic achievement but the entirety of the community. It goes without saying that this kind of community and communal support is instrumental in children not only being able to achieve academic but also understand that they have the ability to overcome any barriers they or their families may be faced with in the larger community.

Conclusion

In order for educators to be effective, agents of change, and a positive influence on their students, mental health and educational development, it is imperative that the pedagogy ascribed to is culturally competent and responsive. This kind of pedagogy cannot nor should not be developed in isolation without proper regard for the community from which the learners derive; taking into consideration the resources and services available. Moreover, educators must be aware of his or her own stereotypes, prejudices, and misconceptions in order to develop the kind of pedagogy and teaching style that instills confidence in learners, focuses on strength-based learning, and is effective in student achievement.

Bibliography

Burt, J., Ortlieb, E., & Cheek, E. (2009). An investigation of the impact of racially diverse teachers on the reading skills of fourth-grade students in a one race school. Reading Improvement, 46(1), 35-45.

Keengwe, J. (2010). Fostering cross cultural competence in preservice teachers through

Multicultural education experiences. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38(3),

197-204.

Sadker, M., Sadker, D., & Zittleman, K. (2008). Teachers, schools, and society (8th ed.)

New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Shaw, J. (2009). The diversity paradox: does student diversity enhance or challenge excellence? Journal of Further & Higher Education, 33(4), 321-331.

Smith, P. (2004). Speaking out on assessment of multicultural competences and outcomes:…

Sources Used in Document:

Bibliography

Burt, J., Ortlieb, E., & Cheek, E. (2009). An investigation of the impact of racially diverse teachers on the reading skills of fourth-grade students in a one race school. Reading Improvement, 46(1), 35-45.

Keengwe, J. (2010). Fostering cross cultural competence in preservice teachers through

Multicultural education experiences. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38(3),

197-204.

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