How Exposure to Diversity Positively Shapes Young Learners
Diversity is one of the cornerstones and key benefits of a Westminster School education. Here are all the meaningful, impactful, lasting ways diversity helps a young student on all fronts of life: academic, emotional, social, and personal.
6 Benefits of Early Exposure to Diversity
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a significant emphasis in many workplaces today, and that’s a helpful step in the right direction.
However, when these concepts are introduced and engrained from a young age, the benefits become part of the young learner rather than something incorporated into an existing mindset. The early exposure students receive as part of the Westminster community offers myriad benefits.
1. Empathy, Compassion, and Understanding
Interacting with people who don’t share your worldviews or experiences creates an unparalleled opportunity to cultivate empathy, compassion, and understanding for others.
When people of different backgrounds work, learn, and share together, especially from a young age, they learn that the similarities that bind us are much stronger, deeper, and more profound than any differences that separate us.
2. A Respect for Differences
Whether the differences are related to race, religion, economic standing, or even learning style, exposing young children to lots of different ways of living gives them an inherent respect for those variable viewpoints.
Young children learn about the world through exposure. Everything they see and experience shapes how they believe the world operates.
If all a child sees from a young age is a limited sphere of existence, that child will understand that as the norm.
Experiencing wonderful, nuanced differences in a warm, inviting, accepting setting signals to those young students that differences are valuable and something to be embraced and celebrated.
3. Fewer Stereotypes
Stereotypes are harmful and unproductive, and they stem from a lack of exposure to diversity. People create these false, reductive assumptions and then take them into real-world interactions.
Being exposed to diversity and different ways of life teaches children a more nuanced, accurate, fair view of the world and the people in it.
Rather than assuming what a subset of people are like, children learn there are no easy, coverall descriptions or characteristics that encompass any group.
4. Improved Communication Skills
The ability to communicate clearly, effectively, and empathetically with anyone you encounter is a huge advantage. It helps you navigate both personal and professional relationships with more grace, understanding, and compassion.
This isn’t an inherent ability, though. Practicing that skill and laying the foundation from an early age is a significant advantage for young learners.
5. Improved Critical Thinking Skills
A child’s view of life is shaped in the earliest days by family, friends, and caregivers. When that child is exposed in a positive way to alternative points of view, it expands and gently challenges that existing worldview.
When exposed to diverse thoughts, ideas, and ways of being, children are invited to look inward and to critically evaluate their own beliefs. They see fresh possibilities and alternative avenues of thought that might not have been considered before.
This primes the mind for the elasticity, creativity, and agility necessary for critical thinking of all kinds.
6. Ability to Navigate an Increasingly Connected World
From universities to workplaces to communities, there is more exposure to diversity than ever.
Children who were already exposed to this diversity in their schools or personal lives are better positioned to navigate those situations effectively. They already have the skills to communicate, to creatively problem solve, and to gracefully handle any resulting challenges of diversity.
Diversity at Westminster School, a Pre-K to 8 Private School in Annandale, Virginia
Diversity is not just a buzzword or a talking point at Westminster School. It remains one of the most diverse private schools available in Northern Virginia.
That diversity spans across many factors:
- Country of origin
- Economic status
Diversity is a pivotal cornerstone of the Westminster School experience. Students receive all the benefits of that exposure, but they also learn the most fundamental and important lesson. People are people.
Every aspect of the school’s curriculum guides students toward universal principles.
- Work ethic
Learn more about the school in this Westminster School profile from Arlington Magazine.
Looking for the Right Northern Virginia Private School for Your Child?
If you’re looking for a school that offers academic challenge, character development, an emphasis on the arts, and an environment that embraces diversity at all levels, learn more about Westminster School today.
Contact us to schedule a personal tour of our beautiful campus.