The Future of Multicultural Kids
Who are Multicultural Kids?
In our modern society, “multicultural” is often described as someone, a place, or a situation that consists or relates to many nationalities, cultures, and several races. If a mixed marriage can form a multicultural family, then who are multicultural kids, and how will their future look?
Do multicultural kids need to have a diverse background? Does a multicultural kid need to be a multilingual individual? If they do, how many languages should they speak? Do multicultural kids need to travel often, live abroad, or interact with people from other countries and be friends with people around the world?
Despite various interpretations, how to define the scope of being a multicultural kid? The most common understanding of a multicultural kid is categorized either in an internal or external form: Genetically, most people defined a child from a hybrid family as a multicultural kid. On the other hand, a multicultural kid can also be a third-culture kid. In theory, I believe multicultural kids commonly have a pair of eyes that can look at the world from a global perspective and carry the attitude to respect the differences, also known as the global mindset.
What is the Global Mindset?
According to Carol Dweck, an individual mindset is how people perceive their ability or intelligence; Most people have heard of fixed and growth mindset. A fixed mindset individual believes the ability is a fixed trait, while a growth mindset people believe the ability can grow and develop over time and effort.
On the other hand, a global mindset is an orientation of the world that allows individuals to understand certain things from a global perspective. It is a skill to develop over time with guidance rather than rules. Fostering a global mindset skill is a vital key to open the door in this world. The young learner will learn to connect things beyond the local frames, which this skill can lead to multicultural competencies in their adulthood. This ability will allow them to adapt and function efficiently in a culturally diverse environment and collaborate across cultures.
A global mindset means the ability to scan the world from a broad perspective, always looking for unexpected trends and opportunities that may constitute a threat or an opportunity to achieve personal, professional, or organizational objectives. – Rhinesmith.
The importance of developing a global mindset is not a secret in the modern-day. According to the Global Network research, the global mindset group tends to search for solutions more than the growth mindset group when facing challenges. Not only the global mindset group has outperformed both the fixed and growth mindset group. It proves that these individuals value learning opportunities and able to turn the plan into reality.
Teaching Young Children Multicultural and Global Citizenship
Via New York Times bestseller Malcolm Gladwell’s sold-out book: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, human behavior is sensitive to and strongly influenced by its environments. In other words, the community where beliefs are practiced, expressed and nurtured plays a vital role in shaping an individual’s behavior. Creating a structure with guidance would help these principles and values to persist and serve as an example to others in the future.
Malcolm continued to address Judith Rich Harris’s theory, an independent researcher and author of The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out The Way They Do. Judith Rich Harris suggested that children’s behavior in the outside world often bears little or no similarity to their parents at home. Parents matter much less than peers in the group when it comes to determining their children’s behavior. However, not to forget that children’s transformation into a responsible adult is through parents’ careful hands. Parents do influence their children by their actions in acknowledging and reinforcing the personalities already inside their children. It is not hard to see the connection between parents, peers, and the environment often tied together in human growth and development.
Education for Multicultural and Global Citizenship
Most children spend their time mainly at school with teachers and peers. Therefore, it is safe to say that education and school environment play an essential role in fostering an external multicultural kid.
The cultural diversity and the population of multinational teachers are essential in multicultural education. Children spend more awake hours in school than they do at home. Our goal is to find a school or classroom that can help them to “fit in.” As time grows and they start to feel more comfortable. Kids can develop a sense of security to feeling “belong” to this place eventually.
Multicultural education is a teaching and learning philosophy. The basic principle of multicultural education is the teaching methodology incorporating the teacher’s experience and student culture. The teacher who embraces multiculturalism will be more mindful of the student’s cultural backgrounds and tend to engage by supporting their differences.
In a multicultural school, kids’ lifestyles in which will encounter people from different cultural backgrounds. Becoming multilingual is one of the educational goals to develop.
The main advantage is that a multicultural education prepares kids to be much more fully knowledgeable about living with different people. Furthermore, it also emphasizes accepting cultural differences.
Multicultural education is more than the race!
The Future of Multicultural Kids
The article on Teaching Global Citizenship suggests teaching multicultural and global citizenship to young children are continually seeking the following structures:
- Open Communication
- Instill Inquiry-Based Learning
- Promote Learn-Think-Feel-Act
- Introduce Global Events
- Encourage Global and Multicultural Experiences
- Multilingual: Learning a New Language
so what is the future of multicultural kids?
Multicultural kids are often engaged in different cultures or interacting with people from other races. They can see objects and situations from multiple perspectives, more flexible to expand further to consider alternatives. Being a global mindset multicultural kid allows them to use culture as a basic understanding of decision-making and problem-solving.
Besides, children engaging in mixed cultures can recognize that things can always be viewed differently, aware that the choice they are involved in is just one among many. In other words, it helps children to understand that there are many ways to achieve goals, and there are many different goals that people may find are worth achieving.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Multicultural kids generally adapt better to new cultures and understand how to behave appropriately in a new environment. Most of the children are multilingual, which allows them to find a comfort zone and adapt quickly. Multicultural kids generally have a higher tolerance for other cultures.
Children grow up in a multicultural environment is likely to be a better communicator and has a more extensive international social network when they get older. Multicultural kids see themselves as part of the world.
One of the biggest challenges of communication is interacting with people from different backgrounds; multicultural children can conduct the conversation more comfortably.
A recent study in the journal “Child Development” found that students feel safer in and out of school when they grow up in a diverse environment. Children feel more comfortable with different social groups and themselves, leading to a more profound sense of safety and self-confidence.
Develop Open-Mindedness & Critical Thinking
Children who have access to a multicultural environment also have a more in-depth understanding and appreciation of other cultures. It gives children the eagerness to learn about other countries, giving them an open and inclusive world view.
Respecting Others and Self-Respect
During the growing process in a multicultural environment, most multicultural kids develop a natural sense of awareness of his and other cultures. It helps to avoid stereotyping unhealthy relationships and a culture of division that caused unwanted judgment towards people. Children are aware that there is no superior culture and learn that all people are equal. Develop an internal sense of respect for cultural diversity.
Having a diverse environment may pose some challenges. Still, it also has many benefits wherein the children are exposed to the world and develop a positive attitude towards the world view. Creating the opportunity to learn at a young age will undoubtedly significantly impact society in the long run.