A diverse student body can consist of students from various ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our schools are filled with minority students, international students, students with different home lives or past experiences, English Language Learners, and students with differing cultural and religious backgrounds. Educators must effectively respond to
Second, teachers should be open and flexible to new ideas and cultures, and promote diversity in the classroom. Most students in Islamic schools share a similar trait that instantly promotes a sense of unity amongst the student body - they are all young Muslim Americans that
need support to develop confidence in their identity. However, students’ cultural backgrounds vary greatly, which thus requires teachers to value each students’ unique cultural values and traditions. This also requires educators to promote inclusion of student cultures into the course curriculum for effective instruction that will further enhance students’ social development.
Educators must be also be mindful of how they implicitly view and explicitly treat their students, ensuring that they eliminate teacher bias. Students should develop a worldview and be well informed about histories of unfairness and inequality, how to distinguish fact from fiction in regards to stereotypes, and how to respectfully and appropriately inquire about religion, culture, race, and identity (Center for Interreligious Understanding, 2011). Teachers can incorporate discussions on covert and overt discrimination and prejudice, and challenge students to eliminate preconceived notions and stereotypes they may hold about various cultures. Educators must teach about sensitivity and respect towards those that hold different values and come from different backgrounds, and can do so by including examples from the Qur’an and Sunnah. In order to create an enriching learning environment that celebrates cultural differences, teachers must understand and appreciate students’ different cultural strengths.