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The Role of Cultural Identity Education in Schools 20 July, 2021   

Learning is the primary purpose for schools, but is it restricted to only academics? The simple answer is no. It extends beyond academic lectures to also include growing individual character. Schools aim to groom you into your best version of yourself and provide you with the knowledge you'll need to live and excel in society. So, it's of little wonder why different educational institutions incorporate cultural identification learning into their curriculum.



Having such knowledge is critical to thriving in today's diverse and multicultural society. You find many pupils look up cultural identity essay examples on the internet as tutors have them write papers on this topic. Why? Because crafting such papers helps teachers get a glimpse of their student's perspectives of social issues. Thanks to essay samples about culture, crafting such papers is less challenging. 


The subsequent sections reveal the role of having cultural identity education in college and university lessons.


What is Cultural Identity? 


Cultural identity refers to an individual's sense of belonging to a certain group or culture. It involves identifying with and accepting their beliefs, heritage, ancestry, social structure, religion, and more. Simply put, it describes the shared characteristics of a group of individuals. Cultural identity examples include fashion, norms, celebrations, holidays, languages, and more. 



Schools present an excellent environment to develop children's cultural identities. Here, they meet and interact with other kids from different backgrounds and ethnicity, providing teachers with an opportunity to instill in them respect for each other's culture. It will aid them with learning to interact with people inside and outside their community. 


After college, students are bound to continue to interact with people with different cultural backgrounds. Instilling in them the awareness of ethnic identity while in school is crucial to preparing them to embrace and adapt to such an evolving society.


Importance of Learning Cultural Identity


Why is multicultural education important in today's society? It's helpful for students to learn and be aware of the diverse world. Such knowledge doesn't just help develop a society where children from different backgrounds and needs can thrive and go a long way towards building general acceptance, tolerance, and interest in an increasingly diverse civilization. 


Here's why it's important to have culture be a part of a student's education in school:


  • Improves Understanding of the Subject and Cooperation with Others

Learning in an environment with cultural diversity will help improve children's understanding of the topic. Along with having a comprehensive knowledge of identity, it'll also help them identify ways to use their strengths and perspectives to contribute to a diverse work setting. 


  • It Creates More Open-Minded Individuals 


Exposure to different perspectives, views, and ethnic backgrounds early on encourages them to be more open-minded in the future. They will learn to incorporate and respect others' views, leading to a better comprehension of various social topics. 


  • Children Become More Emphatic


Understanding other cultures will improve your ability to empathize with them, as you are aware of potential experiences they could face. The campus setting provides an opportunity for scholars to interact and form connections with people from different backgrounds, ethnicity, and more. Such bonds help to grow and develop more aware and empathic individuals.


  • Prepares Them for Workplace Diversity


The world is evolving with globalization taking center stage, making it critical for individuals to work effectively with people from different backgrounds and social groups. Having groomed their social skills and learning to be more culturally aware in school improves their ability to flourish in today's workforce environment.


  • Promotes Safety and Confidence


Learning cultural background and identity in different levels of educational institutions improves self-acceptance and self-esteem, with kids becoming more confident and comfortable with their differences. Such feelings help them interact with a wider range of social groups. They can comfortably have meaningful conversations, relationships, and more with others while feeling confident.


Ways to Build and Explain Cultural Identity and Diversity in the Classroom


A teacher has to have their students learn about their culture and others, empowering them with knowledge and skills to help them integrate and interact in a diverse and multicultural society at an early age.  Here are ways tutors can go about achieving this feat. 




  • Grow a Personal Connection with Your Students


Teachers need to have a personal connection with their students, knowing their interests, hobbies, aspirations, and more. Consider getting to know what attributes, skills, and habits make them stand out. Showing genuine interest in knowing your pupils and their cultural backgrounds will help you gain their trust, promote better connections and make them feel appreciated. 


When scholars feel comfortable with their tutors, they tend to respect and communicate better with their peers. All of which are elements necessary to a culturally aware and embracing atmosphere. 


  • Maintain a Good and Consistent Class Rapport


Take the time to have regular conversations with your students. You can discuss and identify issues they are currently experiencing, drawing up ways to improve the classroom experience. Good communication can also contribute to personalizing learning, and you'll get the opportunity to guide your pupils to improve their academic and social skills. Here are some identity questions for students.


  • What does your dress style say about you? 

  • What are your family traditions and celebrations? 

  • What nonfiction or fiction story best describes the critical elements from your tradition?

  • Write a Cultural Identity Essay 


Having students write papers on diversity is one of the top identity activities for high school students. Essays are more than an avenue for them to get their grades up, it also provides an excellent way to have them learn new topics or discover their knowledge, perspectives, and experiences with one. Tutors often employ this method to introduce complex concepts, theories, or issues and have them turn in their write-ups before an exam week. Students have to conduct extensive research on a subject, during which they learn to identify and understand various aspects of it. 


Today's children have a much better understanding of cultural identity, thanks to their upbringing at school and expressing their opinions in various essays about cultural identity, which you can read here. Consider having them prepare write-ups on diversity or any of its aspects. This activity can be a group project to help with the process of learning to work with others. Multiple free essay examples on the internet can help serve as a guide to introducing them to the topic. 


Consider having students come into class to discuss their findings from their research work. They can showcase various traditions such as food, holidays, clothing styles, and more to the classroom. Remember to take the opportunity to highlight and hold discussions on what's appropriate and what's offensive. It's a good way to promote respect and acknowledgment of diversity.


  • Incorporate Practicing Cultural Sensitivity


Having a good rapport with peers is excellent, but it's also crucial your pupils know their cultural nuisances. They need to practice being sensitive to other people's beliefs, practices, and traditions. Find ways to include every student in various class activities. 

General inclusion is excellent, but you'd still need to create an avenue to learn in their unique way. For non-natives or those currently learning English, you can provide course resources that cater to such needs. 


  • Have Diverse Lessons


Have a cultural identity lesson plan. Your lessons should reflect the presence of other cultures. Consider extending your academic references to include other countries and ethnicities outside the US. You can have diverse speakers come in to deliver class talks. 


  • Be Flexible and Free


Taking an authoritative stance with your pupils has a high chance of hampering your communication with them. Instead, take a more free and flexible approach to manage your class, as individuals learn more from their experiences. You can take the role of a facilitator, encouraging healthy discussions and debates among your pupils. Consider having them discuss their views and perceptions on the topic to improve their connection with the topic.


Conclusion


Having students learn cultural diversity in education will help groom them into more culturally aware and incorporating individuals. They are more open-minded, empathic, and confident. It also prepares them to thrive and make meaningful contributions in today's diverse workplace. Teachers can emulate any of the listed tips to effectively implement and build their student's awareness and understanding of cultural identity.

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