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The Tilford Group

What are the educational benefits of a diverse learning environment?

Here is a partial list:

  • students (and faculty) are introduced to more issues and perspectives: knowledge, strategies, applications
  • students are more willing to examine (and re-examine) their personal perspectives and values; learn more about themselves
  • students are exposed to ideas and points of view that they disagree with or do not understand in a safe (non-hostile) environment
  • students and faculty gain a clearer idea of how cultures process the same information in different ways and how all information is deeply culture-bound
  • students learn ways of reshaping issues, new ways of reading classroom material, new learning strategies, and are more creative in their approach to learning in general
  • students learn and come up with new research topics
  • students learn and practice new ways of collaborating in class
  • students gain an “increased capacity for tolerance, respect and concern for others”
  • students’ stereotypes about important issues in academic disciplines are more often confronted
  • students’ social and political stereotypes are more often confronted
  • students acquire an enhanced ability to think creatively and in more complex ways, use more higher-order cognitive thinking skills, acquire more intellectual maturity
  • students are able to adapt more quickly to a broader range of learning environments