What is culture?
What is culture? This is rather a vital question to be understood so as to appreciate the different racial societies worldwide; and be aware of how to avoid cultural bias.
Therefore, culture can be holistically defined as “ encompassing language (considered to be man’s oldest and most polished ways of expression); arts & sciences (the most advanced and refined forms of human expression); social activity (system of values passed down from generation to generation; thought (the ways in which people perceive, interpret, and understand the world around them; interaction (the social aspects of human contact, including the give-and-take of socialization, negotiation, protocol, and conventions); and spirituality (value system transmitted through generations for the inner well-being of human beings, expressed through language and actions)” (Banks & Banks 2009).
Multicultural education can be termed as instructions related to education premeditated and whose intentions are to encompass different cultures unique to several cultures within a given education system. Since its earliest beginning in the 1960s, there has been a notable evolution of this model both theoretically and practically.
Consensus building acts as the vital foundation of this educational concept for both teaching and learning. Multicultural education is mainly driven by the need to foster cultural pluralism within racial societies; and building respect. This educational concept recognizes and integrates positive racial idiosyncrasies to the classroom environment (Lynch 1986).
How “multicultural education could address cultural differences and cultural bias in an educational setting?”
Multicultural education could address cultural differences and cultural bias in an educational setting as it focuses purposely on transformation of the classroom atmosphere for both teachers and students.
This concept of education acknowledges that every student irrespective of racial/cultural dissimilarities must be provided with an equal opportunity to go for their goals and achieve them depending on their full potential and capabilities. It also makes students aware that they should be prepared to involve themselves adeptly in an ever increasing intercultural society (Lynch 1986).
Teachers on the other hand are also made aware of their need to be at all times equipped to facilitate learning for each and every learner (student) effectively irrespective of the cultural differences or similarities that are present. A further way that multicultural education can be able to address cultural differences is the way it makes it obligatory for schools to be centers where the ending of all forms of repression is actively and passionately taken up by all participants.
These forms of oppression can be done away with by first putting an end to oppression within their own walls, then by grooming socially and critically active and aware students.
Both students and teachers should be made aware of the fact that education should be made more entirely student-centered and all-inclusive of student experiences and voices. As a final point, educators, activists and all relevant bodies involved in educational matters need to take an active and more vigorous role in the reexamination of all practices pertaining to education among both teachers and learners
Validation of findings
Numerous researches and studies carried out have found out that cultural differences and cultural biasness in an educational setting are mostly as a result of ignorance, fear, ignorance, and personal detachment. Therefore, tutors must be prepared themselves and their students for the everchanging challenge of mingling and conversing with various race groups. Multicultural education could reduce panic, unawareness, and personal impassiveness.
A re-examination of the graphic organizer
Given the state of schools in America and the profundity of microcosm of cultures within the education sector, it is important for a teacher to fully grasp an understanding of personal beliefs on what culture is all about and how to embrace and incorporate multicultural education in his/her classroom. Cultural awareness, understanding, and acceptance is principal in understanding the sensitivity of cultural differences among students in cultural values, norms of the different culturally diverse families, students come from.
A teacher is therefore required to be able to use this understanding to create an environment that is geared towards avoiding cultural biasness in school. He/she should also be committed to respecting these differences based on their own personal preconceptions about cultural differences and cultural bias.
This research has shown that the need for creating one village/environment that is conducive for learning for everyone is vital. Therefore it is up to every individual within the school to play his/her part to avoid cultural bias. I feel that this new understanding will help the teacher to relate well with students and have an easier time in teaching them what they have come looking for and on their part; the students will appreciate both each other and their teachers (Banks & Banks 2009).
Banks, A. J., & Banks, C. M. (2009). Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Lynch, J. (1986). Multicultural education: principles and practice. New York, NY: Routledge.