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SIS Semarang – A Mosaic of Learning

A Mosaic of Learning

As of 2017 the Indonesian government agency Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) reported that there were 74,183 foreign workers currently in Indonesia. Most people would assume that the majority of working expats live and work in either Jakarta or Bali, and yes, this assumption would be correct. Nevertheless, other regions of Indonesia also attract expatriates and for many different reasons. This could be dependent on the availability of resources, lower real estate costs for office space and factories, shipping, available labour force and the costs related to labour.

Taking this into account, the enrollment of foreign students in areas such as Semarang and other smaller cities in Indonesia is on the rise, greatly impacting educational and social advancement at all stages of learning. While there are considerable advantages linked to diversity in education, the results for students are contingent on how diversity is recognised in a classroom setting and as part of a school’s culture.

Understanding Diversity

Many people may instantaneously think of race when hearing the word diversity, when in fact there are many different areas which are intertwined, especially within the classroom or throughout the entire school. Religion, gender, economics and even the culture of learning may be prominent dynamics of diversity. It is essential to take each one into account when fostering true diversity in schools. Unit planners and daily lesson plans that somehow account for all forms of diversity are essential.

Better Education in Diverse Populations

An educational environment which delivers diversity among students unequivocally influences their outcome. Studies have demonstrated that students’ work is enhanced in these types of settings. When students are able to learn alongside others with quite different experiences and outlooks, this empowers students to focus and carry themselves even further, so they can keep pace with others. Ultimately this encourages creativity and open-mindedness, as well as improved education. Students with differing perspectives have the opportunity to collaborate and then together generate viable solutions. It is vital to remember that diversity goes far beyond a group of students. Diversity of parents, teachers and staff is extremely important and beneficial as well. At SIS Semarang we are extremely fortunate to have a student body made up of students from 20 different countries and a teaching staff consisting of people of 8 different nationalities.

When teachers are able to share their vast but dissimilar experiences and knowledge, everyone then has the opportunity to develop and learn. It also enables students from different backgrounds to learn from a variety of different teachers with varying backgrounds as well, opening up an entire world that may have not been exposed to before. Another benefit is that students have the occasion to identify with certain teachers more effectively, heightening their overall trust of the learning environment.

Students Feel More Comfortable About the World 

A recent study, illuminates the claim that students feel safer in school and in later life, when they are or have been educated in a diverse setting. Students are gifted with the opportunity of learning about different cultures, backgrounds and religions by merely interacting with others who are quite different than themselves. This allows them to expand beyond their comfort zone and feel safer and more in control when they unexpectedly encounter different surroundings or must engage with different types of people. The empowerment gained assists students with greater opportunities, opening new doors. When we think about developing students towards gaining an entrepreneurial mindset, being educated in a diverse setting like SIS is definitely one of the main ingredients to prosper in a 21 st Century world.

Establishing a Diverse Education

Diversity in schools is greater than merely persuading students of different backgrounds to attend a school. It requires critical thinking by leaders and teachers on how and why diversity influences education? It is our responsibility to help students to better understand that even though we are all so very different in many essential areas, we must all remain the same when it comes to showing respect and tolerance towards each other, key factors for making our world a better place.