Introduction: Multiculturalism in Education
Promoting diversity in class is a crucial step toward building the premises for successful knowledge and skills acquisition. Since the ability to start a multicultural dialogue allows for reducing the number of cross-cultural conflicts and promoting understanding, negotiation, and cooperation, the identified concept can be used efficiently to motivate students. By applying the principles of multiculturalism to any area of education, a teacher will be able to promote independence, lifelong learning, and critical thinking to students, therefore, building the foundation for their further academic success.
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Key Points: Multiculturalism, Critical Thinking, and Effects of Prejudice
In his interview, Dr. James A. Banks convinces the audience that multiculturalism must be promoted at all levels of education. According to Dr. Banks, multicultural education implies that at least five dimensions should be taken into account. Content integration implies that the unique needs of students from all cultural backgrounds should be met. Knowledge construction suggests that the teacher should help the learner build an understanding of the subject as opposed to learning the essential rules by heart without considering them critically. Equity pedagogy requires that educators should shape their teaching strategies to adjust to the needs of students from different cultural backgrounds. Prejudice reduction is the fourth element that is crucial to the successful academic process. Finally, school and social culture empowerment must be considered to create the environment in which the four principles listed above can be implemented successfully.
Critical Reflection: A Pathway to Creating Democratic Institutions?
While being a touch idealistic, the approach toward the improvement of education quality suggested by Dr. Banks seems quite legitimate. The focus on multiculturalism creates the leeway for reinforcing the significance of other ideas that are essential for a successful cross-cultural communication (Dunworth & Zhang 2014). Particularly, the promotion of multicultural principles as viewed by Dr. Banks is bound to build the foundation for the development of global citizenship in learners (Gaudelli 2016). As a result, the target population will be capable of recognising ethical and cultural issues so that these problems could be addressed successfully. Indeed, as Banks explains, the instances of racial profiling that mindlessness leads to might not be deliberate, yet their effect remains just as detrimental as it would be if they were intentional. Thus, it is imperative to make sure that every possible dimension of multiculturalism should be promoted actively in schools, the five ones mentioned by Dr. Banks being the most crucial (Zajda 2015).
The principles of equity pedagogy that Dr. Banks promotes, however, are a touch more complex than the enhancement of multiculturalism among learners. To create the environment that the interviewee describes, one will have to make sure that all educators share the identified ideas and are willing to strive to implement them. In other words, Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Citizenship must also be enhanced among teachers, who are more likely to be resistant toward the radical change (Tiessen & Huish 2014).
Conclusion: Going Beyond Five Dimensions
Promoting multiculturalism in the context of the contemporary educational environment is essential. Therefore, one must take the five dimensions listed by Dr. Banks into account. However, one should also try exploring the concept and going beyond the said dimension. Discovering new ways of improving the multicultural dialogue is essential for the well-being of the modern global community.
Dunworth, K & Zhang, J 2014, Critical perspectives on language education: Australia and the Asia Pacific, Springer, New York, NY.
Gaudelli, W 2016, Global citizenship education: everyday transcendence, Routledge, New York, NY.
Tiessen, R & Huish, R 2014, Globetrotting or global citizenship? Perils and potential of international experiential learning, UTP, Toronto.
Zajda, J 2015, Nation-building and history education in a global culture, Springer, New York, NY.