Cultural Studies & International Education

Middle school

What impact does cross-cultural and international education have on the individual, the U.S. and the world? What are some benefits that come from cultural education and self-reflection? Is there any relationship connecting cultural awareness to personal development, social justice, international business, environmental sustainability, and world peace? If so, should more K-12 curriculum introduce multicultural studies and international education?

These are a few questions I challenge you to consider and then share in the comment section below. Feel free to provide resources that stimulate thought about this subject. We can all learn something from others. This is your opportunity to discuss an increasingly important and popular subject in the educational system.

Interesting resources include:

Programs like The Global Classroom in Portland, Oregon and the K-12 Global Education Outreach at Texas Tech University suggest that cultural studies are critical elements to well-rounded educational programs.

The short videos, Education: Culture Matters, Multiculturalism in the Modern World, and The Audacity and Beauty of Multi-Cultural Education also share the importance about culture based education.

Thank you for taking the time to invest in this subject matter.

41 Comments

Filed under Higher Education, International Education

41 responses to “Cultural Studies & International Education

  1. robyn mazy

    By increasing international study as well as increasing multicultural or cross cultural education the gap in differences lowers. the mystery of “them” lowers. Ive noticed in my preschool classrooms children are fascinated with people and new ideas. with holidays coming up many children are getting ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas and some do not know there are various ways to celebrate a particular holiday or even many more. for example many of my preschoolers were getting excited for halloween but didnt know about Des Los Muertos. after discussing and creating through our fun activities they became more aware of what happens in their neighborhood and in other countries.

    • Jessica May

      I personally think it is great for children to be exposed to different cultures in preschool and K-12. I have heard some criticisms of a cultural approach though. For instance some say that the development of cultural lessons especially in already established curriculum requires far to much time for already busy teachers. In addition some argue that, because teachers do not have an all inclusive knowledge of the cultures they are teaching about, they might be misrepresenting them. I was wondering if you had heard any similar arguments and if so what do you think about them? Are there ways to avoid such potential pitfalls?

      • Li Yap

        I see the time consuming nature of creating new curriculum about different cultures and the problem of choosing particular cultures to mention. An easy solution is to steer away from specificity during K-12 and focus on the general ideas of tolerance, prejudice, and maybe taking events from American history as examples. These general ideas/values should be made as foundation for the youth before learning different cultures in history classes, and even more specific higher education classes.

      • robyn mazy

        I have found that creating curriculum with a multicultural aspect can be difficult. Some have little or if any, like math while learning about specific holidays or time of the year do. (and i could even be wrong about this) With the internet giving us easy accessibility to information i think finding the correct info is far more easy now then it has been say in the 20 years. i remember putting together curriculum for this time of year, to make sure that i reached any and all holidays on my classroom i had sent out a questionnaire earlier in the year which asked if the families had any holidays or celebrations they practice. Majority were Thanksgiving and Christmas, that made “Christmas around the world” activities appropriate for my classroom, and i could have easily left it that. But instead i did incorporate “winter around the world” which touched on different celebrations or activities in other countries. this did take a little a more effort but not as much as one would think, at least not from my standpoint. We also had lots of fun finding out new things, like that snow doesn’t fall in Australia during winter like it does in America., so instead of sledding they are surfing.
        Anybody else have a different or similar take?

    • Tommy Niebergall

      I once attended a Tongan church where the entire service was completed in the Tongan language. I had no idea really what I had stepped into. I literally did not comprehend a single word for the entire service and I was the only whiter person in the church. The only thing familiar to me as a Christian was the fact that they received communion. I share this story because this was the moment in my life that made me realize I really need to understand that this is how kids of different cultures and races must feel when placed in classrooms all across America. As a future educator I plan to carry that experience with me into the classroom so that I can help to create a more comfortable environment for those students who maybe feel as if they do not belong.

  2. Jessica May

    I do believe that cross-cultural and international curriculum provides a more holistic approach to instruction for students, thus allowing them to attain a world view rather than an isolated ethnocentric view. I believe that such a change in though leads to a more tolerant outlook on not only other races and cultures but also in day to day interactions. If the development of such a view was offered to K-12 students in the US…well I would think that would be an extremely beneficial change in society. Such tolerance would perhaps increase awareness about social justice which could increase prosperity for many. I might also decrease tensions in international business, thus also bring more prosperity and bringing about more of a chance for world peace. In addition, with a viewpoint that closely borders on sympathy and with decreased tensions in the world, more people might have the ability to look towards environmental sustainability. Indeed it would appear that such a cultural approach to teaching would greatly benefit society.

    Indeed I have already been introduced to and have considered a cross-cultural and international approach to music education. My Music Elementary Methods textbook was written by Patricia Shehan Campbell, an ethnomusicologist. Ethnomusicology is an academic field that covers approaches to the study of music that emphasize its cultural, social, material, cognitive, and biological contexts instead of, or in addition to its isolated sound component or any particular repertoire. Thus I see a cultural approach to music education as one of the many ways culture can be introduced into education.

    Some additional resources are:
    http://blogs.uw.edu/somuw/welcome-2/faculty-staff/patricia-shehan-campbell/
    http://www.ethnomusicology.org/?page=WhatisEthnomusicol

  3. Li Yap

    Multicultural education should be a bigger part of the k-12 curriculum in the United States. Not only because the U.S. is one of the most diverse countries to live in, but also because intolerance towards race, gender, or even personal identity is rich in our history. Although prejudice ideas have gotten better, it hasn’t disappeared yet. There are still ignorance even in the youth of America, especially in places that are less diverse. Only if world culture would be incorporated in the K-12 curriculum more, then tolerance will build and there will be less bullying and violence brought by ignorance.

    Personal Stories and Insight:
    My experiences in multicultural settings have opened my eyes to a lot of things, because I have been fortunate enough to have moved and lived in different countries and places. Before moving to the U.S. I lived in different countries in Asia, but it wasn’t until I migrated to California that I experienced being in a place where diversity was prominent.

    I lived in both Oakland and Alameda, California, and the schools I attended there were very diverse. At first it was a bit daunting and culture-shocking, but after a few weeks of settling in, it started to become a pleasant experience. It was amazing to meet different people from different cultural backgrounds and learning about all there is to know about them. I became friends with a lot of people, I heard their stories, and their parent’s stories, and I absorbed all I could as I also tried to fit in and adapt to the new place. Since the middle school I attended was so diverse, I remember it primarily focusing on tolerance. On the first day, we were gathered for an assembly. There we taught about intolerance, prejudice and bullying through group activities. I even remember having a classroom conduct rule that involved apologizing to a classmate that one has “put-down” (name calling, bullying, harassing) by going in front of the class and saying three good things about the victim. All-in-all, my experience there has made me more open-minded. That school taught cross-cultural education very effectively.

    Now as a contrasting story, I moved to a small town in Nevada. I will not mention the town, to protect the couple of schools located there. In contrast to the bay area, this town was not diverse at all. The majority of the students were white, with only a handful of minorities. The minorities grouped together by race and I was the only full-blooded Asian student that attended that school. I felt completely alienated and did not feel comfortable at all. Racist name calling, and stares down the hallways became part of my days. I ended up finding a group of misfit students that seemed to be the only tolerant people in the school. Maybe since the school was not diverse, they did not find it necessary to include multicultural tolerance in their curriculum. Either way, I ended up complaining to administration and talked with the principal. The principal said that the issue will be brought up in a meeting, but I had no hope in it at all. I started to lost interest in going to school, and ended up being home schooled. I felt too small to make a significant change in the school, but if there was only a resource there or more students that were more aware then maybe I could have made a big difference.

    • robyn mazy

      im sorry you had such a negative experience in the Nevada school system, but sadly, being raised in NV for all of my life, this is the norm. The biggest joke i have herd since growing up was that “all of Nevada black people are where?… the prison. ” i knew that it wasn’t true but as you have siad having majority of school population being white and hearing racial slurs and jokes form a huge gap between people, not just cultures or races, but people. Has the University culture been any different or more of the same?

    • Dylan Griffin

      I feel education should include more lessons involving diverse cultures, but as important as they may seem, it cannot take away from the curriculum already set in place. Teachers struggle enough trying to stick to the curriculum and tagging on more lessons only to promote tolerance could be seen as counterproductive. I do feel teaching about different cultures is important, but there must be a proper way to implement it.

      • Dominick Van Orman

        I see where you are coming from Dylan, however I feel that multiculturalism does not necessarily have to be taught during normal school hours in a curriculum. It could be something as simple as a multicultural club or center or even offer a faire of sorts that presents foods and dress for each different cultures. That way we do not have to sacrifice curriculum education for education on diversity.

      • Cameron Gaylor

        I believe that it needs to be integrated into the everyday lesson plan. It will help us become a closer people adn understand each other better. As for the people from other cultures it will help them ease into our society because wel will be helping them by integrating it into their education.

  4. Mitchell Brandt

    I partially agree with Li. If we can focus on teaching about cultural differences and tolerance we can really make a difference. Especially in communities where one block is primarily black and another Hispanic. Bringing knowledge to students while they are young can really make a difference. But if we focus to much on the prejudice and tolerance some might take it while others use it to continue racism and hatred within the more poor areas.

    • MeghanBurke

      I agree to an extent. I believe that we should emphasize heavily on the positive aspects of different cultures in education, but also show that prejudice did happen and show how it affects others. We cannot brush everything under the mat. Racism was heavy back then and although it is not as prominent now, it still does exist. I believe that showing students why this is bad and why people think this way will help our students battle it in the future. I have been discriminated against a few times in my life and by learning that the hate is not personal, and that I am where I am because of the struggle fought against racism by those who faced it before me. I see it as a stepping stone and as a learning device for my future students who may face the same problems I did as a child.

  5. MeghanBurke

    I believe that cross-cultural and international education promotes tolerance and diversity within schools and the general population as a whole. People generally do not take kindly to the unknown, so introducing them to cultures that are different from their own that promotes tolerance would make a huge positive impact. The benefits are plenty when it comes to cultural education and self-reflection. It inspires us to embrace our cultures and see what made us who we are as people. By going back to our roots, we dive deeper into ourselves as a result. That sense of individualization is important because it instills self confidence and self esteem. There is a huge connection between cultural awareness and the things that are happening within the world. By understanding the culture, one understands the people and the way things are seen from their point of view. Perhaps seeing something from a different angle is what the world needs in order to become a better place. We often judge things without having knowledge about them and as a result, hostile environments are created. By knowing the culture, we know the issues the people of that culture face and what approaches to take to help them or form a bond with them. Multiculturalism should be essential to the classroom. What people fail to realize is that representation matters, no matter how old a student is. They want to be able to relate and see things from their point of view based of a their culture. I truly believe that multicultural studies are in fact the answer to this. These classes promote tolerance and understanding, which leads to the most important thing a student can have: an open mind.

    One personal story I remember is telling my classmates about my family’s culture and heritage. Being the only black girl in my class until middle school, I always dreaded when February came around because it meant one thing: Black History Month. I was looked to for my opinion on slavery, The Civil Rights Movement, and other issues African Americans faced back then. I was often asked if I had ancestors who were slaves in the South and things of that nature. Unfortunately, I had no clue or relation to the slaves because I was the first of my family to be born in the United States. My parents were born in the West Indies and only moved to the United States in the 80s. I remember being asked to read a story about a famous African American inventor on the morning announcements and asking my teacher for help on what to write. She told me to ask my parents because they knew. They, of course, were drawing a blank and had never even heard of the inventor before. What always irked me (and my mother) is that people do not realize that all people with dark skin are ancestors of the slaves in the United States. That’s why I was glad when a teacher gave me a chance to write an assignment about our heritage. I got to tell the class about the country my family is from (called St. Lucia) and their traditions and culture. I also taught them a few worlds in the language, patois, and about how beautiful it is there. It made me very proud of my roots and my heritage to show them that every one is diverse and we cannot know a person’s culture by just their skin color. I recently had an old classmate on Facebook message me and tell me how he went to St. Lucia on vacation. It made me proud to show others about my family’s culture and to have someone experience it firsthand.

    • Mandy Augspurger

      I agree Meghan. In my experience individuals to have difficulty adapting to and accepting foreign ideas or new experiences. Multiculturalism introduced especially at a young age has the potential to open the door to tolerance for students that will carry them through their lifetime. The challenges facing future generations as they approach global issues together will be hindered without the fundamental basis of an open mind.

    • anna critchley

      Meghan, I truly enjoyed this. Your point of view on this topic is about 180 degrees from mine and so I very much appreciate it. First, I absolutely agree with you that cross-cultural education promotes tolerance. This is such a great reason to include it in our school systems. However, it would be nice if parents would take the initiative to teach their children about other cultures and not leave it entirely up to the schools. In a perfect world, I guess!🙂

      I love your back-story about your heritage. Very very interesting! I would love to go to St. Lucia some day. My sister in law used to go there often for work, and so I have heard how beautiful it is. Do you still have family there and do you get to go often?

      I can see how frustrating it must have been growing up with everyone thinking that you were related to the slaves just because of the color of your skin. You shine a light on an important topic that most probably do not stop and take the time to think about. This would be a great cross-cultural lesson to teach in schools.

      • Jillian Spach

        I really enjoyed this reply. Introducing different cultures definitely increase tolerance, and that is never a bad thing with children because kids can be mean. It’s good for children to know that not everyone is the same as they are. I liked your point about how this is exactly what the world needs to become a better place, we should all be aware of other cultures. If more people had open minds, the world would be such a better place to live in. Loved your comment, I feel it is exactly what needed to be said.

  6. Darcy Cropp

    I have found during my personal time traveling and living outside of the States, the number one criticism I hear about American’s is how uninformed we are to about other cultures.

    Especially with how with technology that has opened communication and knowledge between countries that a 100 years ago took weeks to travel to, it is imperative for the next generation to have the knowledge of other cultures.

    School is a great place to have these basic lessons, to have children from every economic background to learn about diversity and tolerance. The world is a full of different cultures and our next generation needs to learn to navigate it with ease.

    I found this web page talking about cultural competence from Washington State’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

    http://www.k12.wa.us/cisl/eliminatingthegaps/culturalcompetence/default.aspx

    • Well put Darcy. I appreciate the link and agree with its statement:
      “Cultural competence provides a set of skills that professionals need in order to improve practice to serve all students and communicate effectively with their families. These skills enable the educator to build on the cultural and language qualities that young people bring to the classroom rather than viewing those qualities as deficits.
      Cultural competence training asks educators to confront the stereotypes held both consciously and unconsciously about students. Bias affects the way that we perceive and teach students and has the potential to negatively affect student achievement.

      Teachers who aspire to become more culturally competent can build relationships based on trust with students and their families, even though they experience the world in different ways. This is essential to closing academic achievement gaps and to fulfilling all students’ civil right to a quality education.”

    • Matt Williams

      I really liked how you stated that the biggest criticism you hear about our country is that we are unaware of other cultures. I notice this all the time with my friends. Right now I am in an African American Freedom Struggle course, and all the information is so interesting to me. It is crazy to me to look at the hardships African Americans have endured as recently as 50 years ago. And this is people within our own country doing it to them. One of the lessons that we have was about how during WWII, African Americans were greeted so kindly by the French people abroad. They enjoyed it so much, that they didn’t want to come home to the United States. I think that this truly shows how far behind we are than other countries when it comes to cultural tolerance and recognition.

  7. Mandy Augspurger

    Multi-cultural based education has been shown to provide an overall sense of responsibility for students to do their best, to give back to their community, and to protect the environment and their culture. This transfers over to cultural awareness on every level, including social justice, international business environmental sustainability, and world peace. Students taught within a culture based education system generally tend to trust their peers more. Data shoes that no matter how outstanding the curriculum or teaching environment, the relational component that ties education and multi-culture awareness together leave students with a greater level and engagement, ultimately a better learning environment. Students who are exposed to multi-cultural diversity understand the world around them and how they fit into it. This application of knowledge is fundamental to truly comprehending why knowledge is important and how an education can be applied to one’s own culture and the global world community as well.

  8. anna critchley

    The world is quickly becoming a more diverse place when it comes to business and the work place. This is the first thing that came to my mind as I read this blog entry. Companies are relying heavily on international resources and with the introduction of social media, new technology and ways to communicate, the interaction with those in other countries is many times a mandatory function of many jobs in the corporate world. I spent the better part of a decade working for General Electric in various functions. For about 5 years I held a position which required me to manage and support software support contracts across 42 different countries. I regularly interfaced with many customers via email and telephone. You eventually figure out the nuances in the cultures when you work with it daily, but it can be a steep learning curve.

    Another issue in the corporate world is that so much of the IT (technology) work is outsources to India (and sometimes other countries such as Canada). This means when you call for support you might be calling a different country, not simply a different department in the same building as you. But from my experience it really goes beyond this. I worked on a team that was building a new business system from scratch. The company that won the contract employed people from India. We had about ten people from India come to America and work with us for about six months to a year. For a while it was a bit like trying to shove two puzzle pieces together that did not fit. It was hard to communicate in meetings. It was hard to read body language as it seemed to be different then what we were used to. In the end it was an amazing experience and we all learned a lot about the others culture (Although I am sure they learned the most. But we still got to taste test a lot of the delicious foods they brought for lunch and hear many stories about the cities they were from.).

    Based on my experience in the corporate world, I absolutely think it is a fantastic idea to teach our kids about different cultures. However, there are so many other reasons to teach them too. If the schools don’t do it, parents should. It might not create world peace, but it would create a culture of understanding and respect. My kids are 5 and 6 years old and it is my goal to have them see all 50 states and be starting on different countries by the time they graduate high school. I feel this is a very important thing. Understand where you come from and then venture out into the world with an open mind.

    • Darcy Cropp

      I really enjoyed your stories about your various experiences working at GE. Sounds like you have been exposed to a number of different cultures just by working at one place. This is one reason I find that people need to understand cultural differences. Sadly in America we have this idea that we are the center of the world. I think that with some extra knowledge this would change a lot.

      I think it’s an amazing idea to take your kids outside of the country. By the time I was 13 I had already been to the middle east. We got caught in a riot in Hebron and slept in a tent under rugs with a Bedouin tribe outside of Jordan. It was an amazing experience and to this day I refuse to eat anything with my left hand.😉

  9. Jillian Spach

    Personally I believe that everyone should have a very well rounded cultural knowledge of the world. Although this is a very hard thing to introduce in K-12 because younger kids do not have as many opportunities to travel, I think that by introducing them to different ideas and cultural practices of different place we can better prepare them for the wold. You never know who you will and what kind of people you will encounter in every business, and knowing a little background on different cultures can make it easier to meet new people and approach things in a confident manner.
    Personally I have experienced this while working with kids. A lot of kids were from different backgrounds, and when working with their parents having a better knowledge of different cultures and traditions definitely helped me to interact with them better.
    I also noticed how some children weren’t aware of the many differences there are between different races and backgrounds. If we inform them of this earlier on in their education then, I feel, there would be more room for forming relationships. Not only between student and teacher, but between two students.

  10. Max Morrow

    The need for multicultural education is becoming more and more apparent as the world becomes more globalized. As our technology progresses, and the entire world becomes more connected it is harder to get a real sense of identity relevant to your own culture. We need to develop our own sense of identity and community to help flourish our education, and we need to focus on keeping our minds open to different cultures as we cannot avoid contact with them. The world is becoming a smaller place everyday, and we have to teach our children to adjust to that. At the end of the day we all have one thing that connects us all, we are human, and there is something very beautiful about that.

    I also wonder on whether it is the sense of community that is driving the learners in Hawaii to greater success or is it really the culture based education? perhaps the two are intertwined. But perhaps the reason most of our schools are failing is that the children have no sense of community, lack of parent involvement and schools perhaps being too large can leave a child feeling no connection at all, perhaps the idea of multicultural education is close to the solution. But the real problem could be the relationship between school and student, and how that student feels about their learning , and how that student is connected to the school.

  11. Dominick Van Orman

    I do agree that teaching kids about diversity and multiculturalism can be beneficial to education and help break down barriers of race and stereotypes. However, in extreme cases I feel as if introducing diversity in certain levels of schooling can create a problem. Sharing information about different cultures and ideas has the capacity to separate kids into their different culture groups or cause kids to discriminate, creating more good than bad. If implemented at the right time, with the right group of kids, teaching about multiculturalism can prevent those problems stated above.

    • Zachary Curtis

      I agree with this being a very realistic problem as result of multicultural education. However, I believe that in most cases studies have found that students’ attitudes toward other cultures have improved toward other cultures. Of course discrimination to some extent will still be a problem, but educating children on different cultures gives them an opportunity to see other cultures in relation to their own making them more accepting. I believe it is the fault of the teacher if students reflect a negative attitude toward any cultures after being given multicultural instruction.

  12. Matt Williams

    I think that a program like K-12 Global Education Outreach that Texas Tech has created can benefit a vast amount of kids. From my experiences, I have noticed that a lot of people close to me, friends and such, are very intolerant to other cultures. From what I have seen, this intolerance stems from their upbringing, usually the views of their parents. I think that a program like this could go a long way in shaping a young person’s mind to be tolerant to other people’s cultures and ideas. I think that school is a great place to instill these values in students, because otherwise I fear that they will not be introduced to these critical ways of thinking.

    http://ctb.ku.edu/en//tablecontents/sub_section_main_1176.htm

  13. Sara Herbert

    I can agree with so many of your opinions on this subject–in particular the need for there to be more multicultural lessons integrated into our educational system. However, I do also agree with Dylan that the teachers already feel under pressure and overwhelmed with covering the curriculum currently required. Thus, there must be a happy medium put in place that can satisfy each side of the argument in regards to this issue. With common core being implemented in the majority of the states we might not see this form of education being included if it does not have a place in the set curriculum. Therefore we might be able to offer more after school clubs or activities. I know that these sorts of things already exist in most schools but if the school and students themselves promoted the importance of being well informed of other cultures little more proactively, they might be able to reach a wider range of students. Perhaps an option might be to have a multicultural day after school that has different stands with food and other things that relate to that particular culture to spread knowledge of their traditions and values. Here is a high school I found that does this type of activity every year and have had great results with it.

    http://johnsonsr.spps.org/multicultural_festival

    • Alan Ray

      A happy medium in any situation is always ideal, but rarely found. I agree with your idea of offering more clubs and activities, but there would have to be some way to find out which clubs/activities would be most effective. At my high school we also had semi annual cultural fairs where the entire student body would be able to “explore” the different cultures from around the world. The motive behind the events were genuine, but the results were always students using the time to socialize and fool around rather than engage in diversity. Then again, it may have just been my school that didn’t take it seriously and this type of thing works everywhere else.

  14. William Marsh

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00405849809543799

    From a personal perspective, about to begin my student teaching experience, I realize how little I know. I found this article and it really brought to light my ignorance of the demographics of my own community and the programs that are established. This article speaks of a novice teacher learning the students, the school, and the demographics, but also THE COMMUNITY and it’s makeup. After all, when are students are not with us they are being influenced and are learning from their community. Bringing this all back to cross-cultural interactions, how do my Filipino students practice their cultural backgrounds? At home, with a basic understanding of Tagalog? How do my Jewish students practice their faith in Reno. What mediums does our community provide?

    It is very easy to find comfort and less progressive learning when in a familiar environment. I wish to to my student teaching in a different country, teaching a different populace, reaching out and discovering, if only for the feeling of a clean slate. New experiences bring forth energy and desire for success, and even better a grander sense of the ‘self.’ Personal introspective reflections.

    • Andrew Davis

      Never lose that curiosity. That is what allows us to learn and grow. Those who claim to be unable to learn as well as others (save for those with disorders or disabilities) simply lack that passion and curiosity about the world. As children, we are more receptive because of that, but it seems you’ve held onto it far better than most. That curiosity, if instilled in your students, will shine greater than any knowledge or facts you could instill in them.

  15. Andrew Davis

    You know, when I first set out to find something to link to in this comment, I didn’t think I’d find anything in the time I that would actually fit with what I want to say on the subject of multicultural education, but I found this:

    The problem with multicultural education in the form many accept it is the same problem we have with philosophy. We teach the children to incorporate one new piece of learning into their lives and we praise them for making a set amount of progress and leave it at that. We teach them to develop an opinion on the subject we’re working on and praise them nomatter what that opinion is. We tell them there are no bad questions and there are no wrong points of view, but then we tell them that only so many things can be true and to ask better questions, but we still praise them for expressing one point of view and asking any old question.

    It’s the same story with instilling diversity. We teach them a couple more languages. We teach them about a couple historical cultures. Then we say that we have taught them to be diverse. The fact is, it’s not about simply adding one more piece to their education, but teaching them to wonder. We must teach children to teach themselves. So often in education, we spend day after day giving them fish in the hopes that they’ll eventually learn to fish in the process, but we never take them to the water and show them why it’s so important that someone be there, fishing for food.

    The greatest force in this world is an idea. If you can share a vision with enough people to build a widespread idea that is strongly valued and sought after, one person can change everything. Showing children to wonder about the world, its cultures, and ideals will give them so much more than simply teaching them a little history or a couple facts.

    Yes, it is incredibly important to teach diversity to children, but not in the form of a little information, but in the form of curiosity. Teach them to learn.

  16. Zachary Curtis

    Multicultural education plays a huge role in a music classroom. The ability to teach the music of a different culture give children a sense of variety. Only exposing children to the Western Classical tradition of music only exposes them to a certain skill set. For example, Western Classical focuses primarily on tertian and tonal harmony, equal-tempured instruments using a 12 tone system, a large reliance on musical notation and little or no improvisational qualities. Exposing children to the music of different cultures opens there minds to new musical possibilities and turns them into a much more well-rounded musicians. Studying the musical traditions of the African culture will open up opportunities for teaching concepts such as performance on drums, singing as a group and learning music without musical notation and melodic improvisation. Furthermore, the study of different musical cultures creates a certain consciousness for the difference of other cultures. This way students are given an educational perspective to other cultures instead of hearing aspects of music from other cultures that may not be completely valid.

  17. I think it is a really great way to exchange culture in this way. I personally suffered it. I come to the U.S for high school in 2010 through the organization called FACE, which stand for The Foundation Academic Culture Exchange. This organization works for the 9th grade to 12th grade student in China, Japan or Koran student to go to American high school to. there are also some American student go to Asia. Some students they decide to stay in the different country to finish their study like me. and there are also some student decide to go back to their own country. I think it is a really good way to let people understand different culture from different country. And also different country they are good at different area. International education prove student opportunity to study the highest knowledge in different area in the world. it is also a good way to learn another language. If you go to another country, you can easily learn their language.
    But there are some problems for the international education. such as the transcript. For example. When I was in China. I studied the Chinese history. But when I got to America, I have no credit for history because I studied none American history. So I have to do more work on history than my classmates.

  18. Alan Ray

    Cross-cultural and international education allows for potentially significant psychological, academic, and social benefits for the international student as well as the “classroom” setting they are involved in. The international student would be able to provide an outside point of view in classroom discussions that may not have otherwise been introduced. It also allows for the development of skills that further enhance the the potential for cross-cultural learning. According to a study (International Journal of Business & Economics V.6 #1, Fall 2007) students had to adapt to their new task of managing stress and become more flexible with their learning/teaching. “Competencies associated with specific learning-skill dimensions included building relationships and valuing people of different cultures in the interpersonal dimension, and translating complex information in the analytic dimension.” Students who experience another culture and language, they tend to become more open-minded and appreciative of diversity. They also gain a sense of self-confidence and mastery by exploring an unknown environment, which are invaluable traits for success in any career.

    I believe introducing multicultural studies in the K-12 curriculum could be beneficial, there would be a significant number of factors that would make it difficult to succeed. Cost would be a major factor, especially in the already underfunded education system we have (opinion). Participation in international programs would also slow the learning rate of our common core, not to mention the language barrier students would have at a younger age. If we could appropriately conquer the challenges faced with implementing a more multicultural K-12 curriculum, however, it would provide our future generations with a much more valuable learning and growing experience.

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  21. Kristi Coleman

    Multicultural Education can have both a positive and negative impact on educational growth of the individual. Learning about a variety of cultures can help us in our future careers because it allows us to escape the tunnel vision we sometimes have when only learning from one cultures perspective. For example, I’m a nursing major and I know that someday I will be interacting with people from all different cultures. What may be appropriate to ask or do in our culture, may be offensive in another culture. If I am unaware of this fact, I could very easily offend a patient. The more I am aware of other cultures beliefs and societal do’s and don’ts, the more I am able to enhance the patients experience at the medical location by efficiently communicating with them. Although having a multicultural education can be very beneficial to me in my career, I also must be conscious of the stereotypes that may appear with it. For example, if someone has a very thick accent and appear similar to the people of a certain culture, it would be very easy to assume what their culture is. In doing this, I can run into problems with holding a “prejudice” or a “stereotype” against someone which would distort my patient-nurse relationship. I believe that the degree of multicultural education recommended should depend on the career field and the country you plan to live and work in. I don’t believe that there should be a general standard for everyone.

  22. Pingback: International Education Interview: U.S. Culture Impacts Study Abroad Success | Tara Madden-Dent

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