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Teaching in a Diverse Society

As a nation, America is becoming more and more diverse. Looking at the 2010 Census, it is clear that while the United States stands as "one nation, under God," the diversity of our populace continues to grow. This diversity is reflected in our classrooms and schools. Teachers now work with students representing a variety of different backgrounds, religions and traditions.

In this module, we will examine teachers' ethical responsibilities for working with students from diverse backgrounds and with students who hold varying belief systems. We will also explore the potential conflicts engendered when your personal or the school’s values conflict with those held by your students.

From the News

The video on this page is about a news report from Georgia, a history teacher was placed on administrative leave after several students wore Ku Klux Klan robes to school as part of a project in her class.

Discussion Questions

  1. Teachers believe that they have educational freedom when developing lessons for their students. Was it appropriate to allow the students to wear Ku Klux Klan robes as part of a classroom assignment?
  2. Do you feel that harsher punishment was warranted? Should a teacher be suspended for her instructional decisions?
  3. The teacher says at the end of the video that given the chance she would do things differently and would tell students to film the KKK re-enactment on their own time. Do you feel this is an appropriate instructional decision?

Video Example