Life is a learning process that begins the moment we enter the world and take our first breath. As a parent, there are so many things you want to teach your kids so that they can become healthy, happy, functioning members of society. But there’s only so much you can do. So at a certain point you will turn your children over to professionals trained to instruct them in academics, preparing them for the working world. Of course, school is also a place where students interact with peers and learn to socialize. And there are many benefits to be gained by ensuring that kids are in a diverse learning environment.
These days most everyone agrees that fostering tolerance for other races, nationalities, cultures, religions, genders, sexual orientations, religions, ages, levels of ability, and socioeconomic status is important. The world is shrinking – or more precisely, the population is growing. There is more and more crossover between countries and cultures. The global economy is rapidly erasing the lines that used to separate nations. And the internet has made global communications possible on an unprecedented scale. People from all over the world are coming together, and the mixing of diverse groups is only likely to increase in the future. So it’s important that children and young adults are not only exposed to diversity, but that they are taught to accept others, to realize their strengths and help them to overcome limitations for the betterment of all.
In the process, students will gain a level of cultural awareness, just for starters. It’s all too easy to develop ideas about what is normal and correct when you’re only exposed to one background, lifestyle, or way of thinking. And this can lead kids to adopt exclusionary attitudes or set themselves above others, to their own detriment and everyone else’s. But when children and young adults are exposed to other cultures in a social setting, they can see beyond the idea of a nameless, faceless group. They will realize that every group is made up of relatable individuals. This can foster an attitude of tolerance and inclusion that serves to enrich children’s lives.
In addition, interacting with a diverse group of students can help children to expand the way they think and see the world. Exposure to different ideas and points of view can only increase a person’s ability to reason and solve problems. And this can have a positive impact on every aspect of a child’s life, from their socialization skills to their academic performance. It can certainly help to prepare students for the workplace. Companies that follow publications like DiversityInc are learning the value of diversity at the corporate level, and such businesses are interested in workers that already understand the value of working well with a variety of people. So diversity in education is definitely important. And students that are exposed to a diverse peer group throughout the educational process are more likely to succeed, not only in their academic and social lives, but in their professional undertakings, as well.