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Cross Cultural Education

A research paper from Paper Masters analyzes recent original scholarly research articles on the subject of cross-cultural education. Our best research papers tend to demonstrate that despite intense debate on the subject of cross-cultural education, “hard” scholarly research in support of or in opposition to the issue remains quite limited. When you write your research paper, Paper Masters recommends that you use original, peer-reviewed research articles that analyze the four critical aspects of cross-cultural education:

  1. School principals’ perceptions of cross-cultural education;
  2. Teachers’ inclusion of cross-cultural content in the classroom;
  3. The effectiveness of cross-cultural training for educators;
  4. The impacts of cross-cultural schooling on students.

Taken together, the studies provide important insights into the practical applications of cross-cultural education. However, beware that they also demonstrate the limitations of the research on the subject and the dire need for further original, scientific investigation.

What is Cross-Cultural Education?

Cross Cultural Education

The world today is a multicultural community. In seeking to navigate the modern world, cross cultural education is a vital tool for any student, and a necessary component for pedagogical success. In teaching from a cross cultural perspective, sensitivity and acceptance of “the other” breaks down prejudicial barriers and allows the student to come to a more balanced understanding of the interplay of cultures in the modern world. And schools in America are microcosms.

Cross cultural education also seeks to serve the educational needs of students from differing cultures within the current US educational system. America is rapidly becoming a more pluralistic society, and educational opportunities cannot be limited to a single, monoculture perspective that demographics alone show is receding into the past. Cross cultural education seeks to not only rectify the distorted views of past pedagogy, but challenges students to question assumptions and view problems through a multitude of lenses.

In recent years cross-cultural education has become the subject of intense debate among educators, policy makers, and the general public. Supporters of cross-cultural education view it as a critical tool for creating a genuinely cross-cultural society in which “diverse but socially acceptable” behavioral modes, cognitive styles and interpretive perspectives are appreciated and integrated into public discourse and policy formation. From this perspective, cross-cultural academia serves as an essential mechanism for preparing the United States for growing diversity at the national level and rapidly deepening global integration.

However, cross-cultural education presents serious challenges to well-established and educational paradigms in the United States, including academic disciplines. Indeed, a frequent criticism of cross-cultural education is that it threatens to undermine fundamental American ideals and to divide the nation into dueling cultural and racial groups. This is because the principles advanced by cross-cultural education call into question the deeply entrenched belief that there exists “an invariant body of shared intellectual heritage which must form part of the repertoire of all educated persons.” Such positions directly oppose the cross-culturalist notion of knowledge as largely socially constructed and open to reinterpretation across cultural divides. In fact, many advocates of cross-cultural education criticize the “shared heritage” assumed by traditionalists as essentially sexist, Euro centric, and racist in its marginalization of women, non-Europeans, and various ethnic and racial minorities.

Controversies to Include When Examining Cross-Cultural Education

Despite the often heated tenor of the controversies surrounding cross-cultural education, however, only limited solid scholarly research has yet investigated the real challenges associated with implementing cross-cultural programs or the actual impacts of such programs on students and teachers. For instance, although school psychologists and educators in the United States receive training in cross-cultural issues, few efforts have been made to scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of such content in preparing these personnel for the challenges of cross-cultural education. Indeed, original research to scientifically test the widely held assumption that cross-cultural education leads to increased tolerance towards other cultures remains rather limited. Fortunately, the recent studies analyzed below address some of the existing limitations.

For instance, research by McCray and associates makes important contributions to the understanding of factors that obstruct the implementation of cross-cultural education at the level of the individual school. The researchers identify the school principal as the critical individual “who sets the tone of the school culture and provides the proper vision as to the direction of the institution.” As such, the authors set out to investigate the degree to which principals from schools and communities with diverse characteristics support the goals of cross-cultural education. Specifically, their study was designed to measure how differences in principals’ perceptions of cross-cultural education might be explained by independent variables such as the size, socioeconomic status, and racial composition of schools and whether they were located in rural, versus suburban, versus urban communities.

In seeking to create active learners, cross cultural education provides a multilayered approach from which students learn awareness of different perspectives. Cross cultural education serves to both reduce prejudice in students, and integrate content across disciplines in order to construct knowledge for the student’s discovery. Cross cultural education is essential for the education of the next generation.

 

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