Received: Feb 03, 2023, Manuscript No. jisr-23-89769; Editor assigned: Feb 06, 2023, Pre QC No. jisr-23-89769; Reviewed: Feb 20, 2023, QC No. jisr-23-89769; Revised: Feb 24, 2023, Manuscript No. jisr-23-89769; Published: Feb 28, 2023, DOI: 10.17719/jisr.2023.89769
The ethnic and cultural diversity of today’s society demands an intercultural education that promotes equal opportunities and the inclusion of minority groups at risk of social exclusion. The main findings shed light on data for programs and interventions developed mostly within the school setting and for students of elementary and secondary education; however, there are also interventions that are developed in the community and extracurricular context. The works are centralized in valuing the cultural diversity of the people with the students but not just exclusive to them. Highlighted is the implementation of teacher assistants and/or intercultural mediators from the community to be role models or references for the students, and family education participation is considered common practice. Such characteristics in educational interventions contribute to an inclusive education in an intercultural and sustainable manner.
Intercultural education; Educational interventions.
Globalization and migration are two phenomena that are having fundamental effects on both the developed and lesser developed societies, and also on individuals from all walks of life. This occurs at all levels, be they political, economic, social, or cultural. The picture of a compact society structured around a coherent system of values and shared social behavioral patterns has fallen apart, even in those populations which are far removed from the big cities. Today’s hyper communicated society has pulled down the barriers and has opened up spaces of communication where before there was only isolation and monologue. Nothing will be the same in the future: customs and traditions, language and religion, and values and behaviours, in short, culture will be contrasted with other ways of life and other cultures which will claim their own spaces and areas of manifestation. Uniformity and homogeneity have given way to complexity, variety, and mixed race. Clearly, these changes and contradictions which are occurring within the very bosom of society will have consequences in education. The task of learning to live not with differences but with different people cannot be put off, and established patterns rendered archaic by real events must be left behind. This means that pedagogy must seek a new discourse, a new language which is closer to today’s reality; a new educational praxis in which technical training or career preparation are not the major issues. In the pages that follow, we will defend the need not only for a new language but for membership of a new intercultural model of education which responds to the original root of all education: the ethical relationship between the teacher and the learner.
A culture is never a static reality, a finished work, a permanent feature, and this especially true of today’s society. It is a deeply historical reality which is changing, malleable, and subject to influences of other cultures with which, inevitably, it becomes associated. There is, therefore, no need to fear cultural globalization and its apparent capacity to swallow up cultural differences. The right to be different, which is invoked and recognized within a democratic society, needs to be redressed through the imperative of equality if one does not wish to arrive at a “Balkanized” society. Multicultural policy in a democratic society needs to be based on a universalistic conception of human rights and game rules or democratic proceedings, which are the fruits of long, hard years of fighting despotism and intolerance of all leanings. These do not merely constitute an unwaivable heritage and the fundamental legacy of the west to humanity, they are also a basic patrimony on which to build the common identity of a complex citizenship, and any cultural feature that goes against this is delegitimized. The construction of a fundamental common identity, while retaining the legitimate diversity of historical ways of life of individuals and groups is an inescapable condition for an integrated society in which all the members enjoy the same rights, independently of place of birth, ethnic group, culture, or religion. And the fact that we can neither defend a common cultural framework, as a synthesis of all cultures, nor tolerate the imposition of one culture on the others does not mean that a certain common framework is not necessary or convenient or that it is unattainable.
It is a task to be shared by society as a whole. All we can do here is outline some proposals. Integration of everybody in the classrooms and in society demands, above all, a change in attitudes. Attitudes, which are often at the root of rejection of different ethnic groups and cultures, are formed by messages and behaviours which are transmitted daily by the various media of communication, which are broadcast inside and outside the centres of education, and which filter through to every level and pervade every conversation. It is not just the images and the messages that are received through the media that make up the way young people think and act, there are also the role models of behaviour perceived in those most significant to them. The life models that are inevitably offered by the family and in the centres of learning can never be a matter of indifference for children and students. Social behaviours exhibited in public always produce certain effects and foster the acquisition of attitudes and values. It is here where action must be taken, where the messages of exclusion can be countered by unmasking that false defence of the home culture which harbours such messages. To expect the media to change its messages or society as a whole to assume a protector role towards the younger generations is an idealistic concept of society which has nothing to do with reality. Programmed activity both in the schools and in society to neutralize racist messages which exclude other cultures is required if hostile attitudes are to be changed, albeit over the long term.
The change in attitudes of pupils could be done in the following way: promoting a moral atmosphere in the classroom and in the school, an attitude of acceptance in the teacherpupil relationship, cooperation between pupils, development of solidarity projects in the school, and teachers training in the education of attitudes and values.
Based on this systematic revision and the results, there has been a profound understanding of what has been reported related to the development of the educational intervention directed to the Roma student body, within an intercultural education margin for sustainability. The objectives of the different interventions relate to the intercultural educational plan. They coincide with Ladson-Billings beliefs, who define three criticisms which cultural education is based on: the student academic success, cultural identity and development of critical thinking in empowering their ethnic group.
It is important to distinguish that the interventions identified based on this systematic revision cover educational levels from early childhood up to secondary education. Only one program developed within a community included young adults from secondary education and university.. In relation to what was proposed by the European Commission, the use of innovative methodologies to favor the educational inclusion of Roma students is noted. These are alternative strategies aimed at increasing motivation, cognitive abilities and school achievement, which are adequate to get an equitable access to education and teaching and learning based on their culture. So, it is verified that elements of the culture, language, traditions and history of Roma are included in the classroom setting, in the teaching-learning process and in the out-of-school surrounding, which contributes to an improvement in the assessment of the Roma culture by the community according to intercultural positions.
Intercultural Education and dialogue can provide an effective response and solutions to the different challenges that emerge from a culturally diverse society. Therefore, those interventions developed in the community context where schools and communities collaborate; Greenfields and Home call it community participation, are relevant and successful. The family has an important role as a source of knowledge and transmission of the culture, values and the Roma tradition hence the governmental programs must go in hand in hand with the local realities of the Roma community, as indicated by Marc and Bercus. In this sense, the analyzed interventions have focused on valuing the Roma culture, establishing cooperation strategies and family and community participation, establishing an open dialogue between cultures, through cooperation, interaction and interrelation for the formation of a fairer coexistence, as affirmed by Araque.
In several programs interventions with the participation of students, teachers, Roma assistants, families, Roma communities and neighborhoods have been considered, endorsing the success of the named “communities of practice” or “learning communities” since it is a principle of intercultural citizenship that students interact with people outside the classroom. In this way, the importance of the “teaching assistant” leading figure has been identified. It is important to implement educational interventions where the referent or assistant is a person of the same ethnic group and not of the majority culture; it promotes a feeling of cultural belonging in children and young Roma and of equality of cultural status. It also facilitates the understanding and connection between the school and the child, being a great support for all the students of a class.
The interventions developed after school schedule would help children and young people to participate in activities that facilitate their educational and social inclusion. A fundamental aspect in intercultural education is teacher training. Teachers working in these contexts need a constant update, cooperation across the curriculum and intercultural competence to develop strategies and methodologies appropriate to the cultural characteristics of this group. In this sense Biasutti, Concina and Frate point out that through training instances teachers encourage educational inclusion and the development of students from a sustainable social point of view, because the social sphere is one of the pillars of sustainability.
Therefore, for the development of an intercultural education for sustainability, interventions that favor knowledge, cooperation and interrelation between different cultures are recommended. These could take the form of social and educational actions in environments of cultural diversity directed and participated by students, both of minorities as well as cultural majorities.
It would also be convenient to favor the participation of the women in the different educational interventions, either as a teaching assistant or as an intercultural mediator in schools and communities, giving them greater representation in line with goal, which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Finally, given the lack of longitudinal studies on educational interventions that shed light on the success or academic achievement of the participating Roma students, it is recommended to conduct evaluative studies that support effective educational practices. The democratic value in educational interventions is also considered very important, with the participation of the Roma community, social, educational and research institutions in their design to achieve true social and educational inclusion.