Respect for diversity, equity and human rights are for everybody.
All students should feel safe and welcome at school, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, first language or other identifiers. Groups of people can be diverse in their race, religion, spiritual beliefs, culture, physical ability, mental ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, education, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, family status, socio-economic circumstance, profession, language, health status, geographic location, group history, upbringing and life experiences. Alberta’s student population is very diverse, and teachers play a vital role in supporting students and developing strategies that show we value diversity
Diversity competency is the ability to respond respectfully and effectively to people, families, and communities of all backgrounds in a way that protects and preserves their dignity while valuing their differences, similarities, and worth.
These strategies can help create a classroom and school environment that celebrates diversity:
- View diversity as a strength.
- Integrate diversity themes throughout the curriculum to help students relate their lives and issues to classroom topics.
- Promote a flexible learning environment by recognizing the different learning styles among students.
- Develop teaching strategies that complement different learning styles.
- Educate yourself about the diverse issues of students and their families.
- Respect qualities and experiences different from your own.
- Make your school and classroom free of negative jokes and comments. Address negative comments and jokes from students immediately.
- Use inclusive and affirming language.
- Affirm gender and sexual diversity.
- Modify the physical environment to include symbols of diversity and acceptance.
- Encourage students to develop attitudes, knowledge and skills for recognizing and addressing stereotypes, bias, unfairness and discrimination.