Widening Your Bubble: The Benefits of Multicultural Education

One of the most significant decisions you can make as a parent is choosing how to educate your child. Your chosen schools can determine how they make friends and who those friends are, as well as affecting their attitude toward learning, other people, and the world around them. If you want the best for your child, one of the options to consider is emphasizing multicultural education.

Breaking Down Stereotypes

It’s one thing to tell your child that all people are equal, but the demonstration of this concept can be a different matter. If your children have no exposure to people from varied races and cultural backgrounds, it can be easy for them to create or lean into stereotypes. Too often, this can result in people treating others poorly because they belong to a different demographic. These kinds of ideas perpetuate, even unintentionally, without direct action.

By attending classes with other children from all over the world, in-person or online, your child can grow to understand that people are people, no matter what their differences are. Actively encouraging them to make friends with people who aren’t like them, you can help shape their ideas around people as they are, not as part of a stereotyped group.

Building New Ideas

Each of our minds works in different and mysterious ways, but trends can develop within cultures and affect how your child learns to think. You’ve probably experienced the “fishbowl” situation, where everyone thinks and acts the same way as you. The same applies in classrooms — it can be comfortable for you, but it’s not fertile ground for new ideas to grow.

On the other hand, mixing with people who think differently from you can be beneficial in many ways. If your child has strong beliefs, they will learn ways to interact with those who disagree with them. If they’re open to unique ideas, they’ll learn to work well with people across many barriers. Cross-cultural dialogue, especially in a classroom, helps generate new ideas in a safe environment.

Receiving Individualized Care

When most of the children at a school are on the same level and from the same background, the teachers often find it easiest to treat their classrooms as homogenized wholes. Catering to the specific needs and cultures of each student is less common. Most teachers don’t do this intentionally or out of laziness; it’s just how they feel their classroom functions best.

When a teacher knows that their classroom is full of diversity, though, they’ll be able to take advantage of that fact and highlight each student in a way that brings them into the group while celebrating their differences. Your child will be one of many who can share what makes their family special while feeling united with their classmates.

Instilling Respect and Kindness

Most parents want their children to grow up into the best people they can be, and often that means someone kind and caring to other people. If they’re only surrounded by kids like themselves, they may be far more sensitive to differences such as skin color, spoken language, and homeland. Often, students will break into cliques as a result, ostracizing those who are even slightly different.

By removing barriers early on and surrounding your child with people that aren’t like them, you’ll facilitate one of the most important lessons they can learn: that people are worthy of respect, even if they aren’t like them. If your children appreciate people’s differences as special and not weird or bad, you’ll find it much easier to teach them to be kind and care for others.

If you think multicultural education may be a good fit for your family, look no further than Ideal School. We’re accredited in over 86 countries as a live, online K-7 school designed to bring different cultures together. With a strong emphasis on core subjects, English and Spanish language arts, and live teachers for every class, we’re confident that we can help your little one learn to thrive. Contact us today for more information.

Eric Franzen

Eric Franzen

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