Teaching in a culturally diverse environment often leaves teachers feeling uncertain about how to behave and what study material to use. In order to be an effective teacher, you have to adapt and balance between different cultures; accept student cultures and beliefs even if they confront with your own.
- Incorporate multicultural perspectives into the class work.
- Use multicultural materials in lectures.
- Encourage students to explore different cultural perspectives through group assignments.
- Encourage students to find the similarities among the students’ cultures, which will create a basis for effective communication, respect, and cross-cultural understanding.
- Design classroom instruction and materials which are suitable for people of different cultural backgrounds.
- Develop norms of communication in the classroom.
- Consider whether students of all cultures will feel comfortable with your teaching approach and communication style.
- Avoid sensitive topics and offensive learning materials.
- Embed children’s home culture and languages in everyday preschool routines. See example below:
- Get to know your students’ culture.
- Learn student names and how to pronounce them correctly.
- Be open and respectful.
- Learn the basics of student culture (for example, Muslim women don’t shake hands with men).
- Design opportunities for students to interact with each other in unbiased, respectful, and educational ways.
- Assign group work and divide the class into teams, which will have the balanced number of students of different cultural backgrounds.
- Encourage students to contribute examples from their own history, make parallels between the topic learned and life experiences.
- Make it clear that every student has rights to voice their views and unique perspectives, which have to be respected by everyone in the classroom. Don’t leave students alone and out on a limb.
- Avoid situations where students are responsible for being representatives of their religion, race, or culture.
- Intervene early when racist and discriminatory behaviors occurs.
- If you face discriminatory behavior in the classroom, interrupt it at early stage. If you do nothing, your students may take your silence as an unofficial approval.
- Don’t let students attack other students’ culture, race, or religion.
- Never express a discriminatory remark to the student who has misbehaved.
Have you ever experienced working in multicultural environment? How do you manage culturally diverse classroom? Please, share your experience in the comment section below!