The Paradigm of Intercultural Education

Social interactions and the premises of contemporary society are reflected and constructed through the mixture of cultural structures and conventions.

Culture, in the context of the current paradigm, must be perceived through a diversity of infinite, reintegrated and manifested features. A culture, regardless of its roots and particular characteristics, manifests itself and becomes valuable when we relate it to others. Although the expressions and valences of manifestation of each culture are distinct and individual, it is important to note that no culture includes it and can not be superior to another.

In this context, a priority place is occupied by the availability of the school and the entire educational process, to integrate and develop in its approach, the values of interculturality and cultural diversity.

Within the school, the class of students meet different personalities and temperaments, which make us unique and diverse, which obliges us to tolerance and respect, to empathy and acceptance. This varied context of manifestation creates that space of diversity, offering different challenges and approaches, sometimes even contrasting, in different educational situations. The role of the educator remains a defining one, because it is the key element, it is the one who, through his prestige and ability as a mentor, manages to propose and give each student fairness and equal opportunities for instruction, regardless of cultural or ethnicity. .

Like culture, it is necessary for the school, in its didactic and formative approach, to propagate that unity and plurality, that mobility, the principle of uniqueness in diversity.

The student comes to school to be taught about universal values, about cultural values, as they exist and as they are integrated in the concrete experience of life. Although it seems a difficult exercise, we must keep in mind that the school does not form identical personalities, but accumulates and integrates various axiological and cultural experiences.

Interculturalism, therefore, becomes a constantly transforming process, which is manifested by desideratum as: diversity, difference, tolerance, empathy, understanding, respect, dialogue, equality.

„A true intercultural approach is all-encompassing. It goes through everything: the school climate, the physical environment, the curriculum, the relationships between teachers, students and the community. It can appear in each lesson, curriculum guide, activity, letter sent to parents. It can be observed in the process by which, for example, books, teaching materials are selected from the school library, in recreational games. Thus, intercultural education is not just a concept, a program, a class or a teacher. She supports rethinking school reform. ” (J. Nieto)

Thus, an intercultural school promotes respect for the different, supports and enhances the individual potential of each through equal learning opportunities, mediates interaction and cultural exchange between all participants in the intrusive-educational process. Learning activities become diverse and explicit, related to the effective management of a balanced intercultural curriculum, which allows the elimination of elements and situations of ethnic and cultural segregation.

Intercultural exchange can be achieved through educational, artistic, volunteer activities, which can generate intercultural communications, direct interactions, cooperation. The didactic methods of operation can be varied, both traditional and modern, and their effectiveness being highlighted by the extent to which the educational act manages to achieve those communicative and relational levers, between individuals belonging to different cultures or ethnicities.

Education, through interculturalism and the promotion of diversity, becomes a multipurpose process, enunciated through a modern and interactive didactics, an ethical conduct, an innovative principle for the school universe.


prof. Nicoleta-Georgiana-Candice Marc

Școala Gimnazială Nicolae Bălcescu, Arad (Arad) , România
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