This integration can begin early at the school level where interaction with children of different colors, races and speaking different languages teach them to accept these differences and to take the best from each in order to develop wholesome tolerant personalities. Such diversity can be looked upon as an asset to enrich the learning experience and integrate children into a strong unit, irrespective of physical or cultural differences.
Nieto and Bode define culture as “the values, traditions, worldview and social and political relationships created, shared and transformed by a group of people bound together by a common history, geographic location, language, social class, religion or other shared identity.” (Nieto and Bode, 2012) They add that language plays a critical role in learning. I agree that if students of different cultures and identities are educated in such a way so as to minimize their differences and stress on their commonalities, we would be building a stronger tomorrow based on respect and understanding of people different from us who could enrich one another and together build strong communities that are enriched by their diversity.
As a child who belonged to a culture that was different from the one I encountered at school, I learned to negotiate between two worlds - the one in school and the one at home. In the beginning it was difficult and I was often confused. As a child my cultural identity was mostly discounted. I was one among a lot of others. Perhaps, this facet of a teacher’s role in her classroom had not yet been highlighted as it is today. However being a child, I quickly realized that the only way out for me was to be better at some things than most other students. Once I had mastered being bicultural and could alternate successfully between the correct behavior at school and at home, I began to feel more ...Show more