At a time of social and political disarray, the migrant crisis burst the bubble of xenophobes across Europe. Of course there were also positive arguments stating that there are numerous benefits not only in offering aid to the downtrodden but to accepting them into our community. Below we consider a number of advantages to diversity in a community by taking a closer look at the case of education. When we speak of diversity we do not only speak of race but religion, gender, and socio-economic background too.
Knowledge and Tolerance
A student that undergoes education amongst a culturally diverse classroom quite naturally has the advantage of learning about multiple cultures and enhances her general knowledge. Imagine if each student brings along a snippet of his or her country’s culture on a daily basis, then surely by the first semester one would have amassed a compendium of cultural, historical and political knowledge.
The more nationalities in the classroom, the broader the education. Moreover, racially diverse classrooms diminish xenophobic or racist ideologies. Upon socializing with different ethnicities children begin to formulate a much more positive image of their fellow human beings and hence become more tolerant.
Creativity and Cooperation
Yet another benefit to diversity in schools is to prepare the children for the workplace. The early exposure to social queues and cultural sensitivities prepares the child for later collaboration in enterprises that most certainly encourage diversity in the workplace. An environment that encourages a different set of skills in order to accomplish tasks increases productivity immensely.
According to Forbes online, “research on creativity and innovation has been consistent in showing the value of exposing individuals to experiences with multiple perspectives and worldviews. It is the combination of these various perspectives in novel ways that result in new ideas popping up.” Hence, diversity is conducive to blistering creativity both in and out of the classroom.
Having diversity in the workspace at the early stages in a child’s life builds bridges to other countries and makes the world their oyster. In fact, I have made many friendships that enabled me to visit wonderful places all over the world. I guess you could say the world became a smaller place and each year I would make sure to meet my buddies in a new place whether it was in Asia or in Europe.
The usual culturally diverse educational hub in every country is commonly called an international school. International schools flaunt the number of nationalities they have – at times they have up to 50 different countries! They have every right in doing so since they most certainly wish to develop global citizens from a very early age. The International Baccalaureate is exactly the kind of programme that does this.
The only downside in countries is that private schools seem to offer such an educational upbringing that is usually only available to children of workers from the upper echelons of management, seldom for those that would normally apply for public schooling. But what can change? We may promote diversity in public schooling in order to gain those benefits already mentioned. Some consciousness raising is needed in order to change the current status quo if we want to instigate change, but it’s possible.