Multiculturalism and Education
v Multicultural education refers to any form of education or teaching that incorporates the histories, texts, values, beliefs, and perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds.
v Multicultural education is predicated on the principle of educational equity for all students, regardless of culture, and it strives to remove barriers to educational opportunities and success for students from different cultural backgrounds.
v According to Elkin Multicultural Education is the philosophical concept which advocates all children should have an equal opportunity to learn in school, regardless of the children's race, social, class or gender.
v The National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) defined multicultural as a philosophical concept built on the ideals of freedom, justice, equality, equity and human dignity.
Purposes of multicultural education
v Ensure equal educational opportunities for entire students.
v It strikes a balance between cultural assimilation and cultural segregation.
v It provides a platform for the articulation of common concern and helps in achieving democratic values.
v Multicultural education is a process that permeates all aspects of school practices, policies and organization as a means to ensure the highest levels of academic achievement for all students.
v It helps students to develop a positive self-concept by providing knowledge about the histories, cultures, and contributions of diverse groups.
v It prepare all students to work actively
The goals of multicultural education
v Creating a safe, accepting and successful learning environment.
v Strengthening cultural consciousness.
v Strengthening intercultural awareness.
v Teaching students that there are multiple historical perspectives.
v Encouraging critical thinking.
v Preventing prejudice and discrimination.
Multicultural education in schools
The following are a few representative ways in which multicultural education may play in schools:
v Learning content:
Texts and learning materials may include multiple cultural perspectives and references.
v Student cultures:
Teachers and other educators may learn about the cultural backgrounds of students in a school, and then intentionally incorporate learning experiences and content relevant to their personal cultural perspectives and heritage.
v Critical analysis:
Both educators and students might analyze their own cultural assumptions, and learning materials.
Multicultural Education in India
v According to Chakra arty (2001) it is two aspects:
Ø To make education effective and
Ø To ensure that education is available to all children in India.
v According to India’s constitution, article 21A:
Ø “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years.”
v At present, Indian children, depending on their family’s status and wealth, may attend one of three types of schools:
Ø Private schools
Ø English medium schools
v Children in India’s schools are taught to analyze information and to think critically.
The National Curriculum Frame work (2005)
The National Curriculum Frame work (2005) for the multicultural education in India, the following items should be developed:
v Strengthening a national system of education in a pluralistic society.
v Reducing the curriculum load based on insights provided in 'Learning without Burden'.
v Systemic changes in tune with curricular reforms.
v Curricular practices based on the values enshrined in the Constitution, such as social justice, equality, and secularism.
v Ensuring quality education for all children.
v A renewed effort should be made to implement the three-language formula, emphasizing the recognition of children's home language(s) or mother tongue(s) as the best medium of instruction. These include tribal languages.
v The multilingual character of Indian society should be seen as are source for the enrichment of school life.
Benefits of multicultural education
v Helps to eradicate prejudice and racism.
v Brings different races together in harmony.
v Builds interaction between diverse cultures.
v Creates tolerance between two groups.
v It eradicates cultural barriers.
v Helps students develop positive self-image.
v Allows multiple perspectives and ways of thinking.