Multicultural education has been implemented in my school in a number of ways. It all began with a rigorous policy change of the institution. This was necessary because multicultural education cannot do well when conventional learning ideals are fully preserved (Wasonga, 2005). The implementation of multicultural education demands a thorough process of change within a learning institution. Second, the management of the school has made every attempt to hire members of staff who are culturally diverse so that they can set the right pace and background of multicultural education. In addition, my school has embraced capacity building and training programs in order to boost the cultural competence of the hired staff. Cultural competence is a vital ingredient in the implementation phase of multicultural education. Through capacity building on cultural competence, teachers in my school are now capable of accommodating experiences, perspectives, and belief systems that are diverse in nature. Educators in my school are equally able and willing to explore controversial subjects that emerge within the learning environment. Some of the controversial discussions that teachers are allowed to discuss in my school include ageism, classism, religious intolerance, sexism, and racism.
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Dr. Nieto describes seven main characteristics of multicultural education. Some of these include critical pedagogy, social justice, outreach to families, basic education for all children, and anti-bias. From the example of multicultural education implementation in my school, it is apparent that capacity building and training of educators in order to enhance cultural competence is closely related to social justice. The practice of social justice is also embedded in cultural competence because, in both cases, the desire for fairness is the main paradigm. Besides, hiring members of staff who are culturally diverse is tantamount to anti-bias because learners might not be handled with a skewed perception of one ethnic or racial group.
The current multicultural education program in my school can be deemed to be very effective, bearing in mind that the learning environment is no longer profiled alongside ethnic or racial lines. For example, staff members are mixed from various cultural backgrounds. As a result, there is no chance for certain stereotypes to flourish. When people from diverse cultural backgrounds work as a team, it is possible to harness harmony. The same state of unity and borderless cultural practices are transferred to learners in classroom settings. Eventually, bias is significantly eliminated within the learning environment. In addition, the cultural competency program is an effective instrument that promotes an all-inclusive climate for every person (Nieto & Bode, 2008).
From the above reflection, it is necessary for teachers to raise their awareness, develop skills, and re-examine their roles in order to support and affirm all students. First, teachers can improve their cultural competence by understanding themselves in a better way. It is not possible for teachers to appreciate other people or cultures if they do not fully understand themselves. They should be in a position to explore their individual beliefs and value systems as well as their own historical roots. Second, teachers should be ready to learn the practices and belief systems of other cultures. Teachers often interact with learners from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the only way to understand learners from unfamiliar cultures is to learn about them. It is also the duty of teachers to ensure optimum interaction with learners and colleagues from diverse cultural backgrounds. Finally, teachers should lobby their respective departments to take part in diversity-focused conferences so that they can sharpen their skills on cultural competence (Canfield-Davis, Tenuto, PJain & McMurtry, 2011).
Canfield-Davis, K., Tenuto, P., Jain, S., & McMurtry, J. (2011). Professional Ethical Obligations for Multicultural Education and Implications for Educators. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 15(1), 95-116.
Nieto, S., & Bode, P. (2008). Affirming diversity: The socio-political context of multicultural education. Boston: Pearson.
Wasonga, T. A. (2005). Multicultural education knowledgebase, attitudes and preparedness for diversity. The International Journal of Educational Management, 19(1), 67-74.
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