Teaching Tolerance in Schools
March 10, 2013
Teaching Tolerance in Schools
Schools today have a responsibility to educate our children. This also means to teach students respect and tolerance. This does not always happen at home and we cannot count on their parents teaching their child to respect all things. Students today have a bigger diverse group of people and cultures that they need to respect. It makes sense that as educators we help them to discover a world that is bigger than themselves.
Tolerance to me is being mindful of people and creatures around you, respecting yourself and others, being open minded. There is what many people call “narrow minded people” in this world. People, who think their race or culture is above all, or the color of their skin or where they are from, how much money they have, are better than other people. When these people have children and they are going to pass on their beliefs to them. Hate breeds hate. As an educator I feel that it is my duty to help open the minds of my students and allow them to think for themselves. Show them a world that is bigger than their own. There is so much more to life than right now in their small town or big city. Students deserve to dream big and feel that they will make a difference. In order to do that, they need to understand that everyone comes from a different background and different culture. Activities that we like to do ourselves may not be okay to do in another culture. Things that we eat some, cultures are not allowed to eat. This is okay and we need to respect that. We need to teach our students to be well rounded individuals and this means to understand and be tolerant of other people and cultures.
Recent studies have shown that young children, ages 4 to 9 years old show that tolerance education is the most effective with this age group. Children are like sponges, they want to learn they thrive to learn something new. This is a great way for us to reinforce different cultures and the diversity of the cities, states and world (Strategy: Diversity and Tolerance Education in Schools, 2013). Sending home a class newsletter stating what is being taught in the classroom, what is coming next, what the students have already finished and special project and field trips can be published in the newsletter. This is something the parents can read and go over with their child. Hopefully, bringing the parent into their child’s world and getting them involved. Parental involvement is the key to the education of our students. There could be some resistance with some parents or guardians, especially if they believe something that we are teaching goes against what they believe. Sending home the newsletters will help the parent to stay in the know about what is going on in the classroom and if they have questions or concerns they can direct their questions to you and hopefully not their child. Keeping parents on the same page and letting them know what is going on in the classroom will help them understand and they may even learn something from their child.
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, “understanding ultimately leads to greater tolerance. Instilling critical thinking, creative role-playing, and cooperative learning have proven effective teaching tools.” (Strategy: Diversity and Tolerance Education in Schools, 2013). Teaching tolerance in elementary schools reduces the incidence of hate crimes, racism, discrimination, and bigotry (Strategy: Diversity and Tolerance Education in Schools, 2013, para. 1). Students look up to the teacher and they need to see equality from us as well. I cannot stand in the front of the class and teach my students one thing just to show them by my actions another. This will confuse them and they will never learn the meaning to equality. Actions speak louder than words. Giving the students my respect and listening to what they have to say will...
References: Macioci, B. (2013, Winter). The Virtue Project: Promoting a Culture of Civic Virtue in
Our Schools, Independent School, 72 (2), 60-66
Open Minds to Equality, (2013). Rethinking Schools. Retrieved from
Pearson Education, Inc (2005). Introduction to the Foundations of American Education,
Thirteenth Edition, Retrieved from University of Phoenix, AED 200.
Strategy: Diversity and Tolerance Education in Schools. (2013). National Crime
Prevention Council, retrieved from http://www.ncpc.org/topics/bullying/
Understanding Prejudice, (2002-2013)
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