Organizing the educational process in a class with diverse students is a very responsible task.
It demands consideration of the separate groups’ interests and needs, including physical, social, psychological, etc. Another task in this case is making the students of different races, social statuses, and physical abilities work as a team. In addition, it is important to remember, that the process of education is interdependent with the process of upbringing, which makes the task more challenging. The issue of educating diverse pupils is discussed by a number of authors. For instance, one of them argues that in such classes the standardized tests are unacceptable, as far as they “discourage us from seeing that […] the point of education is ought to be to make the world better and more just” (Bigelow, 206). Such statement can be justified to some extent, as the universal tests are not suitable for the modern diverse society. However, in my opinion, the tests should not be excluded from the studying process. After all, they just summarize what the student remembers from the exercising.
That is why, I think that the implementation of alternative assessment should be combined with tests. Another author, Grant, asked a rather topical question related to the topic. Specifically, he was concerned “to what extent is instruction available in the language of linguistic minorities, including American Sign Language?” (Grant, 215). This question seems to be provocative in the modern educational system, where the sign language is implemented only in some establishments.
Indeed, this problem creates a bound between the normal and disabled students. Therefore, it is worth considering the development of sign language application in regular schools. One more author, Nieto, studies the issue of multicultural education.
One of the mentioned idea surprised me; namely, the author states that “controversial topics such as power and inequality are rarely discussed in schools” (Nieto, 53). In my point of view, the modern schools are more democratic than the author treats them to be. These topics, for instance, were often discussed in my class. Having read the articles, and having reviewed my essay, I found out that my suggestions for diverse class work organization were not developed enough. For instance, in my essay I suggested implementing a more interactive method of teaching, aimed at involving all students and encouraging communication. However, this idea should correspond to the fact that the communication in a diversified class has a specific character.
Some pupils may feel uncomfortable because of being special or different in some ways, and the task of a teacher is to make these students open and become more confident. With this purpose, a special policy can be implemented, based on the idea of being proud because of being different. In fact, while most of the scientists are trying to make pupils equal, it can be useful to make every of them feel special. This will make all of them equally confident.
Another issue that I have reconsidered after the reading is the method of testing the students with different knowledge levels. I offered to provide some less advanced tasks for the students with learning difficulties; now I find it relevant to relate the studying process with the students’ will to study. This means that the studying program should consider the topics and spheres that the students are eager to discuss and explore.
Grant, C. & Sleeter, C. 2003 “Action research activity 5.2: Classroom and school assessment” Turning on learning: Five approaches for multicultural teaching plans for race, class, gender, and disability, John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp. 213-215. Nieto, S.
& Bode, P. 2009 “Multicultural education and school reform” Affirming diversity: The sociopolitical context of multicultural education, 5th edn, Pearson, Sydney, pp. 42-62. Bigelow, B, Harvey, B, Karp, H, & Miller, 2001 “Failing out kids: What’s wrong with the testing craze’, Rethinking our classrooms Rethinking Schools Ltd): Teaching for equity and justice. Vol.2, pp.204-206.