Britain has always prided itself on being a multicultural nation and has never been regarded as a ‘mono-culture’. Throughout past decades Britain has seen an influx of and the formation of different cultures and communities, with it bringing a variety of influences such as foods, music, technologies and skills.

Due to the forever changing landscape of the country, it is important for teachers and practitioners to take note of these changes and arguably these should mirror your practice within the classroom. Being aware of developments should not be too taxing as a teacher, by simply keeping up to date with current affairs and being aware of curriculum changes within your subject can all help to promote and value diversity within your own subject.

A key benefit of embedding diversity, is that it will promote interest and understanding within your classroom and this in turn, ultimately promotes understanding and unity with your learners.
Here are some tips on how to promote equality and diversity within your classroom.

1. A news starter activity - Start your lesson with an interesting picture or quote from current affairs. This could be a ‘quiz’ style question, where learners test their knowledge of the story. Try to make this relevant to your own subject, perhaps a famous writer has received an award? By keeping current, you will encourage your learners to reflect on the achievements of a range of people from different backgrounds.

2. Resources - You can promote equality and diversity through resources by making them inclusive for everyone. Within your resources, include a range of pictures and examples of people from a range of backgrounds within a number of different career roles. By demonstrating an inclusive approach, you will make learners understand that any career pathway is accessible to them.

3. Diversity days and religious holidays - Keeping up to date of upcoming events which celebrate diversity will help promote understanding with your learners. Events such as Black History Month  and LGBT celebration dates, will make you more aware of developments.

4. Speak to your learners - ‘Honesty is the best policy’, talk to your learners about how they would like Diversity to be celebrated within the classroom. Perhaps they have had a previous learning experience where a teacher has promoted diversity themselves. Try to discuss how to encourage diversity within the classroom and how your learners would like to see this promoted.

5. Challenge negative attitudes or stereotypes - When a learner does make a comment which is inappropriate for the classroom, challenge their opinions and ask them to expand on their points of view. By challenging a learner, it requires them to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings and ultimately may change their outlook and perceptions.

6. Promote legislation (Equality Act 2010) - A simple way to promote equality and diversity is to promote the Equality Act 2010. The Act promotes the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation).

7. Debates and discussions -  Debates can help encourage your learners to demonstrate their critical thinking skills. It will also encourage the discussion of complicated topics calmly, clearly and competently.  Debates allow for learners to formulate their own points of view whilst listening to others. Sharing points of view can celebrate diversity and promote understanding of learners backgrounds.

8. Play Music - A key way to promote diversity within the classroom is to play music from different backgrounds and cultures. Music can create an interesting ‘hook’ at the start of a lesson or can be relaxing for learners during the middle of a lesson.

9. British Values - As important as celebrating diversity and other cultures is key to creating an inclusive classroom, it is important not to overlook the British values of; Democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance.

10. Guest speakers - A way to engage your learners is to arrange for guest speakers to deliver a talk regarding their career background. A key benefit of guest speakers is that it can provide ‘variety’ to your lessons and encourage learners to reflect upon their own career path. When organising a guest speaker, try to get learners to come up with questions to ask the guest speaker in advance.