Cultural diversity in schools improve minority students’ sense of belonging

Washington: The culturally diverse populations in schools might be a key factor in determining the grades and builds a sense of belonging among minority students, reveals a study.

The study was published in the Journal ‘Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin’.

“Approaches that ignore diversity, with rhetoric like ‘I don’t see color’, or those that reject diversity, such as banning headscarves, may intend to minimize discrimination, but in reality, these approaches can be harmful to marginalized groups,” said Dr Laura Celeste, lead author of the study.

The study assessed the policies of about 60 middle schools with a total of 1,747 minority and 1.384 majority students’ belonging and achievements to their schools, which they reported themselves after a year of study.

The study revealed that the minority students had a less sense of belonging (M=3.52) and also they scored lesser grades (M=59.28) than those in the majority, who reported their belonging with the school to be M=3.70 and grades, M=63.14.

On the other hand, the schools that thrived on multiculturalism policies saw their minority students reporting higher grades by the end of the year.

The study points at the high school students who feel less connected to their schools were at risk of disengagement, underachievement, and early school leaving, with lasting consequences for their future life chances in our post-industrial economies.