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People need look no further than their own homes to see the interdependence of world trade; no further than their neighborhoods to see the results of international migration and multiculturalism; no further than the news to see the causes and effects of global economics, ecology and ethnic conflicts. "While domestic debate continues over the nature of these connections, few can doubt their existence. As these connections increase, educators, utilizing a global model, can provide a context that allows students to analyze and understand the impact of world events" (Baker, 1999).
Multiculturalism and globalism are obviously not unique to the United States. The majority of Western societies are racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse. Ethnic revival movements have come up in a lot of countries including quite a few Western European nations (Banks & Lynch, 1986). This type of revival movement occurs when an ethnic group organizes efforts to attain equality inside a society. It may try to get rid of bias, to legitimize its culture inside the nation, and try to form a positive identity. Ethnic revitalization actions tend to come about in nations that are previously ethnically diverse but where ethnic stratification exists. Some nations have had immigrants arrive from previous colonies. "Many immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe have settled in other nations in search of jobs. Many nations in Europe are faced with the challenge of educating diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious groups" (Baker, 1999).
The United States needs people who understand cultural diversity and speak languages in addition to English. Both global and multicultural education must work toward that end. The most significant force for cooperation between the two is the connection of goals and content. Both movements work to improve intergroup and global understanding and relations, to improve intercultural communication, to reduce stereotyping, and to help students comprehend human diversity without loosing sight of the traits that all peoples share.
No person belongs to only one group. Each person belongs to a lot of groups involving things such as gender, age, financial status, social class, area of residence, national origin, religion, and cultural or ethnic group association (Baker, 1999).
When multicultural and global education operates independently, they sometimes compete with one another and with other subjects for time in the school curriculum. Collaboration between the two, consequently, makes sense when developing new curriculum.
While multicultural educator's center primarily on ethnicity inside the United States, global educators stress worldwide phenomena. Some educators on both sides pay little attention to the connection between ethnicity and world affairs. Multicultural educators must intentionally include global perspectives in their courses and global educators must deliberately include ethnicity as a part of global education (Baker, 1999).
Multicultural and global education should work together to help students understand what it means to see things from a particular point-of-view. Both sides need to aid students develop the capability to recognize points-of-view, whether they come from individuals, ethnic groups, areas, nations, or international organizations. World events offer an excellent way to unite multicultural and global thinking by analyzing the effects of different viewpoints. The investigation of perspective in world events should included multicultural scope. Ethnicity and national identity have not always worked together in a positive fashion, for example. "Looking at examples of situations where we draw from history and from contemporary global and national events can help students examine the role and importance of perspective" (Baker, 1999).
Multicultural and global education should help students recognize how their values have been developed and help them understand the impact of world trends and events on members of different groups. A knowledge of groups provides information that help to better understand people. This provides a vital link between global and individual concerns. Both multicultural and global education should evaluate and contrast ethnicity in the United States with ethnicity as it functions in other parts of the world. Educators need look at how Americans of different ethnic groups sustained, customized, or lost aspects of their heritage (Baker, 1999).
Both multicultural and global education looks at how group stereotypes, which get in the way of intergroup relationships develop. Educators need to involve their students in ways in which group images are shaped. If students learn to appreciate the process of stereotyping, they should become more considerate citizens of the world (Smith, 1976). A good way to do this would be to expand the school curriculum into the community. Families, peer groups, churches, the workplace, media and television are all components of external curriculum.
Oftentimes this curriculum aids people to better appreciate other ethnic groups as well as global associations (Baker, 1999).
Even though there are some fundamental differences between global education and multicultural education it is apparent that when the two are joined together they can provide a very effective platform for educational opportunities that allow people to be prepared for working in the world in which we now live. And in the end this is what is most important as people should not be set up to fail, but should be prepared to do their best.
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