Diversity in Courseroom LO26980

From: gkoebelin@yahoo.com
Date: 07/10/01

Replying to LO26966 --

I am responding to a question on things to consider in order to make sure
diversity is valued in the courseroom. I am also interested to hear other
people's responses to your query.

One of the things to consider is the diversity of learning styles present
in the room. Some people will focus on visual media, some will
participate in large group discussions, while others will only open up in
small groups.

Appreciation of diversity is an interesting cultural phenomenon. We used
to think that the United States would be a big "melting pot," but cultures
in this country have managed to maintain some of their own traditions and
values, and so now we have learned to "celebrate diversity."

Synergy happens when people put there heads together--the greater the
differences among the people doing this, the greater the synergy. The
interesting thing is that, when people work together, they can create
things that would be impossible for one person to create. So, the better
people get at doing this, the more creativity and knowledge can be

When you look at diversity in this way, it is easy to see that it is what
made this a great country.

One of the things I would do to insure that diversity is respected in the
classroom is to begin with a teambuilding exercise--something as simple as
personal introductions and having people share something about themselves
helps to create an atmosphere of intimacy and lay the foundation for
mutual respect and trust.

Exercises which require a variety of skills will also contribute to
teambuilding by encouraging diverse inputs. (These exercises are designed
so that one person alone would have difficulty or would not be able to
complete them.)

Hope this is helpful!

Genene Koebelin
M.S., Adult and Organizational Learning



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