Educational Resources for Teaching Cultural Diversity and Inclusiveness

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Our classrooms are culturally diverse with students coming from different racial, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds. Diversity is a pedagogical strength that we should draw on to prepare culturally responsive spaces where students learn and thrive. Cultural diversity is indeed our bulwark against a number of social ills including  racism, bias, sexism, homophobia, ableism, discrimination, among others. 

Cultural diversity

Being culturally aware means "recognising and understanding that we all have different values shaped by our diverse cultural backgrounds. What we consider to be 'normal' behaviour in one country can be entirely different in another." It is only through embracing the ethos of cultural awareness that the world becomes a more inclusive and a safer place to live in. 

To help you educate students on the importance of cultural diversity, equity and social justice, I curated for you these interesting resources to check out. These are websites that provide a wide variety of educational materials to help you prepare inclusive classrooms where students learn to value their differences and embrace their diversity. 

1- Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture offers tons of helpful resources to introduce students to our world's rich cultural heritage. Students can get access to knowledge and stories curated from over 2000 cultural institutions from 80 countries. "From the suffragettes who fought for women’s rights, to performing arts at the Paris Opera, to NASA’s archive of stunning images, discover stories about our cultural heritage. It’s your doorway to explore the art, history, people and wonders of our world."

2. Cultural games by Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture offers a number of interactive games designed specifically to help students (and anyone else for that matter) learn about world cultures and broaden their cultural perspectives. These games include What Came First, Cultural Crosswords, Puzzle Party, Visual Crosswords, and Art Coloring Book. 

3. Common Sense Education

This section in Common Sense Education features over 30 tools and websites that you can use with students in class to open their minds and "get them to reflect on their own privileges, and help them better understand other people, perspectives, and cultures. Some of these picks will also cultivate students' perspective-taking and integrity, putting students on the path to social change and activism."

4- Learning for Justice

Learning for Justice features curated resources to teach students about concepts related to social justice and equity. Resources offered touch on diverse topics including: race and ethnicity, religion, ability, rights and activism, bullying and bias, gender and sexual identity, immigration, and more.

5- The National Museum of African American History and Culture

The NMAAHC offers resources to help students learn about the African American culture through interactive exhibitions. The museum "was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members."

6- Country Reports

Country Reports delivers content regarding culture, language, religion, history, geography, economy, food, and more on each country of the world. Simply select the country of your choice and click to access its information.

7- The World Factbook

This resource from CIA provides "basic intelligence on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, environment, communications, transportation, military, terrorism, and transnational issues for 266 world entities."

8- The World's Digital Library

The World Digital Library offers a treasure trove of materials to teach students about the world's diverse cultures. These include: "historical documents including books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, prints and photographs, sound recordings, and films."

9- Equity Literacy Institute

The Equity Literacy Institute offers free and downloadable resources designed by EdChange and the Equity Literacy Institute touching on topics related to multiculturalism, equity, and social justice.  

10- So Just

So Just provides access to primary source documents on social justice. The site's collection features  "historic speeches, songs, poetry, and manifestos on human rights and social justice. So*Just is a free resources from EdChange and the Equity Literacy Institute."

11- Macmillan Education Cultural Awareness Collection

Macmillan Education offers this selection of courses to use in class to teach students about cultural awareness.