What is multicultural education? Why do we need it? What are the benefits of multicultural education? In this article, I will cover everything. Keep reading to find out.
With the growing number of fields and colleges on both the local and global levels, students can now pursue their subjects of interest in foreign institutions, which are well-equipped with course material and offer successful careers.
Due to this, many students have travelled abroad to study at prestigious institutions, creating a diverse community of students. This varied population of students includes students of all ages, demographics, races, cultures, and languages.
So, providing students with enough exposure to various cultures has become vital in a constantly changing environment. Multicultural education helps students overcome racism, appreciate ethnic diversity, and interact more efficiently with their classmates.
What is Multicultural Education?
Multicultural education is a new and advanced teaching methodology that focuses on establishing equality values among all students, regardless of their various races, backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and nationalities.
Importance of Multicultural Education
It facilitates the integration of the histories, values, and various points of view of all student groups in a class. Multicultural educational approaches assist in ensuring that all students have equal access to academic opportunities, regardless of their social and language abilities, academic performance, or behaviour. Additionally, it aids in removing obstacles that arise in a multicultural classroom.
It is a progressive strategy for changing education based on social justice. Furthermore, it aims for impartial acceptance and disclosure of all cultural identities within a class. Global acceptance of other cultures and competing perspectives has increased over the past century, and multicultural education helps further strengthen this trend.
What are The Benefits of Multicultural Education?
Students can learn to value people from various backgrounds and cultures by participating in multicultural education settings. Students are less prone to form biases towards people of other races or nationalities if they can learn to accept cultural differences at a young age.
So, I am going to describe the key benefits of multicultural education.
1. Exposure to a Variety of Cultures
A multicultural classroom is useful because it enables students to find out about the cultural origins of their classmates. Students have the chance to share and discuss their unique traditions in a classroom where there are many people from different countries. Students are encouraged to engage with many communities by participating in the numerous international festivals that are celebrated on campus.
2. Promotes Intercultural Interactions
Students from many cultures are allowed to connect and communicate through multicultural education. Due to their lack of familiarity, students may isolate themselves from other cultural groups; they may not be aware of their backgrounds, traditions, beliefs, or areas of similarity and difference.
Due to the tendency of the groups to distance themselves, there is a high possibility of “othering” in this situation, which results in an “us and them” mentality. Promoting multicultural education may eliminate some of the misconceptions that students hold about particular cultural groups and help them lose some of their negative associations.
3. Encourages Tolerance and Acceptance in A Classroom
Students who receive a multicultural education are better equipped to connect, communicate, and promote tolerance and acceptance with peers from other backgrounds. An annual Multicultural Day can be held to involve instructors, students, and parents, and to provide an opportunity for socializing over food, and sports, wearing traditional clothing, and listening to regional music.
4. Develops A Positive Mindset Regarding Cultural Issues
The main lesson that students must take away from their education should not only be what they learn in the classroom, but also how they may apply it to their personal experiences and current circumstances.
Through multicultural education, students can develop their critical thinking abilities on topics related to cultural and social issues, such as “institutional racism, classism, sexism, ableism, ageism, and homophobia.”
Textbook knowledge may be necessary for exams, graduation, and scholarship applications, but more significantly, information must be transformed into systematized knowledge systems and applied to real-world situations so that students can become change agents and use their knowledge to improve society.
5. Helps Building International Networks
Numerous businesses have expanded internationally as a result of increased globalization and lowered trade barriers. Multicultural education encourages students to network from the very beginning of their education.
In addition, it encourages them to create a network of reliable contacts that can aid in the development of successful careers and lasting friendships. Additionally, there are many internship opportunities available all over the world to broaden the network.
6. Advanced Equity in Education
Because each student is an individual, treating everyone similarly does not guarantee that students’ needs are being met properly. Equity pedagogy is one component of multicultural education. To compete with their classmates, some students require additional help from their teachers and the school.
For example, students whose primary language is not English may struggle to understand even the most basic classroom tasks. They may not be doing well in a particular subject as a result, not because they are not trying hard enough, but rather because they are not receiving the right kind of help from the school.
Students from different cultures face particular challenges in particular educational environments. To assist these students in overcoming these problems, it is not sufficient to provide equal opportunities to all students; teachers must also provide specific assistance to pupils so they can achieve higher academic results.
7. Aids in Teaching and Respecting Multiple Perspectives
The multicultural classroom gives students from many cultures the chance to share their different perspectives, experiences, and thoughts with the class. Educators are urged to incorporate learning experiences and content that are related to their respective cultural heritage. It also emphasizes developing cultural awareness through engaging in various activities.
Through multicultural education, students will be better prepared to engage in personal, social, and civic actions. These are needed for citizens in a democratic, diverse community when they study the nation and the globe from the viewpoints of the many communities affected by historical and current events.