Diversity is at the heart of today’s education debates. Often, school policies and programs designed to encourage and embrace diversity are met with public ire and a deep misunderstanding of how diversity serves learning. This work explains how diversity is an essential element in classroom settings. As children from around the world continue to pour into U.S. classrooms, an understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity in its broadest sense moves to the foreground. In a post 9/11 world, the benefits of understanding diversity take on urgent meaning.
The introdutory chapter, Participating in Democracy Means Participating in Schools, sets the tone for the discussion to follow. As the geographic backgrounds of immigrants becomes increasingly diverse, religion must be added to previous discussions of race, ethnicity, and language. Thus, the need for the public to understand how shifts in population affect schools, makes this work a vital resource for anyone concerned with education today.