Incorporating International and Multicultural Perspectives into a Diversity Workshop for Faculty at an Urban University University Name Incorporating International and Multicultural Perspectives into a Diversity Workshop for Faculty at an Urban University Introduction Diversity is all around us…
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Diversity, in years gone by, was not embraced. In fact, it was often shunned to the point where the country saw many colleges and universities rise to the level one race, one religion, and one culture. To continue with this practice would not only be an injustice to students around the world who have come to cherish our individual freedoms and liberties, but it would service to deny faculty and the student body alike the privilege of learning in a multi-cultural environment. Understanding and accepting people of other cultures and beliefs do not have to be a daunting task. It simply requires compassion and a desire learn from and embrace others. Our university might be small in number, but we have the capacity to develop a cultural awareness that rivals institutions much larger than our own. Our own faculty is diverse, yet we have failed to tap into this reality. We should be making use of our broad range of professional and military experience in order to better understand the diversity existent around us and to use the knowledge to impact our student body as well. This training program has been developed with our faculty in mind. It will focus on the instructional methodologies inherent in multicultural education, and it will create a sense of global awareness amongst us all that we must be conversant with the latest educational issues, diversity, and multicultural theory. It is in so doing that we will truly become a global institution who can make a positive impact in the field of education, while embracing multicultural diversity and becoming more accepting of each student and staff member who passes through our illustrious halls. Purpose There is no mistaking that the world is becoming increasingly diverse, yet this same diversity has not been reflected in the field of higher education. According to Hill, et. al (2011), only 10% of earned Doctorates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are represented by minority groups (p. 20). This not only leaves a great gap in these critical fields, but it indicates a troubling trend. If universities cannot embrace multicultural education, then society will be losing out on valuable learning opportunities moving forward. This purpose of this training workshop is to reverse this trend by providing faculty members with the tools necessary to incorporate multicultural education into the classroom, thereby encouraging diversity and an exchanging of scholarly and academic ideas across cultures. Embracing the diversity amongst us, a further purpose of this workshop will be to share various pedagogical techniques with one another that will serve to enhance our own multicultural understanding. Our students are increasingly coming from a diverse background and we must work together with all students to foster an atmosphere of understanding and respect. This begins with the faculty, each of who has valuable experience to draw from in the field of diversity education. Embracing all people does require, to some extent, a shift in our way of thinking and the methods that we employ in our disciplines. It has been noted by some faculty members at other institutions that, “Fundamental and sustainable change is possible, given the right combination of vision, compromise, and commitment” (Grogan & Vaz, 2003, p. 35). It is this primary need for change that forms the basis for this
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