The Importance of Education in National Integration
National integration is a democratic strategy of multicultural and multiethnic societies, one of the priority problems facing the world civilization. In the modern conditions, two mutually exclusive fates of individual nations are possible. The first assumes that the leading ethnic groups will crush the original culture and education of small nations. The second implies a constructive interethnic dialogue, in which education plays a significant role.
In conditions of economic and political integration, more and more importance is attached to the preservation of national specifics, in particular, in the sphere of upbringing. Multicultural pedagogy is assessed as an indispensable tool for overcoming the crisis of upbringing and education. It contributes to the harmonization of relations between representatives of different civilizations and cultures.
Importance of a multicultural education
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The interest in multicultural education is raising due to the expansion of international cooperation, the intensification of the struggle of ethnic and racial minorities for their rights in communities with a multi-ethnic composition. World pedagogical thought develops a general strategy of multicultural education.
In 1997, in the report of the UNESCO International Commission on Education, it was proclaimed that education and training should help to ensure that, on the one hand, a person becomes aware of his roots and thereby can determine the place he occupies in the modern world, and on the other, he respects other cultures. The document emphasizes the dual task of mastering the cultural treasures of one’s own people by the younger generation and fostering respect for the cultural values of other nationalities.
The USA traditionally attracts flows of migrants, becoming the center of the interaction of representatives of different ethnic, religious groups and cultures. Education plays the main role in including migrants in the social and cultural space of the host country, helping to overcome the problem of national intolerance and disunity. This idea runs through many programs aimed at the development of multicultural education.
The pedagogy of interethnic communication deals with issues of patriotism, the friendship of nations, tolerance and sees the foundation of education in the interrelation of local, national and all-human features of science. Such a concept proceeds from an understanding of upbringing as a sum of autonomous components that include ethno-cultural knowledge about a particular nation. They are viewed as a means of translating the spiritual values of a native culture, the formation of a national character and self-awareness.
Principles, functions and objectives of multicultural education
Multicultural education focuses on several pedagogical principles:
- strengthening of human dignity and high moral qualities;
- coexistence of different racial, religious, ethnic groups;
- development of tolerance, readiness for mutual cooperation.
The functions of multicultural education:
- formation of ideas about the diversity of cultures and their interrelationships;
- awareness of the importance of cultural diversity for the self-realization of the individual;
- fostering a positive attitude towards cultural differences;
- development of the interaction of bearers of different cultures on the basis of tolerance and mutual understanding.
Multicultural education pursues three groups of goals, which can be designated as pluralism, equality, unification:
- respect and preservation of cultural diversity;
- support of equal rights for education and upbringing;
- formation and development in the spirit of national, political, economic, spiritual values.
Thus, the content of multicultural education is built around the following landmarks:
- socio-cultural identity;
- generally accepted system of concepts of a multicultural environment;
- development of social communication skills.
Multicultural education today
The problem of the organization of multicultural education becomes increasingly significant. Assessing the state of this sphere in many countries of the world, it’s worth recognizing that it is not a priority of modern pedagogy. Political declarations and pedagogical works contain calls for education in the spirit of multiculturalism, but not always and not everywhere they are introduced into practice. Scientists, school teachers often ignore such “inconvenient issues” as interethnic conflicts, cultural prejudices, nationalism. Meanwhile, the multiculturalism of human is by no means of genetic origin. It is a socially determined phenomenon that should be developed in the process of upbringing.
It is important to create an appropriate model of the educational institution and a strategy of its implementation in practice. The presence of a multicultural component in the educational system allows to stimulate students’ interest in the new concepts and simultaneously offer different points of view on the world around them. It serves successful communication and allows to combine various ways of thinking and behavior.
It can hardly be asserted that original pedagogical forms and methods have been proposed for multicultural education. It uses active techniques that have already proved to be effective and found recognition in pedagogy: dialogue, discussion, modeling, role games, reflective methods and others. It is appropriate to apply this methodology in view of the goals, functions, content of multicultural education.
Historical review, study of customs and etiquette are effective for the socio-cultural identification of a person. When mastering the concepts of multiculturalism, it’s worth using the lectures, heuristic conversations; when developing skills of intercultural communication – dialogue. Communication with representatives of different nationalities, folklore, fiction, folk games and toys, decorative and applied art, painting, music, mini-museums are used during individual and group work of students under the guidance of teachers and specialists.
Good results may be achieved due to the complex and profile expeditions, tourist routes, conferences, rallies, competitions, exhibitions of creative works, telecommunication dialogues, olympiads, marathons, tournaments, intellectual games for the development of cognitive interests and creative abilities, multidisciplinary scientific and methodological camps, schools of giftedness, information-methodical and publishing activities aimed at the comprehensive development of creativity of children and youth, etc.
Problems of multiculturalism are solved both within the school system and framework of continuous education. Many students write scientific works about national integration. If you also have to prepare a paper of this type, it is recommended to contact such reliable service as Pro-Papers: college admission essay, abstract, term paper, dissertation – it is possible to order any academic work on the Internet.