U.S. teachers nowhere near as diverse as their students


#1

sfgate.com/nation/article/U-S-teachers-nowhere-near-as-diverse-as-their-5452717.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld


#2

And the solution is…what?

To implement even more hiring practices based on looks, gender and mating preference regardless of actual qualifications, and then wonder why American kids don’t score as high as other countries in science and math?


#3

I’d start with a more aggressive recruiting of teachers of different backgrounds. It might also be worth trying to bring in professionals of different backgrounds into schools for a day or two.

While I certainly don’t want to support putting in unqualified teachers, there is decent evidence that students who see teachers and other successful professionals like them are more likely to think they can succeed. And the reverse - students in certain environments who don’t see people around them as academically successful are more likely to think that they can’t do well either.


#4

have you seen the new core curriculum… 18 steps to solve a simple long division problem.

IMHO: Let’s focus on getting the basics of reading, writing, mathematics, and basic social skills down and let the Jr. College and the Universities handle the diversity education.


#5

I think calling it “diversity education” misses the point of the article. The worry about diversity is not about “appreciation” or any such thing. It’s about role models, and its about having teachers who can meet the children where they’re at. Some of the problem is cultural differences - it may be harder for largely middle class white teachers to relate to inner city black kids, or to latino children who may be the first generation of native english speakers in their families. Some of it is about making children of all backgrounds think and feel like they can succeed academically, even if no one around them ever went to college or worked a job that’s not minimum wage. The concern is that these children look at white middle-class teachers and get the idea that education is for middle class white people.


#6

Mexico is right next door, and they haven’t achieved better school outcomes than the U.S., have they? even through classes aren’t taught in English


#7

I can definitely see the point of the article although I am a Caucasian and the majority of people in my town are Caucasian. We have very few racial/ethnic minorities in my town but then again, it’s a very small town too. Children do need role models and I have to agree that if they have a role model that is somewhat similar to them in one way or another, they are more likely to believe that they can succeed as well which will in turn motivate them to try their best to succeed.


#8

I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make here?


#9

I don’t understand how the suggestion will help improve school outcomes. Cultural differences are non-existent in this situation and there are plenty of role models, but I do not believe that school outcomes have been improved. You wrote that “It’s about role models, and its about having teachers who can meet the children where they’re at. Some of the problem is cultural differences - it may be harder for largely middle class white teachers to relate to latino children who may be the first generation of native english speakers in their families.”


#10

Well, I’m not white, but most of teachers have been (now that I think of it, even though I haven’t until now…:eek:) I’ve had wonderful teachers and horrible teachers. But I’ve never thought: “I’m not white, and they all are, so I guess I can’t be successful.” Never even crossed my mind. I’ve never heard this view expressed before by others either. I don’t come from a wealthy or well educated background either, and neither did most people I went to school with. I’m the first generation of immigrant parents, and so were most of my classmates (or they were immigrants themselves).

I’m sure its a problem for some, but is it really a big problem for many kids? Is this the right issue to focus on? Maybe its more of an issue in the U.S? Not sure


#11

But improved compared to what? Were Mexican classes previously taught mainly by non-Mexicans?

I don’t know whether or not increased ethnic/racial/economic class diversity among teachers would make a big difference in student achievement. That claim seems to be central to this discussion, and was even implied in the news article. Unfortunately, the news article doesn’t present any information which would back that contention.


#12

I have never understood the big deal about diversity, although it seems to be a matter of faith among some academics. If someone cannot learn because of the skin color or gender of their teacher they have more problems than the school system can deal with.


#13

Good teachers cross the barriers of outer looks. In my experience, the students are seeking teachers who invest in the student as a person, seeing him or her for who they are, and listening to the students by mentoring them. Quite frankly, this topic of “study” is offensive to teachers and students alike. Maybe focus on quality of education and what it is to be American (a diverse background of ethnicities).


#14

Unfortunately, my neighborhood is not very diverse.

I worry about my kids growing up in a school with a lack of diversity.

My oldest daughter goes to a Catholic school so I “hope” that they make more of an effort in this area.


#15

The vast majority of my teachers were female. It is an absolute miracle that I learned anything at all since I am a male. Just think how smart I would be if I had had all male teachers.:wink:

Peace

Tim


#16

This is probably a very good thing!

It gives students exposure to other races. (This ain’t a really big thing, in the end, though).

Typically Caucasians outperform blacks and Latinos. . .so perhaps the teachers may reflect this greater concern for education.

I oppose the use of racial preferences for any and all jobs. Two wrongs don’t make a right.


#17

I believe we need more male teachers.


#18

Now that I think about it, this is very true. At least for elementary and high school. But then in college, it sort of flip-flopped and I had a lot more male teachers.


#19

I am not sure what difference it makes. I went to a highly nondiverse grade school and high school. When I was in graduate school, white males were clearly in the minority, same thing when I entered the workplace. I am not sure how I would have been better off if I had attended a more diverse school.


#20

Same for me. But of course, it is amazing that either of us made it to college considering that we should have had such a hard time relating to our teachers.

Peace

Tim


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