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Todays Diverse Classroom

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) now defines
diversity as differences among groups of people and individuals based on ethnicity, race,
socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and
geographical area (Hansen & Kenneth, 2012).
According to the analysis of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
mathematic test result in 2003, there was less than 5% of the variance in mathematic test scores
was associated with race and about 50% of the variance in mathematic test scores associated
from the differences in social economy status, motivation, and exposure to learning opportunities
such as technology materials like calculator, course work and others (Woolfolk, Educational
Psychology-Active Learning Edition, 2008).
Since 20th century, there are plenty of citizen emigrated from their homeland to other
country to make their living. Majority of them would like to escape from famine, poverty and
most importantly they are seeking for peaceful and safety. Unfortunately, this minority group is
merging into the majoritys cultural melting pot in order to eliminate the cultural differences
(Woolfolk, Hughes, & Walkup, Psychology in Education, 2008; Mary & Tracy, 2000).
The cultural deficit model defined that the cause of the poor academic achievement in
minority group is due to their inadequate culture. This model assumed that the minority groups
culture is incapable to prepare the students to fit into the mainstream context (Brooker, 2003;
Mary & Tracy, 2000).
In contrast to the concept of melting pot, James Banks developed a multicultural
education approach in 2002. This is an approach where it accepts all the different culture
diversity into the education system. Multicultural education is divided into five dimensions
which are (Woolfolk, Hughes, & Walkup, 2008),
1. Content Integration - referring to the practice of the various cultures perspective as
example and content in the teaching subject.
2. An Equity Pedagogy - referring to the assistant of people from diversity ethnic and
cultural by matching the teaching methods into their learning styles.
3. An Empowering School Culture and Social Structure - referring to the encouragement
of the people from diversity ethnic and culture to create an interactive school
environment and activities such as sports for the staff and students.

4. Prejudice Reduction - suggested that prejudice among the diversity cultures can be
reduced by identify the characteristics of the individuals racial attitudes and determine
how they can be modified through teaching.
5. The Knowledge Construction Process - this is a method that helps individual to
understand the impact on the implicit cultural assumptions within a discipline affects
the ways that knowledge is created within in.

Ethnic and racial differences


Ethnic is defined as a group of people who shared the same cultural heritage. Race is
defined as a group of people who shared the common biological traits that are seen as selfdefining by the people of the group. There are two types of cultural conflicts which are either
obvious or subtle. These kind of conflicts usually happened when the perception of the values
and competencies of the dominant or mainstream culture is used to determine the norms in a
school. Therefore, the minority group who is people from the other culture or ethnic is usually
being perceived as problems student or the victim of bullying in the school (Woolfolk,
Educational Psychology-Active Learning Edition, 2008).
Identify and understand the cultural and racial differences are very crucial for a teacher to
prevent prejudice, stereotype, and discrimination happened in class or school. Stereotype threat
normally happened in academic situation where it induces an extra emotional and cognitive
stress on an individual who might confirm a stereotype that others hold about him or her. It will
produce short-term and long-term effects. Short-term effects normally affected in test
performance whereby it induces test anxiety and undermine performance of an individual. On the
other hand, long-term effects referring to the students may tend to develop self-defeating
strategies to protect their self-esteem about academic such as withdraw or drop out from the
school (Woolfolk, Hughes, & Walkup, Psychology in Education, 2008).
Besides that, verbal and nonverbal messages expressed through facial expressions, eye
contact, voice tone, touch, gestures, and personal space can have different meanings in different
cultures. For examples, Japanese tend to be straight-faced when happy and smile to mask
unpleasant feelings such as anger or sadness; and left hand is considered unclean in Islamic
cultures. Hence, managing the cultural and racial issue in class is important as it will affect a

student from the dimensions of cognitive, emotion, and behavior (Ottaway & Bhatnagar, 1988;
Garza & Santos, 1991).

Girls and Boys: Differences in the Classroom


Research found that, teachers who address the diversity issues and impose them to the
curriculum will succeed in creating a multicultural classroom. Creating multicultural classroom
allows better progress on the students educational goals (Najeemah, 2014). According to
Riordan and Weatherly in 1999, they found that the team cooperation will increased when work
in a team with same gender. Due to the similarity of gender, preference, and outlook, they tend to
have stronger rapport building and higher job satisfaction (Schaffer, 2008). Hence, gender bias
and sex discrimination tend to happen in the classroom as some students are more likely stay in a
gang who have more similarities and tend to have discrimination towards others or the minority
group. The sense of loneliness and helplessness of someone in minority group have higher
tendency to involve in behaviors cases in the school.
However, the racial and cultural identity development model (R/CID) explains about the
developmental stages of superior group by Sue and Sue in 1990. It has divided into five stages
which are conformity, dissonance, resistance and immersion, introspective, and integrative
awareness. The first stage is explained about the superiority and the minority inferiority, where
the white culture is regarded as superior. People of color are undeniably preferred the dominant
cultures values over their own as well as the esteem white culture values and institution standard
as superior (Sue & Sue, 1990).
At stage two which is the dissonance stage, denial feeling of an individual in superior
group is gradually begins to collapse because of the situation that contradict with their
internalized beliefs. They will experience conflicts between self-depreciating and selfappreciating attitude and beliefs. At last, these conflicts will develop guilty, shame or anger
feelings on that person (Sue & Sue, 1990).
This individual will then completely support the minority-hold view and abundance the
dominant values of society. He or she begins to feel guilty of having devalued ones racial group
and irritated for having been taught of having wrong beliefs all the time previously. The
frustration feeling will then projected at society and parents for exposing democratic values that

are not practicing in the real world. Soon a negative feelings of being white or superior group is
been developed (Sue & Sue, 1990).
In the fourth stage which is the introspective stage, the old beliefs have changed. This
individual now is focusing on individual autonomy and is sensitive and more critical about the
group ideology. However, certain people will shift to other race in order to reject of being white
culture (Sue & Sue, 1990).
In the final stage (Integrative awareness), this individual realized that each culture have
their own accepted and unaccepted characteristics. Moreover, this person understands that each
member of any group is actually an individual society (Sue & Sue, 1990).

Reference
Brooker, L. (2003). Learning how to learn: parental ethonotheories and young children's preparation for
school. International Journal of Early Year Education.
Garza, R., & Santos, S. (1991). Ingroup/Outgroup Balance and Interdependent Inter-ethnic Behavior.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 124-137.
Hansen, J., & Kenneth, D. M. (2012). Teaching diverse students. In Effective strategies for teaching in K-8
classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Mary, F. H.-H., & Tracy, L. R. (2000). The Convergence of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender: Multiple Identities
in Counseling. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Merrill.
Najeemah, M. Y. (2014). Multicultural Education:Managing Diversity In Malaysian School. School of
Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Ottaway, R. N., & Bhatnagar, B. (1988). Personality and Biographyical Differences Between Male and
Female Managers in the United States and India. Applied Psychology: An Internatinal Review,
201-212.
Schaffer, B. S. (2008). The Role of Cultural Value Dimensions in Relational Demography. IJMS.
Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (1990). Counseling the culturally different:Theory and practice. New York: Wiley.
Woolfolk, A. (2008). Educational Psychology-Active Learning Edition (10th ed.). USA: Pearson Education.
Woolfolk, A., Hughes, M., & Walkup, V. (2008). Psychology in Education. England: Pearson Longman.