Barbra C. Cruz: Article Analysis

Decent Essays
No matter the grade level, discussing and acknowledging diversity can be one of the most beneficial experiences a student has within the classroom. Not only does it force them to address who they are as individuals, but it also brings forth curiosity for education based topics such as history and literature. However, when speaking with a classroom (especially a classroom of young students), diverse subject matter requires a careful and thoughtful approach. Examples of this approach, as well as proper facilitation, are both outlined by Barbra C. Cruz in her article, The Problem We Still Live With (2015).
The article opens to a 5th grade class eager to begin their lessons and literature on topics involving segregation and civil rights.
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Each stage of growth and education can produce their own forms of diversity and opinions because older students get, the more curious they become about who they are and what their purpose is (Cruz, 2015). Keeping this in mind, it is key to trigger critical thinking and produce activities accordingly. In a high school social studies class, for example, students were charged with the task to provide text evidence from U.S. documents either proving or disproving their opinion on whether every person living in the United States should be credited with the same basic rights regardless of legal status or language ability. The next class, a healthy debate ensued. Students used their research to generate conversations rather than arguments. As conducive and successful as this example is, it wouldn’t have been possible without the right guidance. To borrow from the research of C. R. Ellerbrock (2014), teachers need to institute and manage a classroom environment that upholds diversity and promotes civil dialogue.
Overall, the theme of the article reads as a strong message for teachers to keep diversity in the classroom rather than shying away from it. Students who engage in diverse conversation are generally more accepting then students who haven’t been exposed to such a free environment. So while it’s understood by all involved what a challenge it can be, the benefits couldn’t be clearer.
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