Essay Sample on Cultural Diversity in Classrooms

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1413 Words
Date:  2022-10-23


Most of the people in the education profession in the country are white, and this does not complement with the diversity in our classrooms (Teaching Tolerance). Most of the public and private schools in the United States have students of mixed colors and races as well, and this diversity is not reflected in the people responsible for teaching these children and students (Teaching Tolerance). The teachers try to teach and address the cultural biases and social biases based on their own experiences, but this is not what the children relate to because the students all have their own experiences. The teachers' curriculum when training the teachers does not address the issue of how the teacher should handle the diversity, and the teacher is then carefully filtering their content in case they say one wrong thing that does not resonate with some of the students. However, despite these challenges, there are some ways in which the teachers can try to understand on a personal basis the different cultural experiences. This essay will look at the challenges the teachers face when teaching culturally diverse students as well as looking at these cultural challenges in the classroom in regards to the conflict theory and the preoperational stage of Piaget's theory.

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Three Challenges of Teaching Culturally Diverse Classrooms

One of the major challenges that teachers face when teaching a culturally diverse classroom is that of stereotyping. Stereotyping in the classroom could occur when a teacher uses common knowledge about a certain social group of people or a race to make conclusions about a particular student. A teacher may make a statement about black people, for instance, being frisked when this is a stereotype that black people could be criminals. If the teacher uses this stereotype to frisk students before they do an examination, this should be held against the teacher even if they were doing it unconsciously (New York State University, 2008). Teachers in America are mostly white, and as such, they are bound to assume that the stereotypic knowledge they have of different cultures is true and it may then hinder the learning process in the classroom to be wholesome and fulfilling for children of color (New York State University, 2008). Based on stereotypic knowledge, a teacher is not supposed to decide a particular student's ability in class based on the fact that a particular group of people, for instance, do not do well in mathematics and as such assume that that child would automatically do well. It should be the teacher's duty to find out the abilities of that child away from the common biases the teacher might know about people of that culture or race.

Secondly, the other challenge is that of treating the children unfairly without the knowledge that they are acting in bias (New York State University, 2008). The children of colors are for instance seen to have disrespect towards people when it is just their nature. Teachers are then bound to punish students of color more than their white counterparts, and this is treating the children unfairly. However, the teachers may not know that this is unfair because they have not taken time to know these students and their cultures and ethical standards to treat them as a separate group instead of punishing them based on the bias which is then seen as unfair (New York State University, 2008). This unfairness would be overlooked when it comes to children who are of the same class or culture as the teacher because the teacher might excuse it as being fine because that is how they are socialized in their culture. The only way a teacher will know that they are acting unfairly is only if they take their time to research about the background and origins of each of the cultures represented in their classroom.

Thirdly, the other challenge is that of the classroom environment in the sense that the classrooms are set in such a way that they have posters, for instance, depicting stories of the white people and maps of America instead of the content of the world. The teachers should, for instance, have maps of the world instead of maps of just the state they are in as this would show some disparity (New York State University, 2008). The content should also be tailored in such a way that it depicts the whole array of cultures in the classroom such that for instance examples given in a lesson are not just about one culture.

Cultural Challenges and the Conflict Theory

Conflict theory indicates that inequalities in society occur as a result of the different cultures and statuses people have in society. A classroom that has different cultured students depicts different cadres of people in the sense that people of color usually are at the bottom cadres of society while their white counterparts are in the higher social classes. The teachers would be more inclined to treat the white students with more upper hand gestures as compared to the students of color (Bojczyk, Shriner & Shriner, 2012). When it comes to the first challenge of stereotyping, the children from the other cultures other than the white students are the ones that stereotyping mostly applies to and as such they are the ones who are bound to lose academically. When a teacher makes a stereotypic example referring to the Asian American students, for example, the students will be thinking about that example and how to counter it instead of listening to the class content. When such divisions happen in the class, there is bound to be a conflict where the teacher might be questioned by the administration and even the parents for not being culturally aware.

Piaget's Preoperational Stage and Cultural Challenges in the Classroom

Children in the preoperational stage, according to Piaget, are not able to see or think in other people's perspective and viewpoints and they can break down content in such a way that they are intuitive and ask many questions to understand the world dynamics (Bojczyk, Shriner & Shriner, 2012). At this stage, the children are bound to be affected by the things people say around them. For this reason, children in a class that has cultural bias form a teacher would ask so many questions and get upset for instance if they keep getting punished while their other classmates do not get punished if they do mistakes the same as theirs. If a teacher, for instance, keeps giving toys to particular students who might unconsciously be the teacher's favorite, the kids will notice and will ask about it which is the whole reason why the teacher should be very cautious and be willing to learn about different cultures in order to treat each child in the classroom accordingly.

How to Address the Cultural Challenges in Class

The teacher should first and foremost know that there are other cultures besides what they prescribe to and this way they will be open to learning other cultures (New York State University, 2008). The teacher should take their time to learn about every culture that is represented in their classrooms and beyond in a bid to avoid cultural biases in class. The teacher could take time to visit the children in their homes and to interact with their parents and this way they will learn so much about the different cultures (New York State University, 2008). It is essential also for the teacher to make the classroom environment to be all-inclusive such that the material displayed in class such as charts and maps is all-inclusive.


Teachers' curriculum when training the teachers does not address the issue of how the teacher should handle the diversity, and the teacher is then carefully filtering their content in case they say one wrong thing that does not resonate with some of the students. The only way a teacher will know that they are acting unfairly is only if they take their time to research about the background and origins of each of the cultures represented in their classroom. There should be more efforts made to prepare teachers to handle culturally diverse classrooms.


Bojczyk, K. E., Shriner, B. M., & Shriner, M. (2012). Supporting children's socialization: Adevelopmental approach [Electronic version]. Retrieved from Tolerance. (n.d.). Culture in the Classroom. Retrieved November 25, 2018, from

Teaching Tolerance: York State University. (2008). Culturally Responsive Classroom Management Strategies.

Retrieved November 25, 2018, from New York State University:

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Essay Sample on Cultural Diversity in Classrooms. (2022, Oct 23). Retrieved from

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