The teachers must be able to provide a classroom environment
that validates the culture of immigrant students and at the same time promotes an understanding of Canadian
culture, in particular the culture of the Ontario classroom. The school and teachers are concerned about the immigrant student's
success at school. (*http://educ.queensu.ca/~cte/fal/ideabank/Lloyd-DiversityArticle.pdf)
A student coming from a different cultural background must feel comfortable in the classroom and other students
must be able to relate to his culture. This will help the all the students to appreciate their own and others' cultures thereby
helping them building their self esteem and accomodation capabilities. Students will learn to respect diversity and treat
everyone equally. Teachers use different teaching strategies to include differences in the classroom.
During the course, I read many articles on inclusions and the students (in the course) participated
in a discussion on how to include all the students from multi-cultural backgrounds in a classroom.
There were some great ideas shared and I had contributed to the discussion too.
I would like to share some of my ideas on inclusion in the classroom which I shared at the board.
I have been in Canada for last three years and was fortunate to work in two different schools.
Students come from different cultural backgrounds in these schools.
Some of the strategies that I have used in making the classroom culturally diverse have worked well.
Apart from posting relevant posters on classroom walls I used to run a door decoration program for every new festival of a
culture. For example if it was Diwali or Eid or the Chinese New Year, the children would decorate the door of the classroom
on that particular theme. All the students would participate in door decoration. Thus, all the children would learn about
the festival. Children who celebrate diwali would narrate in the class about how they celebrate it and other children would
write about what they liked the most about that festival. I have seen non-hindu students selecting and borrowing
on Diwali from the school library after the door decoration and a small discussion on various festivals in the class. Greeting
card making competitions in the class of their favourite festival during Art and posting them on the students' display board
also helps . I have seen teachers telling their students to bring food related to their culture during the school parties.
I haven't insisted on this myself though, but I guess this is not a bad idea to suggest the students. Everyday in the class
just after O' Canada, there would be a presentation by a student. It could be just a poem or a song or a speech based on a
schedule. Once a week, a student would talk about his/her culture or country in the class. The students could make it more
interesting by presenting pictures or bring their costumes that they wear during functions etc. Children and parents equally
and I myself learned a lot about different cultures and countries. As I was reading in one of the websites
how an Edmonton school has developed the policy of involving immigrant parents in life of the schools. At the same time some
school have 'The school Harmony Committee' involving teahcers, vice-principals and students of the school.
Some more ideas like organizing multicultural fairs, food festivals at school also help students
understand and respect each other's culture and customs.
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