Dealing with cultural diversity.
Since the 1960's there has been debate over whether teachers and schools are able to positively influence pupils" chances in life. Recent developments have shown that teachers can make a difference, and this is related to the skills they use in their interactions with pupils. The issue, however, is that if teacher effectiveness is problematic when they are working with children of much the same backgrounds as themselves, how can they hope to be effective when working with children who are culturally very different. In this literature review I will be using three academic sources to clearly outline the problems when dealing with cultural diversity. In the classroom with a diversity of children, there are things the teacher can do to enhance the effectiveness of instruction. The effective teachers needs to ensure not only that children succeed, but also do so in ways that maintain their cultural integrity.
Fontaine's (1992) "Managing intercultural effectiveness" is a paper which identifies some traditionally described strategies for dealing with cultural diversity, illustrates problems with those strategies, and presents an optimal outline for intercultural effectiveness and the key skills required by the strategy. It outlines the manner in which organizations can best provide programs to support their personal. Finally "it elaborates the implications of the strategy for one type of program-training" (Fontaine, 1992, p52). This is a very well written journal where Fontaine (1992) has clearly outlined many strategies to help to deal with cultural diversity. It's apparent throughout his journal that the key to success in terms of dealing with diversity within the classroom relies on the communication between teacher's and students and forming a common curricula best suited to incorporate all cultural aspects. "Intercultural interaction should not be just "screened for" or "trained for" but managed in terms of all the programs through which assistance can be provided and with the objective of assisting in developing international micro cultures for the tasks essential to success" (Fontaine, 1992, p52).