The Value of Diversity As this week’s Learning Resources attest to, the United States is more diverse now than it has ever been, and this

The Value of Diversity   As this week’s Learning Resources attest to, the United States is more diverse now than it has ever been, and this trend will only continue in the future. However, the multicultural society that exists today does not necessarily guarantee that children and adolescents grow up in diverse environments. Many towns, cities, neighborhoods, and schools around the country remain relatively homogenous, whether it be racially, ethnically, religiously, socioeconomically, or all of the above. Children who grow up on Native American reservations, or in ethnic enclaves such as Korea Town or Little Italy, for example, may have little exposure to children of other races and ethnicities. Youths who attend religious schools might be less likely to make friends with children of different faiths. Yet, at the same time, children and adolescents’ awareness of and exposure to diversity remains a priority for many parents, caregivers, teachers, and community leaders. Some parents, for example, intentionally move to ethnically diverse neighborhoods and enroll their children in schools with diverse ethnic, racial, and religious make-ups. Teachers often infuse multiculturalism into their lessons or encourage students to study foreign languages. Exposure to concepts related to diversity and to diverse environments is considered, by many, to have significant, inherent value, particularly for young people. In this Discussion, you will consider what specific benefits exposure to diversity can bring to children and adolescents, and given these benefits, what place diversity should play in their lives. Reflect on the following:     •Do you think exposure to diversity benefits children and adolescents in measurable and/or significant ways? If no, why not? If yes, why, and what are these benefits? What challenges might children and adolescents who are not exposed to diversity face that others may not?    •Given your thoughts in response to the question above, how do you think the issue of diversity should be approached by parents, caregivers, teachers, and/or community leaders? For example, should parents seek out diverse environments for their children? Or, is living in an ethnic neighborhood or sending children to a religiously-affiliated school simply a way to embrace one’s own cultural identity? Is there a middle ground?    With these thoughts in mind, follow the instructions below to post your response to this Discussion topic.   By Wednesday:   Post an explanation of your thoughts on the value of diversity in the lives of children and adolescents. Explain to what extent you think growing up in a diverse environment and/or being exposed to diversity at a young age benefits children, and why. In light of these thoughts, explain how you think the issue of diversity is best approached by adults who care for and work with children and adolescents. Be sure to use the Learning Resources to support your response.

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