Diversity Matters: The Beauty and Power of Difference
Diversity in education matters, and it plays an important role in Pearson’s mission of helping people make more of their lives through learning. Our differences give us unique perspectives that can enrich our learning, work, and lives. This blog post is part of our Diversity Matters series exploring different perspectives on why diversity matters in education. For more commentary and resources on the importance of diversity, visit our Diversity and Access website.
Why does diversity matter in education? It matters because it affects all of us and it’s a topic that may be uncomfortable to talk about, but that’s the great thing about diversity. It helps break down barriers and gets to the root of our problems. The more diverse a group is, the greater the potential for us to learn more about one another through these uncomfortable discussions.
Diversity gives people a voice. Diversity empowers people to be expressive without feeling outnumbered. It allows us to raise a hand in disagreement with a majority of our peers while presenting the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. Diversity can alleviate pressure to follow the norm. A norm is a socially constructed concept which forces so many people to hide who they are so that they could blend in. Diversity matters in education because no one should have to feel embarrassed of who they are. Diversity gives people confidence and makes them proud to share who they are.
Children always have the wildest imaginations which make each child special. But what if tried to suppress that imagination? It would be like stripping away a part of their identity. And yet, that’s precisely what we do when we try to suppress elements of others’ identities—skin color, gender, age—when they’re different from our own. No one was born to hate someone else simply because they don’t look the same, so why do we let ourselves behave this way as we grow older? If we were taught to be nice and respect others as kids, why do these rules no longer apply as we enter adulthood? What benefit does one get from putting down others?
Diversity gives people the ability to hear. Diversity matters in education because it builds understanding and helps people make educated opinions and judgments. Being a part of a diverse group enhances everyone’s potential to be successful. Diversity allows people to be creative. If we limit diversity in the classroom or anywhere in the world, then we limit the potentials and opportunities that could occur. The great thing about diversity is that not only does it make each individual special and unique, it also allows us to apply a different perspective to any situation. So if we can listen to what one another has to say and focus on the good that each of us has to contribute, we can tune out the negativity that so often comes from ignorance and misunderstanding.
Diversity lets people see the world. When people are more educated and embrace diversity, they learn to make judgments based on a person’s actions and words and not by their appearance. By being open to learning about one another, we can reduce the fear and negativity in this world. People fear because they do not know and make the same mistakes because they do not learn. In a more diverse learning environment, we learn more from one another and the more people know, the fewer the problems that would occur. But not to forget, diversity does not mean that in order to uplift one group, we must push down another. Diversity is about seeing each other as equals but accepting each other’s differences. After all, what would be the point of getting to know one another if we were all the same? What would be the point of traveling halfway across the world to find the same things you can find a block down your own street? What’s the point of anyone remembering who you are, if there wasn’t anything about you that made you different? That’s why diversity matters.
About the Author
Wilfrid Laurier University • Waterloo, ON
Mina is a student at Wilfrid Laurier University pursuing a degree in Business Administration. She is a self-motivated individual and is very excited to be a part of Pearson’s Campus Ambassador program. As a PCA, she enjoys helping students and faculty on her campus. During her spare time, Mina loves to explore the city and check out all the local coffee shops in her area. She’s not exactly sure what she wants to do in the future, but she’s not afraid of trying new things.
Learn more about the Pearson Campus Ambassador program.