The world is filled with different cultures of people. Education has the great advantage of being able to experience these different cultures and peoples on a daily basis and in a very open context, unlike many other fields. In schools, it is possible to take the time to explore different cultures up close. In the classroom, teachers can create an environment of tolerance and acceptance unlike any other place. Because of these special circumstances, students are able to benefit tremendously through the interactions with other cultures.
What can schools and teachers do to facilitate experiences between different cultures in the classroom? Below are a few examples:
- Use technology to talk to people of other cultures or experience their traditions. Use Skype. Create a Facebook or other online page for students in other countries to connect with your students.
- Use technology to research other cultures and traditions.
- Invite guest speakers to come in and share their background. Look at parents, grandparents, community leaders, business owners, cultural leaders, etc.
- Allow students to share their backgrounds, traditions, and holidays.
- Read from a wide variety of authors in all classes, especially Language Arts.
- Study an array of cultures in social studies.
- Create artwork from many different cultures.
- Listen to, sing, or play music from all over the world.
- Display photos of other cultures and traditions.
- Hang up quotes from prominent people of all cultures.
- Talk about the differences, but also talk about the similarities. The differences make us unique individuals, but the similarities help us to understand each other