It is felt by many that as American schools and educators become more and more sensitive to the diversity of their community, their students can be guided to appreciate and respect these differences and to coexist peacefully. Various combinations of cultures such as African-Americans, Irish and German-Americans, Hispanics, Chinese-Americans to name a few, are learning how to work and live together while maintaining their own cultural heritage. The students of today who embrace their cultural heritage are trying to keep the values of their parents and grandparents, and still fit in with the students and cultures surrounding them. This dual search often confuses students and causes anxiety as they seek their own identity but attempt to live with other cultures. School systems and individual schools themselves can be extremely powerful agents in this process by providing insights to difficult cultural questions and issues facing students. Of course, a diverse school faculty can help by modeling behaviors that encourage classrooms to be settings where differences can be observed and studied. These same classrooms can help students begin to share, respect, and learn how to work with others. But it all starts by discovering and acknowledging individual and cultural differences and then by focusing on those things common to the group. To get a better picture classrooms that strive to be sensitive and aware four steps/stages for investigating cultural differences in classrooms have been developed and will now be discussed.
Morris, Robert C. and Mims, Nancy G.
"Making Classrooms Culturally Sensitive,"
Education and Culture: Vol. 16
, Article 4.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/eandc/vol16/iss1/art4