Why are race and culture so important to us? Does studying in a multicultural and racially diverse school make you a better person? Diversity is becoming a common feature in schools throughout the globe. Embracing diversity is important not only for learners but educators and other education stakeholders too. It can be done by stimulating racial and cultural responsiveness by all parties in the education system. This approach will help every student succeed and attain value for their education. In this article, we will look into why race and culture are important in schools.
What are race and culture?
Race is a classification of humankind based on distinctive biological and physical traits. Ethnicity, on the other hand, is used to classify people according to their identification and cultural expression. People often confuse between the two. For example, an individual’s race could be black but their ethnicity French.
Culture is the characteristic of learned and communal behaviour and beliefs of a particular ethnic, social, and age group. It encompasses morals, art, music, literature, religion, language, cuisine, etc. Culture is the basis on which individuals build their identity. It influences our perspectives, expectations, and how we engage with the world.
Understanding the difference between race and culture equips a student with the skills to write a reflection paper on race and ethnicity. In this article, we will delve into racial and cultural diversity in schools, by focusing on issues that have been marginalized or ignored in the past. Let us look at the advantages of neutralizing these issues.
Critical thinking and cognitive skills
Students from different races and cultures have an opportunity to consider the opinions and perspectives of others. Diverse viewpoints prompt students to critically think about their own beliefs. They hence obtain a different lens of looking at the world. Homogeneity does not foster the cognitive action that diversity brings about. Racial and cultural diversity promotes social innovation, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
Preparation for adulthood
School is intended to prepare an individual for adult life. Interacting with people from diverse backgrounds and mindsets can be challenging when racial and cultural tolerance is not encouraged in school. Your professional and personal relationships are better if they are well prepared to accept differences in race and culture from an early age in school.
Recent trends in human resources show that institutions, organizations, and companies prefer employees that handle race and culture diversity well. Self-aware individuals prefer to interact with people who transcend beyond race and cultural barriers.
Race and culture bring together people with different ideas. These ideas are transformed into something new, personal, and unique through creativity as people figure out common a ground. The more diverse ideas and experiences people are exposed to, the more their creativity is stimulated. Studies have shown that racially diverse groups outperform groups without diversity.
Students are prepared for citizenship
The experience of students on race and cultural diversity shapes them into more engaged citizens. They call out the injustice and marginalization of minority groups. This is upheld by the understanding that diversity should foster inclusion rather than exclusion.
Diversity in institutions of higher learning promotes civic engagement. Students are aware of government leadership, policies, and politics. In turn, these individuals make a point of improving their local communities which fulfill their citizenry roles.
Students develop empathy
Creating a connection between diverse races and cultures in schools help students alter prejudices later in life. Students get to emphasize with people who are not like them. They care about the experiences, issues, and problems they face by putting themselves in the shoes of their peers.
Students develop confidence
In schools where students have diverse races and cultures, students become confident and safe in their differences. In the course of their study, they get to appreciate those who are different from themselves. Also, they get to grow confidence and appreciate their race, culture, and values. They feel free to interact with different social groups.
It gives students an understanding that they have a contribution to the society in their uniqueness. Students are encouraged to tell their own stories and experiences. They are encouraged to express their uniqueness without fear of judgment.
A better understanding of lessons and people
Students and instructors learn and work with people of different races and cultures in their schools. They all gain a better understanding of the topics at hand, especially, those relating to diversity and culture. It teaches both the instructors and students how to use their point of view to contribute to a diverse environment.
Cultural sensitivity is nurtured
Dialogue is a major part of learning, communication, and interaction in schools. Where diversity of culture and race is involved, students and instructors nurture personal sensitivity. Such sensitivity is towards other peoples’ beliefs, culture, racial affiliation, and language concerns. Individuals take time to understand each other cultural distinctions and appreciate them. Cultural and racial biases are, however, identified and addressed individually or as a group.
Schools should teach diverse topics and knowledge. Instructors and curriculum developers come up with an inclusive curriculum. For example, a teacher could broaden a history lesson to cover past events and culture from across the world and not just the specific location of the school.
Another advantage of having a diverse race and culture within schools is to give lessons, analogies, and references a diverse context. This fosters inclusive learning for cultures present in the classroom. Instructors are also prompted to present lessons and connect them to real-world issues that promote cultural awareness. This ensures all students can learn more and relate to the teachings.
Identifies core gaps in academic outcomes among students
Racial and cultural inclusivity helps identify the main gaps in academic achievement among students. Stakeholders will improve academic and co-curriculum achievement of students. Instructors must evaluate the following key things in identifying learning gaps:
- Which students need assistance
- What knowledge and skills can students learn to cover the gap?
- What are the hidden factors affecting these group of learners to fall behind?
All of these factors must be addressed in context with racial and cultural differences among students. A proper analysis should give a complete understanding of what the students need to be successful. After identifying the gaps innovative programs should be brought up to eliminate the academic outcome disparities.
Diverse culture and race within a school helps to overcome cultural and racial stereotypes. Every instructor should reach out to students in a culturally appropriate manner. This helps an instructor to evaluate assumptions and stereotypes that may be subjected to a student based on their culture or race.
The instructor will be in a position to know each student individually and not rely on stereotypes based on a student’s background. The instructor can recognize an individual’s interests and academic ability. For example, a common stereotype is that African American students are good in sports. Although this is a positive stereotype, it may press an individual towards something they don’t particularly like.
Race and culture are common features in schools within the education system. Embracing the diversity that race and culture bring about is crucial for all stakeholders in schools. Establishing the differences between race, ethnicity, and culture helps us understand their relevance in a school context. Race and culture help students, instructors, and policymakers in education develop skills that assure the success of every student during and after their school life.