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Multiculturalism and Citizenship Education - Essay Example

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Multiculturalism and Citizenship Education

A common issue that arises is the problem of stereotyping. People have preconceived notions about certain groups of people which often result in conflicts. These preconceived notions are most often based on stories that have been handed down from generation to generation, blindly trusting in the words spoken without finding out the reality them.
To prevent problems regarding race from getting worse, proper education is needed. More than putting forward a sense of belongingness, citizenship offers a person or a citizen more than just his rightful place in this world. Along with a person's citizenship come a set of rights he is entitled to such as the right to vote, the right to acquire property and so on. With these rights also come a set of responsibilities, among which are obeying laws set by the government. (Family Guardian Fellowship n.d.). However, this is not enough. Citizens should be taught to acknowledge the existence of distinct cultural groups within the race. With this will come a better understanding other groups and their role in society which will lead to better interactions among groups.
Bernard Crick has this to say with regard to educating the public about citizenship, "Citizenship is more than a subject. If taught well and tailored to local needs, its skills and values will enhance democratic life for all of us, both rights and responsibilities, beginning in school and radiating out. " (Citizenship Foundation n.d.., page 1)
In the quote in the previous paragraph, Bernard Crick points out that citizenship should not be treated as just a subject taught in school. After finishing school, one is supposed to be equipped with the proper skills, inculcated with the right values that would enable a person to be an active, contributing member of society. This, of course, would vary depending on a nation's culture and need.
Such a heavy burden lies on the shoulders of educators who are faced with the task of imparting knowledge and moulding the minds of the world's future leaders. They should take great care in doing this and in setting the right examples so as not to misinform students. On the part of the students, they should realize that once they have passed the subject, the matter of citizenship does not end there. After they leave school, it seems that they have forgotten about their lessons and go back to the old practices that put people of certain cultural backgrounds in stereotypes.
In his article Multicultural Citizenship and post-devolution Britain: an analysis of minority rights, political representation and redistributive justice, Tristan Clayton associates the recent changes that have occurred in the British political landscape with several contentions in Will Kymlicka's work in Multicultural Citizenship. According to Clayton, Kymlicka claims that living in a culturally diverse society is achievable and necessary. Geographically speaking, the different areas in a country has different types of climates, terrain and resources This leads to the fact that people that come from different parts of the same country may have adversely different sets of inherent cultures and beliefs. According to Clayton, Kymlicka attests that given this innate organization, the issues that concern groups of different cultural orientation should be addressed in such a way that all groups ...Show more

Summary

Multiculturalism is a belief system that champions the idea of welcoming and allowing the existence of different cultural groups within a race or society. This is a principle that has been highly contested. This ideology comes with different issues such as nationalism, citizenship and identity and is hounded by the problems of racism, discrimination, cultural diversity.
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Multiculturalism and Citizenship Education essay example
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