- Hate crimes in large cities have increased since 2014, but schools offer a place where students can gain a better understanding of people in other lands and cultures and learn to empathize with them, Edutopia reports.
- To incorporate multiculturalism into their teaching, educators themselves must be open to new experiences, be willing to explore foreign cultures through the means available to them and be willing to explore the cultural diversity that impacts the community in which their students live.
- Teachers can bring these cultures to students through efforts like career days or local "world fairs," where the diversity of their community can be explored, and other cultures can be introduced.
With immigration a frequent topic in the news, school leaders and teachers can capitalize on the natural diversity in classrooms, not only by teaching students to be accepting and welcoming to classmates from other cultures and nations, but also by using these opportunities as springboards to help students gain a broader understanding of the world around them and become more tolerant of other cultures and ideas.
Some school districts offer greater diversity than others. Cities, for instance, tend to have more cultural representation than rural areas. Border towns and port cities are also more likely to be culturally diverse. However, students will live and compete in a global society and cannot afford to be culturally isolated. Global awareness will benefit them in the future and schools are one of the best places to gain this perspective.
In addition, students can learn what is great about their own country while still exploring the strengths and unique contributions of other countries as well. They can be national citizens and global citizens as well. The idea is about more than combating xenophobia. It is also about learning empathy, and openness, qualities that are a part of social-emotional learning. Lessons can also focus on how countries affect one another economically, linguistically and culturally.
Schools can expand their students’ knowledge of the world through lesson plans, virtual connections and cultural events, such as international days Dual-immersion language programs can also expand horizons and opportunities. Learning about other lands and cultures impacts the study of language, art, history, math and science, and can only strengthen a student’s understanding of the nature of the world in which he or she lives.