Current Trends Paper: Diversity in Education Management and Student Achievement Gap S.Duncan
University of Phoenix
Monday, February 20, 2006
Current Trends Paper: Diversity in Education Management and Student Achievement Gap For the last two decades the themes of governance and management have continuously been on the top of education policy agendas in most countries. A great number of educational problems are now attributed to bad management or inappropriate mechanisms of governance, and politicians, as well as other social factors see increasingly the improvement of governance and management as a major tool for solving educational or education related social problems (Halasz, 2003).
The current trend of diversity in education management is not just nation-wide, it is international, as stated by the above quote taken from a paper prepared for the 21st session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education on; “Intercultural education: managing diversity, strengthening democracy”(Athens, Greece, 10-12 November 2003 – Council of Europe). Multicultural Education
Diversity in education begins with multicultural education or “the ability to create equal educational opportunities for students from diverse racial, ethnic, social class, and cultural groups so that they can function effectively in a pluralistic democratic society”: this is schooling for “equity, justice, and cultural democracy” (Banks & Banks, 1995, p. xi).
Racial and ethnic diversity has been increasing and continues to increase steadily in the United States. However, socioeconomic background is the major player in school drop out rates, learning disabled designation, and the experience of educational failure. In order for schools to provide a fair and equal education to all they need to provide diversity in curriculum and in hiring.
Diversity in education could encompass the following:
• Changes in the content of the curriculum in all subjects and at all levels in order to integrate material related to the experiences and perspectives of all racial, ethnic, social class, and language groups. • The acknowledgement of the diverse influences of cultural and gender experiences on knowledge production as a means of understanding students’ ways of thinking, and the integration of these perspectives in the teaching and learning process. • The creation of educational strategies to alter students’ racial attitudes so that they will develop democratic values, including strategies to modify students’ self-rejecting attitudes as a consequence of the status of their racial, ethnic, national origin, social class, or gender group in the larger society. • Equitable techniques and methods for enabling students from diverse groups to achieve, as distinct from techniques which consider some individuals and groups as “culturally deprived” or “culturally different.” • The creation of a process for changing the culture and organization of the school so that students from diverse groups will feel culturally equal and empowered. Many educators believe that they do bring multicultural curriculum into their classrooms by celebrating black history month, women’s history month, and other culturally designated months. James Banks (1995) has designated this as “heroes and holidays.” This approach is easy to implement and little new knowledge is needed by the teacher. It is a basic approach but still has weaknesses. • By focusing celebratory attention on non-dominant groups outside the context of the rest of the curriculum, the teacher is further defining these groups as "the other." • Curricula at this stage fail to address the real experiences of non-dominant groups instead focusing on the accomplishments of a few heroic characters. Students may learn to consider the struggles of non-dominant groups as "extra" information instead of...