Multicultural education is an educational field that targets at achieving equal educational opportunities for individuals from different races, ethnicities and social classes. The primary goal of this field of study is to ensure that each and every student is in a position to obtain the necessary knowledge and the skills to enable them operate properly in cosmopolitan societies. This kind of education also puts students in a position to relate and communicate effectively with people from other social-cultural groups.
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Multicultural education is different from other forms of education in the sense that apart from being based on theoretical concepts also entrenches the use of practical strategies to ensure that students are in a position to put information garnered in class to proper societal use.
This is achieved by the usage of references of heroes from the different racial/ethnic/social classes amongst the students or the inclusion of a particular holiday in the curriculum. Students who are in a position to understand why individuals from social groups different from theirs see things from a different perspective are able to meaningfully relate with these peers.
For instance in American classes, students who are able to understand that the viewpoints of the native Americans when they clashed with the Europeans is of primary importance to the American structuring story, just like that of the pioneers, are in a position to see that the various challenges encountered in their respective communities cannot be tackled from a particular point of view.
If these students are able to see that women respond differently from their male counterparts when faced with a given adversity based on their racial and social-class backgrounds aside from their gender, they can ensure that a balance is achieved in the way they handle the problems they encounter.
This therefore means that multicultural education calls for the usage of critical thinking strategies in such a way that students are able to make meaning out of abstract situations. Individuals are expected to through a lot of research regarding the different viewpoints of their peers from other social groupings such that they are in a position to grasp the complexities of social relation.
Traditionally, multicultural education has been viewed as education for minority students. This has however come to be disapproved as it has been found that in the multicultural societies in which these students live, they have to constantly interact with students from the majority races and social-cultural groups. This therefore means that the students from the so-called majority groups have to be introduced to multicultural education in order to develop desirable relational social skills.
In summary, it can be said that multicultural education is a field of study designed to establish change in society. It employs the usage of critical thinking skills as well as extensive lessons structured to ensure that students are able to adequately appreciate the information they acquire in class as important and applicable in society.
This educational field has over time come to be structured in such a way that it not only targets the minority groups in society but also allows for students from particularly the majority races to gain from the classes. Unlike other forms of education whose primary aim is to equip students with skills to earn a livelihood by securing meaningful jobs, multicultural education mainly focuses on shaping the individual characters of the students.