Intercultural Education

Intercultural Education: A Solution to overcome Global problem

Intercultural education promotes the understanding of different people and cultures. It includes teaching that accepts and respect the normality of diversity in all areas of life. It makes every effort to sensitize the learner to the notion that we have naturally developed in different ways. It seeks to explore, examine and challenged all forms of “isms” and xenophobia, while promoting equal opportunity for all. Intercultural education works to transform not only the individual but the institution as a metaphor and mechanism for the transformations of society.

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Multilingual and intercultural education group

Importance:

Intercultural education is about developing an understanding of and valuing others and about understanding of and values ourselves. It provides opportunities to gain an insight into one’s own knowledge, limits, doubts and attitudes by confronting, interacting and negotiating with other cultures. This requires developing an understanding of why we see the world in the way we do.

Intercultural education is not a subject or a project rather it should be embedded within the curriculum and be a way of thinking and action. It aims to engage young people    actively in the process of making sense of the world around them. It is important to shape one’s practices to see beyond the stereotypical the binary opposition the simplification, the regularity and the expected, and look into the details, the discriminated interpretation, the personal and critical engagement, and the sensitiveness to the world is many representations. Through the exploration of other cultural identities opportunities are provided to recognize points of similarity between cultures that may be hidden from view or not immediately apparent. The focus is on exploring where cultures meet and developing knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that enable interaction and negotiation between cultures. This process of coming to an understanding of others requires self-reflection and the confrontation and deconstruction of sometimes deeply embedded stereotypical views. It challenges both pupils and teacher s to understand how views are constructed and to appreciate that views about oneself are constructed in relation to how we see others.

The document defines culture, education, language, religion, and diversity (among other concepts) and explains how their inter-relation can help clarify what intercultural learning means and how beast to approach it. UNESCO addresses the question: what is the role of Intercultural Education? and indicates four main objectives:

Main Objectives:

  • Learning to know: This objective highlights the value of a obtaining a general education, which brings learners into contact with other areas of knowledge and encourages communications.

  • Learning to do: This involves helping learners find their place within society and cultivates specific skills as well as an ability to develop and apply a broad range of new skills in diverse environments.

  • Learning to live together: Acquiring knowledge, skills and values that contribute to a collective spirit of collaboration allow learners to co-exist in societies rich with diversity.

  • Learning to be: Solidifying one’s sense of personality in order to act with autonomy, judgment and personal responsibility. Regard of a person’s potential and right to cultural difference strengthens identity and builds cognitive capacity.

The document proposes three main principles for Intercultural Education:

  • Intercultural Education respects the cultural identity of the learner through the provision of culturally appropriate and responsive quality education for all. This means that the learning content should relate to, and build on the learner’s background and the resources they have access to. Also the knowledge transmission should be culturally appropriate, incorporating local pedagogy and traditional ways of learning and teaching. This way learner can become deeply involved in the learning process.

  • Intercultural Education provides every learner with the cultural knowledge attitudes and skills necessary to achieve active and full participation in society. This should happen by providing equal access to all forms of education system, facilitating the integration of migrant workers into the education system and responsibility their special needs. It should also happen by eliminating prejudice about culturally distinct population groups within a country and by promoting an inclusive learning environment.

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(UNESCO guidelines on Intercultural Education)

  • Intercultural Education provides all learners with cultural knowledge attitudes and skills that enable them to contribute to respect, understanding and solidarity among individuals, ethnic, social, cultural and religious groups and nations. This should, happen by encouraging learners to struggle against racism and discrimination. It can also occur through development of curricular that promote knowledge about cultural backgrounds and their impact. This means that learners should be aware of hove our way of thinking, feeling, and evaluating is shaped by our own cultural background and experience.

By understanding how our background has shaped our values, assumptions, and judgments, we build a base for effective, reflective communication and co-operation across cultures and social-boundaries, thereby developing the knowledge skills and understanding to create a more just and peaceful world.

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