The problem of discrimination still seems to be a serious problem in several country. Why are some country currently experiencing a crisis of tolerance toward diversity? Perhaps the answer lies in the importance of multicultural education. So what is the theory behind multicultural education? Let’s watch the discussion together.
Understanding Multicultural Education
Multicultural education is education that instills the importance of respecting heterogeneity, whether ethnicity, culture, ethnicity, etc.
This education includes education that must be applied to children from an early age so that they can grow into a generation that is tolerant of diversity. Multicultural education can be provided directly by schools through teachers, or it can be carried out by parents at home.
Multicultural educational goals
Certainly, every education has a noble aim that is expected to improve people’s quality of life as well as multicultural education. The objectives of this training are as follows.
• Maximizing the role of schools in dealing with the diversity of their students.
• Train students to have a positive attitude towards the diversity of ethnic groups, ethnic groups, cultures, and groups that are different from them.
• Sharpening of the social competence of the students in the interaction in a heterogeneous environment.
• Teach students the importance of diversity and how to respect differences.
• Train students to practice peaceful living in diversity.
Functions of multicultural education
The functions of multicultural education are as follows.
• As a step towards character strengthening of the students.
• As an attempt to teach students that conflict is always there so they can encourage positive behavior amidst diversity.
• As an effort to promote the importance of maintaining the integrity of the nation, which includes diversity.
Benefits of multicultural education
The advantages are as follows.
• Pupils can be creative without fear of discrimination.
• Learners are trained to respond to different variations in the environment.
• Students are motivated to become agents of social change who can later eliminate racism and ethnocentrism.
Multicultural education concept
According to the founder of the University of Washington Center for Multicultural Education James Banks, the basic concept of multicultural education is that every student should be given equal opportunities regardless of differences in conditions, whether ethnicity, culture, gender, or others. You have the right to equality in all aspects of education.
For example, a teacher must give equal attention, direction, and guidance to all students in the class. The application of this concept in schools should be able to prevent acts of discrimination in the future.
The more generations that understand the importance of keeping the peace, the less likely it is that discrimination will occur, whether based on race or ethnocentrism.
Dimensions of multicultural education
According to James Banks, this formation has five dimensions. These dimensions can help teachers respond to the differences in their students because they are related. The dimensions in question are as follows.
A. Dimensions of integration
The integration dimension is a dimension that encompasses the teacher’s ability to integrate several different materials to achieve the same keywords. The results of this integration then flow into the curriculum with the addition of multicultural materials.
This dimension is aimed more at students. Students’ understanding is influenced by the knowledge they receive.
C. Dimensions of prejudice reduction
This dimension is dimension that includes the teacher’s role in eliminating various prejudices about a race, religion, or ethnicity. This means that teachers must be able to shape the positive behavior of their students towards heterogeneity in schools.
For example, a college student is racist toward a friend of different ethnicity. In this case, the teacher needs to be able to deflect this view by mixing it with a discussion of the beauty of diversity and group differences.
D. The dimensions of education are the same
The same dimension of education is manifested in the frequent development of collaboration between teachers and their students. This dimension is difficult to reach when the teacher is still used to competitive behavior.
E. Dimensions of strengthening school culture and social structure
This dimension cannot be done immediately, but it is easy to do if teachers and students are always actively involved. Teachers must be able to reinvigorate any culture of students from different groups in the classroom.
In addition, these cultures are organized into a social structure identical to the characteristics of the school.
Principles of multicultural education
To be easily implemented into students’ learning lives, this education must be guided by the following principles.
• Have a diverse curriculum design, where the curriculum can represent the views of many people.
• There is not a single interpretation of truth in history.
• Curriculum achievements should relate to comparative analysis from different perspectives.
• Maintain the eradication of beliefs about race, ethnicity, culture, and religion.
From some of the points above, we certainly understand why there is still a crisis of tolerance toward diversity in some countries. The next generation, the spearhead of civilization, does not seem to care about the importance of implementing multicultural education in social life.
On the other hand, we know that this world contains different tribes, ethnic groups, religions, and cultures. If this diversity is not accompanied by strong multicultural education, it is vulnerable to discrimination, racial/ethnic bullying, and so on.