Cultural Diversity and Multicultural Education

Cultural diversity is presented as one of the most important aspects of modern society. Education, in turn, has always been an institution for displaying cultural education and the diversity of different civilizations, which defines people. Taking into account cultural characteristics is essential not only from an educational point of view. It is vital that the younger generation socializes around representatives of different cultures, knows and respects their peculiarities, traditions, and views.

There are many definitions of this concept derived by various scientists and specialists. Verkuyten and Yogeeswaran define it as “differences in gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, culture, nationality, religion, political orientation, and viewpoint” (1). Despite this, the basis of this phenomenon lies not in the fact that there is a culturally different population, a commonplace of residence, and interaction of people with distinctive features, but in what meaning society attaches to them and for what purposes these differences are used.

The concept of teaching multiculturalism or with the help of cultural diversity was originated many years ago. Civitello et al. emphasized that “teaching culturally diverse classrooms starts from embracing beliefs that recognize the strengths of cultural diversity” (67). It is proved that the fact that representatives of any ethnic culture have features of world perception. It is impossible to understand someone else’s culture without referring to its vision of the world, shared by members of the cultural group.

The goal of cultural diversity in education is the formation of a personality capable of practical life, interaction, and communication in international society. People should have a sense of respect for cultures other than those in which they grew up. Moreover, their behavior should be characterized by the ability to exist in peace with representatives of different nationalities, views, and religions. The educational system, in turn, accumulates and transmits the pedagogical experience of peoples and cultures, provides communication with generations, at the same time creates and tests new approaches, forms, and methods of teaching distinctive traditions.

The idea of involving cultural features in the educational process, implying the solution of pedagogical issues taking into account the multifaceted social perspectives of different cultures, is of particular value. Such education not only gives a person a cultural and historical experience but also preserves, transmits, and creates such experience. Thus, the process of assimilation of knowledge, norms, and views turns out to be an activity for the preservation, transfer, reproduction, and development of the culture of various nationalities.

However, there are some problems that might occur during the implementation of cultural diversity in education. Therefore, research shows that teachers who were put into a school with an increased diversity level demonstrated a higher degree of burnout and stress and lower efficacy than teachers from educational institutions with poor cultural variety (Glock et al. 696). In addition, stereotyping aggravates the process of introducing diversity. This is reflected in the fact that some people consider what is happening in their culture to be natural and correct and what exists in other cultures, on the contrary. This can affect all aspects, such as behavior, customs, norms, and values. The fight against these problems is of paramount importance for the formation of a multicultural society that respects each other.

Due to the constant development of the education sector, the number of problems that may arise in its process is also growing. However, there are also positive consequences of the work of many cultural classes. Thus, it contributes to the effective preparation of students for life in an environment with many different and unique cultures, nationalities, views, and traditions based on their respect and tolerance. Moreover, cultural diversity in the field of knowledge acquisition contributes to the reduction of social tension, the formation of the personality of a person who is ready for intercultural dialogue. In addition, it provides people with the experience of studying cultures, develops an idea of the diversity of ethnic values, and instills respect for the right of peoples to preserve their cultural identity.

The educational system is presented as one of the most important aspects of social development and one of the main factors in preserving and further evolving national cultures. It is also an effective tool for the cultural and social rapprochement of society. Thus, the formation of a clear and working education system with the involvement of cultural education is an integral part of the development strategy. This is based on the fact that it is necessary to promote the preservation of the sociocultural diversity of society, protect the uniqueness of ethnic communities, and reduce the likelihood of disagreements between cultures. The problem of multicultural education is a hostile attitude and disrespect for another culture. Cultural diversity is a critical part of the unified education system and is based on the general principles of State and social policy in the field of education.

Works Cited

Civitillo, Sauro, Linda P. Juang, and Maja K. Schachner. “Challenging Beliefs about Cultural Diversity in Education: A Synthesis and Critical Review of Trainings with Pre-service Teachers.” Educational Research Review, vol. 24, 2018, pp. 67-83.

Glock, Sabine, Hannah Kleen, and Stefanie Morgenroth. “Stress among Teachers: Exploring the Role of Cultural Diversity in Schools.” The Journal of Experimental Education, vol. 87, no. 4, 2019, pp. 696-713.

Verkuyten, Maykel, and Kumar Yogeeswaran. “Cultural Diversity and its Implications for Intergroup Relations.” Current Opinion in Psychology, vol. 32, 2020, pp. 1-5.

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ChalkyPapers. "Cultural Diversity and Multicultural Education." September 15, 2022.