Diversity in the American Classrooms
The classrooms of the schools in the United States of America, especially for the public ones, may be considered as a box of M&M’s or Skittles, where each student is of different ethnic background and comes from a culture different from the rest. The flooding and diversity of cultures in the classrooms may be due to the fact that the American System of Education seeks to educate the most number of people and to provide Western thoughts and theories. In addition to this, the American System of Education has proven its economic value by giving its graduates the edge among the rest.
The excellence exuded by the universities and schools and America can be seen by their continuous grip on the top 10 rankings among the universities of the world. Out of the 10 top universities of the world, six are from the United States. These universities are Harvard University (1), Yale University (2), Princeton University (6), University of Chicago (7), California Institute of Technology (7), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (10) (“Top 400 Universities”).
As said earlier, the economic value placed for the graduates of these universities is higher than the others and this would be a very strong advantage for the American System of Education. The fact that the best education could be found in the US paves the way for a higher quality in terms of human capital. The labor market of the American country is consequently filled with professionals coupled with the decent opportunities created by the economy. Thus, it can be said that the good education and sterling quality for the tertiary education can be a antecedent factor for a good pool of professionals for the firms.
This becomes a factor in reducing the poverty rate for the country. The high demand for the American Education puts much pressure to pursue excellence. America is considered as the land of milk and honey by a lot of people (Soriano). In relation to this, the American dream matches the belief that America is the land of milk and honey. The American dream is the pursuit of material prosperity and where life is better and richer according to one’s ability (“What is the American Dream? ”). This has led to the influx of migration to the US by families and the subsequent rise for cultural diversity.
This cultural diversity provides a huge benefit for several reasons. First, the classroom diversity enhances the classroom experience for both the students and the teachers. Aside from the day-to-day topics that the teacher or professor discusses and the facts presented by the textbook, the diversity in the classroom serves the purpose of learning through experience. One could learn from the various beliefs, traditions, principles, customs, and languages that the other cultures have (Vortemizzi). In a way, it gives the students learn “extra things” without the stringent requirements of the educational setting.
Their daily interaction with the other cultures and the high frequency of such would create a higher level of exposure for both cultures. Likewise, the teachers also learn to manage the differences in each classroom and learns how to deal with a diverse group of students to become fully aware of an international setting. Second, the diversity of the classrooms in the American Educational System prepares the students for the international arena. When one achieves to excel and think global, interaction and communication with other cultures is inevitable.
The primary problem that is often encountered in international communication is with regard to how messages are perceived by the receiver and is sometimes different from what the sender means. According to Habeck et al. , “although the words are often the same, the meaning and unspoken assumptions can be very different, leading to misunderstanding and confusion” (86). However, with the exposure that the American classrooms bring to the students of different culture, the problem would be minimized especially if the atmosphere inside the school is accommodating to the various cultures.
Likewise, the teachers and the school administrators would be able to prepare for a varied setting and to be able to compete with the dynamic ways of the education sector. This would mean that there would be more chances that the enrollment rate would be higher since leeway is given for the acceptance of other cultures. The recognition of teachers and administrators of the different cultures provides for “a comfortable learning situation in which to realize their educational goals and accomplishments” (Connors).
Third, this kind of setting teaches the students to become aware of how flexibility, tolerance, respect, and acceptance is important for everyone. This is especially true for the case of young children in the pre-school where they are given the opportunities to be able to understand a different color than they have. This makes them prepared for further challenges and also equips them with the value of acceptance and understanding. With this, the friction is reduced especially when one would enter the workplace.
The workplace is considered to be a rather dynamic setting where an international labor market is starting to emerge and the need to deal with different cultures is increasing. There is also the claim that with the acceptance and respect for the different cultures, social stability could be preserved and crime and poverty will be prevented (“Public Education in the United States”). Likewise, my personal experience with regard to interacting with different cultures and becoming aware that my culture is not the lone culture existing today has provided me with the chance to freely accept the whereabouts of a culturally diverse surrounding.
This has also kept me more sensitive and aware of the other cultures and has helped me in the dealings and interactions I made with other people. For instance, my English class includes cultures of Asians, Middle East, Europeans, and Hipic. I am able to adapt to this kind of setting for I am able to interact with them daily and understand their ways. With the foregoing discussion, it can be said that one benefit of the American system of education is its capability to accept various cultures and this provides benefits for both the students, the teachers, and the system itself.
Works Cited Connors, Jeanne. “Cultural Diversity in the Classroom: Reaching out to Native American Students. ” Setting the Stage: Opening with Influence. Aug. 1996. Habeck, Max, et al. After the Merger: Seven Rules for Successful Post-merger Integration. Great Britain: Prentice Hall, 2000. “Public Education in the United States. ” Microsoft® Student 2007 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2006. Soriano, Jaime N. The Land of Milk and Honey? 5 June 2005. Manila Times. 23 March 2008 [http://www. manilatimes.
net/national/2005/jun/05/yehey/career/20050605car6. html]. “Top 400 Universities. ” Quacquarelli Symonds. 23 March 2008 [http://www. topuniversities. com/worlduniversityrankings/results/2007/overall_rankings/top_400_universities/]. Vortemizzi, Julius. Diversity in American Schools. 22 March 2007. Stanza Ltd. 23 March 2008 [http://www. quazen. com/News/Opinions/Diversity-in-American-Schools. 19095]. “What is the American Dream? ” 19 December 2002. The Library of Congress. 23 March 2008 [http://lcweb2. loc. gov/learn/lessons/97/dream/thedream. html].