The school in building a harmonious learning environment

The goals of multicultural education include:

  • Creating a safe, accepting and successful learning environment for all
  • Increasing awareness of global issues
  • Strengthening cultural consciousness
  • Strengthening intercultural awareness
  • Teaching students that there are multiple historical perspectives
  • Encouraging critical thinking
  • Preventing prejudice and discrimination

The school may host an in-service professional development on multicultural education in the classroom (Garcia, 2013). This education target the staff, students, parents and may open to the local community aims at promoting close working relationships among the school, home, and community (Parks, 2012).

Banks had suggested the five dimensions of multicultural education include:

  • Content integration – The teacher integrates language art and social studies in the teaching of school subjects to provide a broader and richer perspective to the studies.
  • Knowledge construction -Teachers help students to understand, investigate, and determine the implicit cultural assumptions and frames of reference and perspectives of the discipline they’re teaching. It is necessary to train critical thinkers so that their are aware of the hidden agendas or underlying assumptions of the author / organization that may be misleading.
  • Equity pedagogy – Recognize individual differences and preferred learning styles so as to help children with diverse background and gender to cope and excel in the learning process. It is advisable to use a wide range of strategies and teaching techniques such as cooperative groups, simulations, role-playing, and discovery besides the passive learning mode.
  • Prejudice reduction – The teacher shall be sensitive to the prevalence racial prejudice, tension and disharmony and try to develop a more positive racial attitude and tolerance among the students.
  • Empowering school culture and social structure – The whole school develop a democratic cultures which give equal access to resources and facilities, opportunities to participate in groups, events, to achieve, etc..

It is advisable for the school to plan and organize multicultural activities across the curriculum can help improve positive socialization behaviors among children (Parks, 2012).

The Malaysian Scenario

 

The Malaysian government had establish the Vision School (Sekolah Wawasan) which consisted of the national  primary school (Sekolah Kebangsaan) with the National Type Chinese and Tamil primary schools (Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina & Tamil) within the same compound. Each school is administer and manage under its own leadership, but there will be regular assembly and activities that call for multicultural integration among the Headmasters, teachers and pupils.

Besides, there is another programme, Program Rancangan Integrasi Murid Untuk Perpaduan (RIMUP) had been installed and supervise by the District Education Office to involves pupils from various ethnic groups in activities that may enhance understanding, cooperation and tolerance toward other ethnic groups.

Further reading:

The Vision School (Sekolah Wawasan)

RIMUP:

Reference

Banks, James A. (n.d.). Multiculturalism’s five dimension. NEA Today Online. Retrieved on Jan 10, 2015 from http://www.learner.org/workshops/socialstudies/pdf/session3/3.Multiculturalism.pdf

Garcia, E.K. (2013). Multicultural education in your classroom. Retrieved Jan 10, 2015 from http://www.teachhub.com/multicultural-education-your-classroom.

Parks, Jenne. (2012). The importance of teaching multiculturalism and diversity. Retrieved Jan 10, 2015 from http://www.hatchearlylearning.com/teaching-multiculturalism-diversity/

 

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