A teacher’s methods of education is an incorporation of cultural background and past educational experiences. Since different students succeed through different teaching methods, it is crucial that schools provide as much of a variety as possible. To be able to achieve a wide level of variety, teaching programs at universities must make efforts to diversify their student bodies. Diversity in teaching program translates to more methods and approaches to teaching, which ultimately benefits the student. In Degrees of Change: UConn Increases Diversity in Teaching Programs, Enright states that “UConn and the Neag School of Education have made a concerted effort to increase their minority student population, with the long-term hope of closing the gap that exists now in classrooms.”
Student bodies at university teaching programs directly affect teachers in the school system, so diversifying the programs will implement a wider variety of teaching methods in the school system. While some may claim that aiming to diversify university student bodies sways the admissions committee’s emphasis on merit and merit-based admission, any institution would be fulfilling its mission of educating successful and impactful individuals by diversifying its programs. The academic merit of incoming teaching students is important to succeed in the program, but it does not guarantee the execution of a beneficial teaching method. This is where diversity comes in; competitive students from different cultural backgrounds will implement more beneficial teaching methods, which is preferable to the public image of the university.
Moreover, students tend to benefit from the presence of teachers from a similar cultural background; it provides a feeling of understanding and safety. Even students from different backgrounds as their teachers can benefit from a diversified teaching style and other approaches to students. According to Enright, “They respond when they are supported by teachers of a like race. It’s not just students of color, though. Research supports that all students, no matter what race, benefit from having teachers of color”. The presence of diverse teaching and student bodies at any school is vital to the success of all students, so universities should be encouraged to diversify their teaching programs.
Keren Blaunstein is a weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.