We are living in a small world. At no point in our history, we had such quick access to so much information. But this also means that ignorance is becoming less and less of a virtue every day. Our exposure to people from diverse races, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, has increased exponentially. The multicultural education of young children prepares them to respectfully co-exist in this increasingly diverse environment. It plays a vital role in shaping their understanding of the different cultures they encounter. It informs their interactions and influences how they perceive cultural diversity (University of Washington, 2012).
What is the goal of multicultural education?
The first and most obvious goal is to encourage the values of openness and acceptance towards people belonging to different cultural and ethnic backgrounds (Koppelman, 2011). Multicultural education focuses on nurturing admiration and appreciation about diverse ethnocultural heritage, in young minds.
Children are imbibed with greater knowledge and understanding about how to behave in a more culturally responsible manner. They acquire skills to navigate various cultures. They learn about societal evils like racism and discrimination, and how to stave off those.
How can multicultural education accomplish these goals?
Multicultural education focuses the most upon the knowledge inequality that currently exists. This lack of access to education can be attributed to the absence of social justice and equity in our society. Multicultural education advocates for better opportunities for learning, especially for those who are marginalized based on the color of their skin, or where they come from.
Multicultural education plays a crucial role in forming a public opinion by leading the debate and discussion on topics such as- educational, economic and social equity. It can shape public discourse through advocacy, position papers, policy statements, press releases, and other strategies. It separates itself from conventional wisdom to look beyond for fresh vein of thoughts and ideas (The National Association for Multicultural Education, 2020).
Here is a resource for Multicultural Education for schools
Multicultural education is transformative to our society as it fixes the fundamentals. By providing a multicultural education to our children we can guide them to become better and more responsible adults tomorrow. Brick-by-brick we can build a more equitable socio-economic world.
Koppelman, K. (2011). What Are the Goals of Multicultural Education?
University of Washington (2012). Multicultural Education: Goals and Dimensions
The National Association for Multicultural Education (2020). Mission, Goals, & Objectives