Creating a More Just and Merciful World
How Education Leaders Can Improve Diversity in Schools
Education leaders can reinforce the importance of diversity in education. They do so by promoting safe and secure learning environments where students feel valued, staff are heard, and curricula reflects diverse viewpoints.
Students and staff bring many cultures, backgrounds and experiences to the school setting. Education leaders who value the differences and contributions of all people prove they are committed to providing the best education for everyone.
Ways to Support Diversity in Education
Research, including from the U.S. Department of Education and The Brookings Institution, has described ways administrators and educators can support diversity in schools:
- Having diversity and broad representation among teachers and staff. Research indicates that students do better in school when they are exposed to teachers with whom they can relate.
- Establishing practices in human resources practices that consider cultural backgrounds of teachers and staff members and demonstrate support for diversity and inclusion.
- Encouraging teachers to use inclusive teaching methods in the classroom. Diverse methods allow educators to engage with students who have different preferences and learning styles.
- Providing diversity training to help teachers and staff increase awareness of issues around race, gender and class.
Impact of Diversity on Community
A focus on diversity not only benefits schools, but also the communities that surround them. Because promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is multifaceted, leaders must use several strategies when reaching out to the community. According to recommendations provided by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), school leaders can build trust with families and communities by:
- Improving communication with families and sending the message that their input is valuable.
- Forming strong partnerships in the community surrounding the school.
- Exploring innovative ways to reach the broader community to create a positive climate.
Impact of Diversity on Learning Outcomes
Further research shows the benefit of diverse classrooms on learning outcomes for students. For starters, schools focused on diversity produce students who display more empathy and less prejudice.
Additionally, diversity in the classroom can help students improve their tolerance and appreciation for different viewpoints. This is why it is important for teachers to establish a positive atmosphere where students feel they can express their individuality and unique perspectives. When there is more diversity in the classroom, it lends itself to more well-balanced discussions.
Classroom diversity also prepares students for their future beyond school and into adulthood. The world is diverse, and it is highly likely students will work in a field that is diverse. Their earlier educational experiences can help them increase their cultural awareness, respect for others and kindness for individuals.
Become an Education Leader Who Can Improve Learning for All
Aspiring education leaders seeking to promote diversity and inclusion in schools can explore the Master of Education in Educational Leadership at Carlow University. This graduate degree program prepares future educators for advanced leadership positions in public, private or nonprofit educational institutions. They gain the knowledge to become a leader who can respond to educational challenges with an equity lens.