Walk into a classroom, an office or even a food joint one of these days and you'll see that there remains no instance of a single homogeneous group anymore. You will, however, find several different cultures and groups in that setting sharing space and yet standing out as a separate entity. With globalization into the picture and the world turning into one huge-small place, cultural diversity is a natural outcome.
Cultural diversity means the existence of diverse cultures in one place. Is cultural diversity important? And if it is, why is it so? In the article that follows we shall be looking at this issue with focus on cultural diversity in relation with schools and understand what this phenomenon spells in totality.
What it Means
Cultural diversity in schools is clearly witnessed when you take a random class into account and study it. You will find that it is quite impossible to find a homogeneous group that which only includes 'locals' from that area. Not only will there be people from different states sharing that space, but there will also be people who will be from different countries and thereby different cultures.
Diversity means that there is a difference in their ways―the way they have been brought up, which in this case is influenced by the culture and it's prerogatives. This then clearly means that there will be a difference in the way that students look at things, because something that is given importance in a particular culture might not be given any in the next. This is what influences the differences in the opinions, habits, lifestyles, goals and ideas (among other things). So is cultural diversity in a school scenario important? And if it is, then why is it important?
The importance of cultural diversity needs to be inculcated in schools because there are several advantages that it offers.
Acceptance of Differences
Diversity means difference. And facing differences, along with coping with them, teaches a person to be more accepting of others. That is why it is said that promoting cultural diversity by way of intercultural communication should be done in schools when the minds are young and can be molded. This becomes much more difficult when one has already formed rigid opinions. When students are faced with differences in their culture and habits when compared to others, and they are given proper tools to handle those differences, they learn to be more accepting of change and the difference.
Freedom from Bias
With different cultures interacting on a daily basis, day in and day out, there is no scope to gather and form baseless biases, prejudices, and feelings of superiority. They realize that other cultures are just as diverse as their own and that the students are just like them. They rise above mundane issues like color, caste, and creed and thus become responsible world citizens.
They learn about different cultures, their habits and other things which are unique to that culture. This promotes education not only in the manner of books, but also in facing different cultural issues in the classroom and overcoming them. It thereby helps develop cultural sensitivity in them.
When students learn about different cultures, they not only learn about them, but it also helps them to compare it with their own culture and they learn to appreciate the good in their culture. Earlier when there was probably no urgent need to go back to their roots, now they want to find out more. Thus the love for their land increases.
Minimum Adjustment Issues
Learning about so many cultures and the distinct features of each of those places, it only adds to their knowledge, and if they ever travel to different places, adjustment becomes minimal. In fact, it comes naturally to them 'cause they've grown studying and being with different cultures.
This article will have illustrated to you the importance of diversity and more so the importance of the same in schools. That is what diversity does and that is why it needs to be promoted further.