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In an increasing number of schools in many nations of the world, considerable differences exist between the demographic makeup and life experiences of much of the student population when compared with the majority of the teaching force. This is especially evident in the United States, where the majority of the teaching force continues to comprise a relatively homogeneous group while the demographic makeup of the school-age population continues to become increasingly diverse. Given that schools more than any other social institution bring together, in one small space, the wide range of individuals that make up the society at large, it becomes increasingly essential for teachers and administrators to understand the cultural contexts from which their students come, learn to communicate effectively with the children and ...

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