Impact of Cultural Diversity on Science Education
In the world today, people are of varying races, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, age, etc. However, one concept seeks to unite us all regardless of our differences and it is known as diversity. Diversity has evolved from promoting intercultural tolerance to improving human learning and experience.
Modern science teachers are now looking to promote diversity in their classrooms too. Fortunately, lots of essays have been written on the topic, so it is easy to find cultural diversity essay examples. In this article, we will be taking a look at the importance of cultural diversity in science education.
Why Is Diversity Important in Science?
Here, we will be explaining the educational benefits of diversity.
To create global solutions, teachers need to encourage students from all backgrounds to participate in science. Science is majorly serving just a slice of humanity at the moment, especially when it comes to biomedical science. For instance, the tissue and blood used during most research in the Western world are obtained from white individuals. The results are used for producing medication for the entire population even though people from different races are affected by certain diseases in different ways.
Some steps have been taken over the years to improve diversity in science. However, more work has to be done. According to data provided by the US National Science Foundation, the percentage of minority ethnic groups in the sciences is less than half of their percentage in the population. If this number can be at least doubled, it will need the availability of more effective drugs and therapies.
Enhanced Cognitive Skills and Critical Thinking
Since the main purpose of science is to find problems and create solutions, scientists need to have excellent thinking skills. A great way to improve the thinking capacity of students is to introduce them to viewpoints that are different from the ones they were exposed to early in life. This will help them question things in their environment and view the world from a new angle. According to a post in Scientific American, “Diversity jolts us into cognitive action in ways that homogeneity simply does not.” This means exposure to diversity will boost creativity, innovation, decision-making, and problem-solving skills in students.
Learning becomes more effective when students explore. Teachers that promote diversity in their classrooms improve the performance of their students significantly. A research carried out at the Queens University of Charlotte showed that students perform better in multicultural environments. Additionally, science lessons that are structured around the different backgrounds of students allow students to explore them from their different perspectives.
How to Promote Inclusivity and Diversity in a Classroom
There are several benefits of diversity in education. In this section, we will be looking at how a science teacher can foster inclusivity and diversity.
Studying Students’ Cultural Background
The first way by which a teacher can promote diversity is to learn about the different cultural backgrounds of students. By doing this, teachers will be able to see things from the varying perspectives of students and discover their unique learning methods. This helps educators to predict the direction of lessons and teach with an inclusive tone.
Establishing a Culturally Responsive Environment
A culturally responsive environment enables a diverse group of students to respect and understand the cultures of others. Learners in such classrooms listen to the varying viewpoints of their peers without mocking or scorning them. According to The Edvocated, the most effective way to teach students to respect and embrace the background of their peers is to show them they are all the same on the inside.
Help Them Learn About Their Background
Students shouldn’t only be encouraged to learn about the cultures of others, they should also be pushed to learn about their own culture. They should interact with knowledgeable people in their communities and visit important landmarks. By taking these steps, they will have more information to share with their peers.
Science can be taken to the next level through diversification and inclusion. This will lead to the emergence of scientific solutions that will improve the lives of people from all backgrounds equally. It will also boost the performance of students and help them become better members of society.