The Advantages of Being in a Multicultural Classroom
Monday, June 19, 2017
In this modern age, diversity and socio-cultural awareness have become more important than they ever were before. One of the places where this evident is at international schools, where people from different cultural backgrounds come together.
With a wide variety of nationalities present in a single place, these schools offer a small glimpse of the many cultures across the globe. To know more about the benefits of being in a multicultural classroom, here is a list that could guide you:
Becoming Great Communicators
One of the most important things your children must develop in their young years is their communication skills. Being able to communicate well with others would help your children as they get older. However, one of the challenges of communication is interacting with people from different backgrounds.
There are many things to consider when talking to someone with a different nationality for the first time. In fact, most people have a difficult time interacting with other people with different nationalities, as factors like language and cultural barriers make it a real trial. Foreigners and locals alike both have perceived notions about certain nationalities as well, which may make it more difficult.
Thankfully, a multicultural classroom helps remove these by making students interact daily. Being able to do so at a young age would help your children become better communicators, which they could find essential later in their lives.
Developing an Open Mind
With a diverse population present in a single classroom, each student can share their own cultures with their fellow classmates. They may even exchange stories about their countries and other interesting information about their nations as well. Overall, this experience allows your children to be open-minded and to get a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other’s culture. In essence, it can truly benefit and help students maintain a healthy relationship with each other.
However, a multicultural classroom does not only serve as a level playing field for students to understand and respect each other, it can also serve as a real life social studies class. For instance, a teacher could discuss a historical event in a certain country, while a student from that country could be able to give valuable and fascinating insights that even some textbooks and sources may not even have.
Building Empathy in the Classroom
One of the world’s biggest social issues is stereotyping. Having this in any setting – especially in an international school – brings about unhealthy relationships and a culture of division that causes unwanted judgments towards people. For this reason, being exposed in a multicultural classroom will definitely give students and teachers the opportunity to show their empathy to each other, no matter what their backgrounds are.
As children from different races come together in one classroom, this will ultimately give the teachers the chance to construct a positive classroom culture with their students. This will also lead the students to deepen and to strengthen their relationships with each other that are built on trust, respect, and empathy.
Celebration of Various Cultures
One of the best things about being in a multicultural classroom is being able to celebrate cultural events from countries around the world. Having the chance to celebrate these events brings appreciation among the student body and helps students of each nationality feel represented. This experience also gives the students more opportunities to get to know their classmates.
One good example of this is holding a food festival that can help students understand the origins and cultural significance of various dishes. Aside from food, students may also celebrate other festivals such as a cultural festival, a dance festival, among others. By doing this, they could learn all sorts of things while having lots of fun.
A multicultural classroom can be considered as a melting pot of diverse cultures and countries. Having a diverse student body may pose some challenges, but it also has many benefits wherein the students will learn beyond the walls of a classroom — from one another.