Lecturers and other class tutors often concentrate on the bottom line and deal with strategic concerns, which are crucial to the overall functioning of a classroom. On the same note, teachers are usually mandated with the responsibility for implementing numerous school rules, such as guidelines to comply with regulations. They must deal with several conflicting internal organizational requests.
Most learning institutions in the current generation are crowded with individuals from various backgrounds and age groups. The proliferation of students in a learning institution today makes it challenging to be an effective lecturer and to integrate culture into the lecture room.
Conflicts, misunderstandings, language barriers, discrimination, and many other issues are brought on by differing beliefs and origins. To be an efficient yet comprehending lecturer in a diverse classroom environment, one must be curious, open-minded, a good mentor, and a communicative leader.
This article will discuss the various strategies for integrating culture into the classroom environment.
1. The lecturer should be charismatic
Being a charismatic tutor is crucial in a classroom environment, especially if you want to integrate culture. The relationship among the students will be more efficient if communication sets expectations and the tutor knows what to anticipate from the students.
Indeed, there is a mental understanding between every student’s interaction, and the lecturer is responsible for speaking with each employee with the primary objective of understanding their perspectives. Each student has differing needs.
For instance, whereas some only want to make friends and create a great social life, others desire to score the best academic grades and secure well-paying job opportunities.
A leader should understand the different anticipations for each student to increase motivation and effectiveness once they know these specific expectations. In essence, the leader should be charismatic and try to understand each student’s expectations to integrate culture into the classroom successfully.
2. Avoid making assumptions
Ignorance is one of the things that often make people start offending or disrespecting someone originating from a different culture. Sometimes, an individual might think they have a good understanding of a certain culture, whereas the truth is that they are basing their thoughts on assumptions and stereotypes.
Lecturers should constantly remind the students that different people are likely to experience different cultures differently. It would be wrong to think that people from the same region share a common culture or beliefs. An effective strategy for integrating culture in the classroom entails avoiding making cultural assumptions, especially when interacting with individuals from a different culture.
Instead, an individual should take a bold approach and request the other person to tell them about their everyday life, customs, and traditions. This way, you will avoid making assumptions and annoying people with different cultural beliefs or behaviour.
3. Maintain sensitivity regarding language concerns
Technological advancement has significantly revolutionized students’ learning experience. In the current generation, students often have the option of enrolling in virtual classes; hence, they rarely have time to meet physically with their colleagues or even the lecturer.
It is vital to note that in the traditional classroom environment, most learners that are not native English speakers, in most cases, feel pressured, lost, and marginalized, especially when it comes to neglecting their original language in favour of English. One of the effective ways of integrating culture into the classroom is ensuring there is a diversity of languages and that all instructions in the classroom consider non-native speakers.
4. Expose the students to different cultures
One of the fascinating things about experiencing different cultures and interacting with different people is that it aids in changing a person’s worldview and makes them more sensitive to the different cultures. Students should be encouraged to travel to different places and learn the culture of the people residing in those areas.
If possible, students should be allowed to travel to areas different from where they are used to. Fortunately, most high learning institutions have abroad programs and other foreign exchange programs, which makes it possible and less difficult for the students to learn about other cultures.
While studying, an individual can surround themselves with people they do not interact with or are not used to. As a student, you could also consider joining an international club, volunteering working in a local immigration centre, or offering charitable work.
The good thing about interacting with individuals from different backgrounds and lifestyles is that it could be an eye-opener for you to become more sensitive about people from other cultures.
5. Respect boundaries
The lecturer must constantly remind students to respect boundaries to integrate culture into the classroom. People should never forget that people often have personal boundaries, which should be respected. Even if you are comfortable with a person, you should be cautious with how you speak to them or address certain issues.
When you are meeting with someone, especially one from a different culture, you should consider taking the relationship slowly and avoid making conclusions or doing things that could make the other person uncomfortable. For instance, you could avoid asking them intimate questions, visiting them inside their homes, or doing things that will make them uncomfortable.
Learning institutions are mandated to teach students how to synthesize their cultural differences effectively. Collaborating with people from different cultures will significantly enhance professional and personal growth in the diverse world.
The beauty of having a culturally responsive curriculum is that it will significantly aid learners, especially those from minority racial and ethnic backgrounds, to develop a unique sense of identity.
Teachers and parents can play an important role in assisting students in embracing each other’s differences and not focusing too much on cultural differences. In essence, students should be taught and constantly reminded of the importance of respecting people from different cultures.
Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.