Multiculturalism in Schools
Due to the establishment of global relations in terms of business and learning, different cultures have been forced to merge and form entirely new backgrounds that are not related to any specific ethnic group. Globalization has led to multiculturalism and coexistence of people from opposite ends across the globe calling for understanding and hospitality from the involved parties. In this paper, I will take the time to explore how teachers and school management teams have taken it upon themselves to sustain hospitality and ensure that students from different cultures coexist. Schools are the facilities where people learn the backgrounds of others and learn how to live with each other without frictions. Thus, multiculturalism can fundamentally be inculcated in the minds of young people when studying in schools. Once the students grow up, it will not be a challenge to coexist with others. From the discussion, it is evident that individual cultures are losing grounds due to coexistence, hence coming up with a generation of people who do not have any background or tradition. A grand tradition is coming up which does not have any sense of cultural background or identity as a unit but helps people to live together in harmony.
Multiculturalism in Schools
Teachers are the custodians of multicultural studies and training since they are the ones who are entrusted with the responsibility of bringing up children both educationally and socially. Multicultural education is a platform for shaping the world’s view on ethnicity and background-based discrimination. Teachers in schools have the most crucial responsibility of ensuring that they bring up individuals who have respect for other cultures and can coexist with people who are different from them regarding background. This makes teachers the most fundamental element of the transmission relevance of cultural and ethnic diversity as well as trains students how to deal with cultural challenges. Equality between different cultures must be initiated by the person in charge of the group, who is the teacher supposed to adjudicate in the matters raising conflict. The most fundamental question is how to make different people coexist despite the challenges that come with diversity in cultures when they are brought together. Coexistence between people of different backgrounds has been enhanced and continues to receive support from multicultural lessons in school.
An emphasis on the studies and the incorporation of multiculturalism into the curriculum can help in improving positive socialization behaviors among school children (Chinn & Gollnick, 2009). The significance and impact of culture on learning as well as the behavior of students is natural and should be addressed through the appropriate activities and knowledge of backgrounds. James Banks and McGee Banks (2010) argue that a well-structured multicultural education model brings an acceptance of respect and adoration for all cultures in our pluralistic society. Therefore, it fosters positive self-regard and respect for one’s cultureand inculcates positive attitudes towards other people’s cultural foundations and beliefs. According to James Banks and McGee Banks (2010), exploring diversity and similarities among cultures ignites and nurtures the understanding, appreciation, and respect for one’s cultural heritage as well as other cultures. It fosters coexistence and harmony between people of different backgrounds.
According to James Banks and McGee Banks (2010), the principles of interracial education foster close working relationships between students in schools, adults in towns, and estates as well as offices and other public utilities. To provide consistency in expectations and mutual support, people have to be accommodative of each other regardless of their differences in cultural approaches (Frankenberg & Orfield, 2007). The use of positive role models from the society is valuable and integral in fostering multicultural education in schools. It is fundamental to note the diversity of cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds of the students in school. In different classes, the teacher works with diversity to support multicultural education since different people have to learn differently to understand the basics. For instance, in social studies class, a lot is done in exploring different social setting in different countries. This helps students to realize what is done beyond their borders so that they can learn to respect diversity and appreciate what is achieved by others.
Countries can be classified based on the resemblance of their cultures and traditions (Olson-Edwards & Derman-Sparks, 2010). In a reading class, the teacher reads different stories to the students and initiates discussions on the themes of those compositions so that learners can understand how different cultures respond to particular situations. The schools that support diversity accept students from different cultures, countries, and backgrounds and incorporate them into the learning system without classification (Banks & Banks, 2010). According to Tatum (2004), the only allowed ranking of students in schools by law is based on the use of their academic performance as well as other competitions held in the school for the purpose of learning. Schools also hold international events each year for the sake of keeping students closer to their culture as well as showcasing what each background can offer in comparison to others. Such events help students in appreciating other cultures and understanding that their way of life is not superior to others.
Teachers are required to treat students equally in all the activities unless one has physical challenges and thus demands more attention than others. This helps in making the students understand that no one is more significant that others and there is no difference regarding cultural backgrounds as far as learning is concerned. During class activities, students are given the same time to complete the tasks; when study groups are required, students are mixed to help strengthen the bonds of coexistence among diverse cultures (Gollnick & Chinn, 2002). For instance, a social science teacher may wish to give a discussion group an assignment on the topics about a particular culture and engage even those students who do not belong to it thus enabling them to find out more. This helps in making people learn about other cultures and take the time to compare what they thought was true with the facts from the findings. For instance, a Japanese student sitting in a class in New York, USA, may find it interesting to study about African culture from a small tribe in Senegal or Nigeria.
The difference in environments and the cooperation between those who know and those who are learning something for the first time is what builds positive relationships among students with the difference in culture. Maintaining diversity is a difficult task, especially when students have to be taught how to relate and ignore their differences (Powers, 2006). This is why teachers are trained on how to administer multicultural education so that they can set the limits. It would be unfortunate to teach students embrace differences and make them forget their backgrounds (Chinn and Gollnick, 2009). Teaching them how to understand other cultures does not amount to a full transfer of beliefs and change of background, but means respecting others with their differences at the same time maintaining who you are. School policies require that students enrolling in a school should visit the institution before the beginning of learning so that they can have time with their teachers and peers to familiarize themselves with the place. Gollnick and Chinn (2009) say, “In schools, social justice requires a critique of practices that interfere with equity across groups.” This is to mean that there has to be an independent party so as to make all groups cooperate.
Each day, students have various activities that are coordinated by different leaders so as to give every member of the group the chance to lead. This is a mechanism for maintaining equality and instilling the culture of submission to each other despite the differences in backgrounds. Teachers have the responsibility of ensuring that every student respects the leaders selected to head a project or an assignment; this way, they can grow up knowing that every culture can lead and be led by others to eliminate the feeling of superiority. Oakes and Lipton (2003) claim, “Class size also matters since the number of children in a classroom limits the amount of time that the teacher can spend with any one child.” This calls for a teacher to be equally attracted to the issues of children without spending more time with some of them and neglecting others.
Governments have enacted reforms in terms of the laws governing schools so as to address the challenges brought forth by multiculturalism (Banks & Banks, 2010). However, the introduction of culture classes has made students adapt to the environment of mixed backgrounds and live with others in harmony. Students are taught courtesy with standard measures in order to make them coexist with each other without frictions (Pianta & Stuhlman, 2004). For example, an Asian student may not request for something the same way as a European or African student in the same class. This gives the teachers an extra work of ensuring that the standard measures of courtesy are taught so that when the students are left on their own, they can be able to behave well in terms of decorum. This makes the institutions of learning crucial and central in the struggle of making the world standardized regarding cultural understanding. People who have not been in a school with different cultures may find it difficult to coexist with people who are brought up differently from them (Oakes & Lipton, 2003). This creates avenues for friction and misunderstandings between people of different cultures.
Discrimination based on racial differences is the manifestation of people who refuse to coexist due to the diversity in cultures and stereotypical understanding of people’s traditions (Stephan & Vogt, (Eds.) 2004). If the world was to embrace multicultural education and make school-going children the first batch of standardized culture generation, the menace of discrimination would be reduced if not eliminated. For example, a person traveling from America to India for business may find it challenging to understand the lifestyle of Indians during the time he/she will be in that country since the cultures of the two places are different. The difference in culture comes with dressing code and even the food consumed. This is what the governments is trying to implement in schools so that students can learn what people from other parts of the world do, wear, and eat among other things.
Unfortunately, some of the teachers entrusted with the responsibility of passing the training between generations have ill feelings about some communities thus ending up being masterminds of racial and ethnic discrimination. For instance, a teacher in a class can give an example of some evils conducted by people and attach it to a particular community or race, hence, portraying that race as a group of evil people. This might be taken wrongly by the students and eventually become a genesis of friction between the involved parties.
Coexistence of people of different backgrounds is enhanced through multicultural lessons in school. Multicultural education is termed as the new method of bringing coexistence between people of different backgrounds. Since students are the fastest people to learn new things, schools have implemented platforms through which different cultural traits are taught and expressed for understanding and appreciation. For the efforts of the educators to yield positivity, students have their role to play as well. Learners must admit that they are the beneficiaries of the whole process; therefore, they need to adopt it with positive attitude. Teachers are the custodians of this transition from ethnic to a global setting where culture and traditions are not determinants of success. Students have to be taught how to respect and appreciate diversity so that the coming generations will not have a reason to discriminate against each other due to their background. With support from researchers and theorists, education administrators have a reason to believe that the multicultural education is an underlying platform to help the world eliminate racism and ethnic profiling.