Some people view diversity as a nebulous and intangible descriptor, a court-ordered societal mandate or, in some cases, even unconstitutional. In truth, diversity is an invaluable asset and in the financial sense has an unlimited ROI. We live in a competitive and interconnected global society; not in the small, homogenous and insular communities that many may perceive. Diversity has always been America’s greatest asset! Diversity is a necessary precondition to our democracy and has provided the impetus for engagement in the full kaleidoscope of “American culture”.
In this series: “Is Diversity Really Needed?”, I will address the importance of diversity in (1) Schools – Prek-12th, (2) College Admissions, (3) Business & Commerce, and (4) International Relations.
Diversity in schools (PreK-12th): Learning in a truly culturally, ethnically, racially, socio-economically and visibly diverse school community is a valuable asset in a global society where local as well as international communication are essential. Does diversity really matter? Does it really matter if a child interacts with another student or a faculty member who is socio-economically, ethnically, culturally and racially different? Perhaps it is not important to some. However, studies show that interacting with others who are different can bring new ideas, benefits and advantages. Diversity improves the way children think. It inspires independent thinking and intellectual risk-taking.
By disrupting conformity and insularity, racial and ethnic diversity prompts and enhances students’ analytical and creative thinking, problem-solving, cultural and communicative intelligences and cognitive development and performance. A diverse school environment, not one of homogeneity and sameness, has been proven by studies to improve the learning environment for children.
Diversity contributes ingenuity, creativity, cognitive friction and intellectual vibrancy to a school community. Schools are entrusted with the responsibility of preparing students for tomorrow’s world. Exposure to different cultures, ethnicities and races and learning to respect them is a formative experience for children in a world where cultures are more than ever interdependent and interconnected. How will an adult interact with different cultures and appreciate other ethnicities and races if he/she has been culturally isolated or developed and learned misconceptions as a child? Diversity precludes cultural-intelligence and competitive disadvantages.
Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs. He also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools.