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Running head: Diversity in our Society 1

Diversity in our Society:


In and Out of the Classroom
Tiffani Linville
Wesleyan College

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Diversity in our Society: In and Out of the Classroom
Diversity is shown in a lot of individuals because diversity is the
uniqueness found in other people. People express themselves in many
different ways and it creates their own identity. When we create an
identity for ourselves we are part of certain diverse groups. Many
aspects can identify a person, whether it is physical, mental, or
emotional. Racial, learning styles, physical disabilities, and sexual
orientation are a few of the things that can identify a person.
Stereotypes do not help with diversity because it gives people
ideas of others that are not always correct. Society has such power
over people that it influences our thoughts of each other. When people
allow society to take over they do not get to know people and become
quick to judge. Stereotypes create diversity in some ways because it
creates new ideas on how to classify people, racially, in learning styles,
sexually, and even physically.
In the classroom, students can feel out of place if they are
different from other students. It is important that teachers learn how
to help the students learn to use diversity in the best way they can.
Taking the time to get to know a student and understand the student
will help a teacher get an idea of how to help their student (NDT
Resource Center 1996).
Racial Diversity

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In 1954 and 1955, there were five cases that had to do with
segregation in the public schools. Of these five cases one is spoken
about often, Brown v. Board of Education. Marshall personally argued
the case that blacks and whites were not treated as equals in the
classroom or in the school at all. One of the biggest points that
Marshall brought up was that they were violating the Fourteenth
Amendment of equality (United States Courts 1955). In the end result
of this case, desegregation was put in place in public schools because
the court came to the result that the issue was major and needed to be
taken care of.
I have see racial diversity happen inside and outside of the
classroom before. In the classroom, I have seen a teacher discriminate
against a student because of the color of her skin. She did not mean to
do it intentionally but it sounded like it and when it was brought to her
attention she immediately apologized to the student and explained to
the class what she thought. I did not believe that she was a racist
teacher, she actually saw everyone for whom they were and actually
worked with each student based on the needs they had. Outside of the
classroom racial diversity is everywhere. People will take their race for
granted in some ways. There is a term, white privilege, which
explains how white people take their privileges to the extreme and do
not know what it is like to not have privilege, which is not true in all
cases. I see racial diversity physically here at Wesleyan because there

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are over 20 different countries shown here. When I got to know some
people from other countries I learned that they were not much different
from me and we created a bond, based on what we had in common.
Diversity shown through Learning Styles
Earlier, I talked about a teacher having to get to know their
students to figure out how to work with them. Identifying a students
learning style will help the teacher help the student learn best.
Students may not understand what learning style they are which is
why the teacher must observe their students to discover what learning
style they are. There are a lot of different types of learning styles and
most of them will be represented in every classroom. Teachers must
find the balance of the learning styles in the classroom to create the
best environment for each student in the classroom (Guild, 2001).
In Guilds article, some learning styles are cognition,
conceptualization, affect, and behavior. Cognition is when a student
wants to understand how they know what they are learning.
Conceptualization is how a student thinks about the knowledge they
have gained. Affect is when a student uses judgment and emotions to
make the decisions they do in the classroom. Finally, behavior is how
students put what they learned into action. A student will put other
factors of their identity into their learning styles, for example their
culture, religion, and gender. When students put these aspects into
effect the whole entire learning style they have makes them different.

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Diversity in the Physically and Mentally Disabled People
Physically disabled students have struggles with moving around
the classroom and other parts of the school. I would know from my own
experience. I was on crutches for a month during my senior year of
high school and I had to leave classes early to get to my classes on
time and not be in the way of other people. I hated being stared at by
other students because I was different and I stood out from other
people. My injury was minor to other major disabilities that will put
people in wheelchairs. Teachers have to find a way to work with these
students as well. They have to accommodate to the things that other
students can do and the physically disabled students cant to help
every student understand what the teacher is trying to teach them.
There is a student in my Public Speaking class that is in a wheelchair
and we are always helping her out. She needs support, as HR Council
states, to help her perform to the best of her ability (2013).
Mentally disabled people need just as much support to help
them get through any activity because they are seen as not normal
because society has put what normal is in our minds. During field
experience at Elam Alexander Academy, I have seen mental disabilities
first handed and I have seen how quickly I have judged people who are
not like me. I have changed through the experiences I have had with
these children over the past few weeks. They are really sweet and
even though they do act out I can tell they are just trying to do what

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any normal child would want to do, play. They do not understand
that there is a time and place to play and it is not all the time. They
understand when it is time to stop when the teacher says a trigger
word, which seems to stop the kid for some time, but not for too long.
In the end, these disabled kids create more diversity in the world that
most people do not notice is diversity.
Diversity through Sexual Orientation
When people get to know each other they find out their sexual
orientation and most of the time judge them right away, based on this
new fact. People are gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, or other. Society
says that straight is normal and some religion has a lot of influence
of what people believe is right. Society has caused people to hide their
identity because everyone wants to be accepted in the world (J.
Buccigrossi, 2003). When people come out from hiding that they are,
they create more diversity in the world because they are admitting
whom they are. In the world people care about that knows whom they
are seen as. Everyone wants to be accepted so they can will make
friends, they do not truly realize they already have friends with the
people that were there for them before they created a fake them.
In the classroom, teachers need to be aware of who the student
is and what is going on in their life. To figure out whom they are and
what is going on in their life in and out of school, a teacher must create
a bond with their student so the student will feel comfortable coming

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to them. Teachers who are approachable will be the teachers that help
the students learn best. A student cannot learn when they have a
million things on their mind so they have to get it all out.
Conclusion
Diversity, inside and outside of the classroom, is a key factor in
creating the best learning environment. Creating a relationship that is
different will reveal who they really are and who you really are. You
can truly discover yourself through your judgment of others. When a
teacher creates a relationship with their students they will have the
best chance at getting them to understand what is happening around
them. Racial, learning styles, physical/mental disabilities, and sexual
orientation diversity are just a few of the ways people identify them
and create the diversity throughout the world.

Citations:
Buccigrossi, J. (2003). Sexual Orientation. Retrieved from:
http://www.workforcediversitynetwork.com/docs/sexual_orientati
on_6.pdf.

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Guild, P.(2012). Diversity, Learning Style, and Culture. Retrieved
from:http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/L
earning%20Styles/diversity.html.
HR Council. (2013). Diversity at Work. Retrieved from:
http://hrcouncil.ca/hr-toolkit/diversity-disabilities.cfm.
NDT Resource Center. (1996). Appreciating and Valuing Diversity.
Retrieved from: https://www.ndeed.org/TeachingResources/ClassroomTips/Diversity.htm
United States Courts. (1954). History-Brown v. Broad of Education.
Retrieved from: http://www.uscourts.gov/educationalresources/educational-activities/history-brown-v-board-educationre-enactment.