The Advantages of a Multicultural Classroom
In an ever-changing global scenario, it has become imperative to equip students with adequate exposure to be citizens of the future. Canadian International School (CIS), one of the top international schools in India has students and faculty members from over 40 nationalities. As a culturally rich mosaic, utmost importance is given to diversity and socio-cultural awareness. Students are taught to share space with a diverse group of individuals from around the world in a multicultural classroom for a truly international experience.
What are multicultural classrooms?
Multicultural classrooms are classrooms that embrace diversity and incorporate ideas, beliefs, or people from different countries and cultural backgrounds. Several cultural perspectives are put together to enable students to get a truly international education.
What are the benefits of a multicultural classroom?
There is a myriad benefits of a multicultural classroom for students. Here are a few:
Exposes students to different cultures
One of the top reasons why a multicultural classroom is beneficial is because students are encouraged to learn about the cultural backgrounds of other students in a class. Since CIS has a multitude of different nationalities on campus, students from different cultures are given opportunities to discuss and share their cultural experiences. Several international festivals such as Japanese Children’s Day and Diwali are celebrated on campus. Students interact with various communities and get first-hand knowledge about multiple celebrations; for example, indulging in Japanese snacks on Japanese Children’s Day or dressing up in traditional Indian attire on Diwali.
Fosters acceptance and tolerance in a learning environment
Multicultural education at CIS provides educational opportunities to learners from diverse ethnic and cultural groups and social classes. It enables students to acquire skills and develop a positive attitude to communicate, interact, and foster acceptance and tolerance with individuals from varied cultures to create a moral and civic community. A Multicultural Day is also celebrated annually to engage students, teachers, and parents in a global environment. The entire CIS community gets the opportunity to bond over sports, food, and by donning traditional costumes and performing local songs and dances.
Teaches multiple perspectives
At CIS, multiple perspectives and references are taught in class. The multicultural classroom provides an opportunity for students from different cultures to bring their enormous range of experiences, knowledge, perspectives, and insights to the classroom. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate learning experiences and content relevant to their personal cultural perspectives and heritage. Teachers also participate in Professional Development Days to stay up-to-date on new teaching techniques that cater to multicultural students and their requirements. The Contextual Learning program also emphasizes teaching cultural awareness by providing opportunities for students to partake in activities from around the world, such as yoga sessions and Indian art.
Encourages critical thinking
Students are given the liberty to examine learning materials to identify potentially prejudicial or biased materials. Both teachers and students evaluate their own cultural assumptions and then discuss how learning materials, teaching practices, or school policies reflect cultural bias, and how they could be changed to eliminate bias. At CIS, the WiseSkills Character Education program is integrated into the curriculum to impart ethics, values, and civic sense to the students.
Helps build an international network
The creation of international markets and the lowering of trade barriers worldwide has led to many businesses that span the globe. In an international scenario like the one at CIS, students bring a broad network of international contacts to the school. With students and faculty from over 40 nationalities, students are encouraged to start networking from a young age and build a network of contacts that can not only help them forge lifelong friendships but can also help expand their career perspectives to a global level. Several internships are also offered to students from universities all over the world to foster global networking as well as to study and observe a truly international environment at Canadian International School (CIS).