Education in Today’s Diverse Society: A Sociological Approach

By Barbara Sposet.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the past ten years, the K-12 classroom has changed dramatically in the United States. Institutions of higher education engaged in the preparation of teacher candidates have responded by enhancing their current curriculum with new/revised courses focusing on this diversity. The paper will focus on the uniqueness of an undergraduate, three-semester-hour education course at a small, liberal arts college in northeast Ohio. While students explore eight distinct areas of diversity, the course also requires the completion of a community scan as well as a non-school service learning field experience. Both activities provide students the opportunity to recognize the human variety of experiences, the challenges of living in a diverse world, and the impact of this diversity in the classroom setting. The paper will include data from a sample of 22 students (instructor’s section) as well as recommendations from the presenter/instructor for institutions seeking to implement a similar experience for its teacher candidates.

Keywords: Cultural Diversity, K-12 Education, Sociological Perspective

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp.69-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.261MB).

Dr. Barbara Sposet

Associate Professor, Education, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio, USA

Dr. Sposet is an associate professor of education at Baldwin-Wallace College. Working with three other colleagues, the division developed its diversity course entitled “Education in Today’s Diverse Society” with the first section being taught in spring, 2008. Since then Dr. Sposet has worked with the two other professors who are piloting the course in the development of rubrics to assess the community scan and non-school service learning field experience. Her background interests have focused on diversity as she is bilingual in Spanish, is a former high school and college instructor of Spanish and has traveled, studied and lived in multiple Spanish-speaking countries. Dr. Sposet is the author of a 2003 Edwin Mellen Press book on the role of foreign language study and the development of culture learning. She also developed a one-hour elective for education majors entitled “Communicating with Spanish Speakers in Educational Settings” which will be offered for the first time in fall, 2009.

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