Many cultures focus on giving their children the best education they possibly can. Much of this education involves looking back at the history of that specific culture. As the world grows into its own unique global society, the pros and cons of multicultural education must be evaluated. Should today’s children learn more about all cultures instead of just their own? Here are the key points to examine.
What Are the Pros of Multicultural Education?
1. It exposes children to different types of traditions and environments.
When only one culture is learned about, it becomes easy to believe that this culture is superior to all others. A multicultural education shows children [and adults] the strengths that everyone brings to the table.
2. It allows children to grow.
When we can learn from our differences, we become stronger as a people. Multicultural education encourages this process by helping us all to see the world in a different way. Sometimes what we may think is the best solution to a problem really isn’t because of what other cultures have already discovered.
3. It is an easy way to begin vocational training.
The future world is going to be close-knit group of individuals working together, sometimes potentially half a world away. A multicultural education today prepares students for tomorrow’s smaller working world.
What Are the Cons of Multicultural Education?
1. It loses a little of an individual’s personal identity.
Who we are is just as special as who others are. Many multicultural education programs focus only on other cultures without providing an education within the culture of the student. It is important to know oneself just as it is important to know about what makes other people tick.
2. Some cultures have very different values that can influence students.
Not every culture supports racial equality. Some cultures focus on the family group only. Others are self-ruling entities that remove the idea of a ruling government. Some support pacifism and others support war. These different values can sometimes be confusing or have a detrimental effect on a student’s education.
3. It can create family conflict.
What happens if a student comes home speaking of evolution to parents who are New Earth Creationists? Or what if a student comes back to their Muslim family saying that they’ve become a Christian? Family conflict, whether justified or not, often happens with a multicultural education.
The pros and cons of multicultural education show that it is important to have, but the outcomes must be carefully managed. We can build a global society that works together as long as we accept each others’ differences. The first step in that process could be this type of education.v
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.