Creating a culture that recognizes differences in a positive manner is a key element of good teaching and an important strategy for making every student feel safe and secure while encouraging learning.
By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT
Last month, we discussed ways to encourage critical thinking by using executive summaries and abstracts. This month and next, we will focus on issues of difference and diversity. In some ways, these topics are a natural follow-up to discussions of critical thinking since teaching about differences and diversity is about changing or broadening people’s minds and actions. It also helps them improve their perceptual and assessment skills.
Differences and Diversity
Increasingly, the membership of our classrooms has changed to include a wide range of students from all kinds of backgrounds and with all kinds of interests. The fascination of the culinary world and its prominent status, on the one hand, and the recessionary economy, on the other, has brought students into our programs who might never have been there before. In fact, the range of differences among our students can include any of the following (in alphabetical order to point out that no one difference is more important than another):