BENEFITS OF MULTICULTURALISM EDUCATION
Research showed that brain storming session in culturally diverse groups produces higher quality of ideas. Hence, multiculture are mental resources. Mental resources means the learners who have different knowledge, ideas and experiences when teacher teach a topic, he may use experience of the learner whose cultural experience relates with topic.
PROMOTE COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
Cognitive development refers to use and change in memory, thinking, reasoning, imagination, information processing etc. Different cultural experiences and ideas are shared, evaluated analysed and synthesise. These policies encouraged the faculty to include themes relating to diversity in their research and teaching, and provided students with opportunities to confront racial and multicultural issues in the classroom and in extra-curricular settings.
PROMOTE MORAL DEVELOPMENT
Multicultural environment welcome values, ideas, knowledge traditions, literatures, customs of all cultures. It rejects melting pot. It means learners from minority need not to give up their identity. This practice itself promote good, right actions.
PROMOTE PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILL
Problem solving is level of learning according Gagne. When teacher present a social or economic or cognitive problem in multicultural class, the learners think for solution with their cultural perspective. For example, a learner from urban culture will present different solution than a learner from rural or slum background. They will learn others perspectives of thinking. It enhances learner’s ability to think from various angles. Hence, they reach a better and more valid solution.
DEVELOP DIVERGENT THINKING
Above said thinking exercise enhance divergent thinking or creative thinking. Such thinking help to reach unique and new ideas for a topic or problem. Generally, school learner think and react according their own values, rituals, habits, beliefs and perspective (culture). In multicultural environment they listen ideas according to others perspectives which develop their creative thinking.
Multicultural environment make better inter personal relationships between learners and teachers. But it largely depend upon competence and philosophy of teachers. Good teachers make better social relationships by achieving common goals, respect, appreciation, reward, maintaining equality among learners of different backgrounds.
Stereotype refers to commonly known public belief about a certain social group or individual. These are assumptions or generalisations or over simplifications about characteristics of groups of people involving gender, race, nation, culture etc. which are applied to individuals irrespective of their personal characteristics because of their affiliation to that group. Both stereotype and prejudice are based on prior assumption but it (stereotyping) is different from prejudice. Stereotype is hurtful and wrong. In some cases, it may be correct but regular use create problem and put them down. It promotes fear, hate.
Prejudice is biasness in thinking or illogical bias thinking. Prejudice led to social discrimination. Prejudice is thinking (in mind whereas discrimination is action (behaviour). Hence reducing prejudice is one of aim of education. Multicultural learning environment help to achieve this aim through direct contact and interactions among learners of diverse culture.
RENEWS VITALITY OF SOCIETY
Vitality refers to energy, liveliness, strength, life etc. In simple words multicultural learning environment provide energy, liveliness and strength of society. Learners remain cognitively, affectively, conatively and socially active. It happens when component teacher uses diversity of culture for better teaching and learning.
Multicultural Learning Environment (MLE) is democratic in nature. In democracy citizens are free to think, act, speak along with related duties. Further equality is most important value which live in Multicultural Learning Environment. Teacher in such environment is not allowed to discriminate, make bias judgement and behaviour. Rights and duties of every person (learners and teaching) go side by side. They are two sides of one coin.
Multicultural Learning Environment enhance understanding of diverse cultures. They come to know about values, rituals, religions, beliefs, perspectives, histories, living styles, with direct interactions. Teacher through various teaching learning activities (Project, discussion, debate, seminar etc) enhance such understanding.
At global level this was one of the aim of Multicultural Learning Environment. According to Banks (2004), inter-group education movement was the result of racial prejudice and discrimination. During second world war racial tension was increased. Intergroup education was used to educate people on content related to racial, national and religious groups in order to increase harmony and peace.
LEARNING OTHER LANGUAGE
In Multicultural Learning Environment learner learn words, phrases, sentence making, grammar of other languages. In Punjab, in govt. school’s learner from other states learn how to speak Punjabi language. They try to understand, read, write Punjabi.
Multicultural Learning Environment enable students to understand social interdependence. Such as at local, national and international level. This understanding again promote importance of other cultures and ultimately importance of diversity. They understand that mutual help in social, economic, political and environment areas is energy of local and global harmony.
PROTECTING MINORITY GROUPS
Some educational philosophers favour Multicultural Learning Environment because it help in preservation of Minority group cultures. Learners who are very less in number and they are ignored is known as minority group. In Multicultural Learning Environment teacher and education system cannot ignore the needs of such learners. They can share their culture, discuss their perspectives, express their beliefs and values. They are given equal opportunity to participate in cultural or co-scholastic activities with their culture.
DEVELOPMENT OF AUTONOMY
Autonomy is a quality of self-governing. It is self-directing freedom and especially moral independence. When a learner want to make independent decisions, he is looking for autonomy. Multicultural Learning Environment enhance autonomy among learners as this environment give freedom equal opportunity and equally respected involvement of all groups.
DEVELOP CIVIC GOOD
Civic mean relating to a city and the people who live there. Simply it is relating to citizenship or being a citizen who respect others, perform duties well etc. Multicultural Learning Environment develop such qualities among learners.
PROMOTE CRITICAL THINKING
Thinking that accept ideas after critical analysis of information and evidence is called critical thinking. In Multicultural Learning Environment learners receives new information and evidence about values, beliefs, religion, about other groups. This help them to reach right conclusion. Furthering discussions every culture represents his evidence-based thinking. This process increase critical thinking.
Non-main stream learners possessed relatively low self-respect or self-value or self-esteem. Equal participation in group activities increases self-esteem of learners from minority group. For example, if a teacher in govt schools equally give importance to culture of a learner from Bihar, the learner’s self-esteem will increase.
INCREASE SOCIAL JUSTICE
Multicultural Learning Environment is a step towards increasing social justice. Many groups could not get social, economic rights and justice. In Multicultural Learning Environment learners get such justice.
LEARN TO ACCEPT OTHERS
In a multicultural environment, students, teachers, and other educators learn to accept people from different backgrounds. They accept them completely and not tolerate them. It is because many people often feel that if they are being tolerated, its’ just a slap in the face so to speak.
Teachers find creative ways to make learning about other cultures. They might write across the globe or take a “virtual fieldtrip” in which they pretend to go to a faraway place. They can eat food, sing songs and play games from this country while learning about its history.
MAKE BROADER OUTLOOK
A different approach is that the learners will get a broader view of the world around them. Children and learners multicultural classrooms may feel that different languages are intriguing, depending on what they may have been exposed to at home.
Eradicating racism and prejudice and building as much interaction between all diverse cultures is one of the most important advantages of multicultural education. With an integrated curriculum, administrative support, training in regards to ignorance and personal detachment, fear could essentially be reduced on both students and teachers.
INSIGHT INTO GLOBAL ISSUES
It will allow for learners to gain insight into other global issues while at the same time. Learners will come to realize there are a number of different historical perspectives. (Garcia) Creates tolerance between two groups.
The greatest advantage of a multicultural curriculum is that it encourages understanding and tolerance between groups. Students can relate to one another in class, thereby creating harmony and cooperation. It eradicates cultural barriers.
|Dimensions of multicultural education