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Implications of Cultural Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Inclusion

Implications of Cultural Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Inclusion:


My philosophies and belief in teaching in the Grey areas

Kelli Murphy
TED 602: Foundations of Education
Unit 2 Essay Assignment
Professor Bernard Gallegos
December 7, 2014

Implications of Cultural Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Inclusion

With diversity increasing throughout our country, so is the emphases of


desegregation and equality. Our society is growing culturally and due to this,
cultural diversity is trickling into the classrooms in the form of language
barriers, empowerment, cultural identity, inclusion and many more. These
ideas have brought on much debate and many efforts have taken place
within schools to desegregate, to promote the different cultures, and to
eliminate prejudices, racism, and disabilities. My teaching philosophy right
now is solely based on textbook readings, conversations with educators, and
my own personal experiences throughout my educational career. I believe
that being in and around children in my classroom will significantly influence
my philosophy. My concern as a future educator is whether or not focus on
integrating multiculturalism and desegregation are actually affecting or
aiding children in my classroom.
We have discussed our ideas on equality of opportunity within the
education system and although I dont believe we will ever attain this we
should always strive for it. With that said, one major step was through the
Americans with Disabilities Act and the banning of discrimination against
people who are disabled. As a teacher, it will become my responsibility to
ensure that all children are successful in the curriculum. I have learned that
all students learn differently, so my goal is to incorporate different teaching
styles to help reach as many of the childrens learning styles as possible.
Similar to any form of segregation, the isolation of children with disabilities
often deprives them of contact with other students and denies them access
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Implications of Cultural Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Inclusion

to equipment found in regular classrooms, such as scientific equipment,


audiovisual aids, classroom libraries, and computers (Spring, 2013, p. 122).
I support the idea that children with disabilities should be challenged in their
learning environment and that there are social learning objectives that are
not necessarily included in the common core, but that children pick up on as
they learn and grow each year, such as how to take the bathroom pass to
use the restroom and return to class. This is why many people believe that
inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms can be
beneficial to those students, but my concern is whether or not this will hinder
the learning of the other students in the classroom. As we read in our
textbook, Classroom teachers, according to the legislation, were to be
provided with appropriate special education and related services and aids
(Spring, 2013, p. 123). My biggest concern with having students with
disabilities in my classroom is only if I dont receive help from an aid who has
proper training for these students and as a result I will be so focused on the
needs of few children rather than the needs of the majority of children and
there would be an educational loss. My philosophy is to teach in a way that
will promote the highest educational benefits to the most students possible,
but strive to incorporate resources to help those in unique situations to the
best of my abilities.
When it comes to cultural diversity and multiculturalism, my belief is
that it is important to include classroom instruction about cultures and
diversity, but they are not the main focus of my curriculum. My job is to
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Implications of Cultural Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Inclusion

ensure that students, no matter what race, language, or sex, are grasping
concepts in reading, writing, math, science, etc., but that cultural ideas can
be learned through society and in households. Personally I like the ideas of
the English Language Acquisition Acts nine major purposes. In fact, the first
stated purpose of the legislation reads: (1) to help ensure that children who
are limited English proficient, including immigrant children and youth, attain
English proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English,
and meet the same challenging State academic content and student
academic achievement standards as all children are expected to meet
(Spring, 2013, p. 180). I feel fortunate to have had language requirements in
both high school and college, so I understand what it is like to try to learn a
second language, which I think will benefit me in the classroom. My
philosophy as a teacher will be to implement as many aids and resources to
students of all races, sexes, and languages so that they are learning my
curriculum. If I have a student who doesnt speak much English in my
classroom then I will label everything in the classroom such as the door, a
window, a chalk board, a desk, etc. with the name of the object to help them
around the classroom. My goal is to end up in teaching a second grade
classroom, so if one of my students has no English background and would
benefit from kindergarten level teaching, then I will need to incorporate that
for them. In this situation I might have them working on special learning
programs on the computer in class to help them get stronger at developing
basic English which will help them with learning the curriculum.
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Implications of Cultural Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Inclusion

Since I would like to teach at elementary level, my philosophy is to


include knowledge of cultures in the classroom especially through the
students eyes. I want students to teach others of their culture so that they
all get an understanding of how every family does things differently and how
we can embrace this. I like the idea of the National Association for the
Educating of Young Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young
Children. The premise of the method is that at an early age children become
aware of the connection between power and skin color, language, and
physical disabilities (Spring, 2013, p. 168). Education is simply learning and
growing and doesnt have a race correlated with it in my mind. I am not
trying to teach children how to be white, I am trying to help them become
educated and learn concepts and ideas that will promote them in their future
endeavors and in the business world no matter what field they want to end
up in and this needs to be implemented at an early age when children are
first developing these ideas.
As the United States becomes more diverse, the way educators teach
will also have to evolve. Teachers now have been trying to incorporate
additional resources and use of special aids to meet the needs of these
culturally diverse or disabled students. My overall philosophy is that there is
no such thing as black or white in my classroom and I dont mean that as
skin pigment or race, but in teaching methods. There is never going to be
one way to teach all students, teaching is flexible with many grey areas. If I
have a student with a disability in my classroom or one that has limited
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Implications of Cultural Diversity, Multiculturalism, and Inclusion

English proficiency, then I will have to adjust to the differences and find a
way to help them grasp the curriculum. I might need to use more visual aids
or the help of a physical aid to help my students, but I will use all resources
available to give the highest quality education to all students in my
classroom.

References
Spring, J. (2013). American Education. New York: McGraw Hill