Preparing students for a diverse society and global economy requires exposing them to different cultures and experiences.
Developing empathy, which includes understanding what others think and do and appreciating the emotions and experiences of another, builds the skills necessary for an inclusive environment. Empathy can help build a diverse society, but it can’t be gained by reading a book or studying it. Instead, it’s acquired through experiences, sensitivity to differences and unique traits, and understanding another person from his or her point of view.
Research has shown organizations higher in diversity continually make better decisions with better results. According to a Forbes Insights report, diversity in the workplace allows for greater innovation. A global marketplace relies on diversity and companies often spend resources in empathy training for their employees in order for diversity to thrive. Those who already have this skill set are set up for success.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, a growing body of research shows that diversity in schools and communities leads to positive outcomes in school and in life. Racial, socioeconomic, physical and mental ability contributes to a diverse population. Throughout our public schools, diversity is celebrated and inclusion is fostered. An inclusive environment is a pillar of public education as evidenced in the requirement to educate all students.
For parents, if their child is exposed to other cultures and skills while recognizing the value of all people, their child is building character through empathy. That child is more likely to be prepared for success in the workplace and society. Check out how some of our local schools celebrate diversity and foster a culture of inclusion:
The Harlandale ISD Special Education Department welcomed families, students, administrators, staff and community members to it’s annual What’s Next? Symposium held at the Centro Fitness Ballroom on March 1.
The free event presented more than 55 services and resources available in the community for families and individuals with disabilities. Some of the participating organizations included Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG), Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWS-VRS), Kinetic Kids, Mission Road Development Center, Special Olympics, and Jamie’s Ranch.