Education and Training
Multicultural Education: A Policy for the 1990's
On May 15, 1990, the Government of Manitoba unveiled its Policy for a Multicultural Society. The three fundamental principles of the policy are pride, equality and partnership: pride in the cultural diversity of Manitoba society; equality of opportunity for all members of that society; and partnership to achieve the multicultural ideal. This policy has implications for all government departments.
The multilingual multiethnic composition of this province is clearly reflected in Manitoba schools. Given the broad goals of public education which emphasize the importance of meeting the educational needs of all students, it is essential that the educational system be responsive to the cultural and linguistic diversity that characterizes Manitoba schools, post-secondary institutions and communities.
The integration of multicultural education within curriculum areas acknowledges the need to prepare all students for life in a multicultural society. Integral to the school program in its entirety are those educational objectives that recognize the various cultural and historical heritage, and develop an understanding of and respect for the cultural and historical of others.
This multicultural education policy statement affirms the ongoing commitment of Manitoba Education and Training to the multi- cultural ideal. The policy on multicultural education is guided by the three following thrusts:
- Education for Full Participation in Society
- Education for Cultural and Linguistic Development
- Education for Intercultural Understanding
for Full Participation in Society
All students, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, physical capabilities, or intellectual potential, have a right to equal and meaningful roles in Canadian society. Education must therefore, enable all students to develop those abilities and competencies which will promote effective social participation and equal status for themselves and their ethnocultural groups. Students whose mother tongue is neither English nor French must be assisted in the development of linguistic proficiency in either of Canada's official languages. Effective language programs, cultural awareness programs, identification of community liaison personnel and other initiatives that address the cultural differences and unique needs of minority language students are equally important to full participation of these students in the educational system.
for Cultural and Linguistic Development
Cultural pluralism is a positive force in society. Education must assist students from different cultural backgrounds to develop self-esteem and a strong sense of personal identity as Canadians and as members of their ethnocultural group through an awareness of their won cultural, linguistic and historical heritage. Integral to this commitment under the law is the provision, through the school curriculum, of instruction in both English and French, as well as opportunities for heritage language study. Programs that support cultural development in areas other than the study of languages are equally valuable initiatives.
Education for Intercultural Understanding
Education should assist students in developing self-esteem and a strong sense of personal identity through the positive portrayals of their own cultural and historical heritage. Education should also assist students in developing and understanding of, and respect for, the cultural and historical heritage of others. Students should be given opportunities to explore the characteristics and values that represent various ethnocultural groups. This knowledge will assist students in dealing with incidents of stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, and racism.
The transmission of a general policy statement into specific educational objectives is essential to the successful implementation of any policy. The objectives are an important link between the theoretical aspirations of a policy and the practical results to be achieved in the classroom. Manitoba Education and Training, through its policy on multicultural education, seeks to:
- develop in students a sense of confidence and self-esteem as Canadians with pride in their cultural heritage;
- foster in each student the value of human dignity, irrespective of face, colour, gender, language, cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, physical capabilities or intellectual potential;
- give all students an equal opportunity to achieve proficiency in at least one of the official languages;
- encourage the provision of opportunities for heritage language study;
- develop in students a sense of personal cultural identity by providing opportunities to study cultural and linguistic heritages;
- provide opportunities for all students to become aware of, understand and appreciate the cultural diversity of Manitoba and Canada;
- ensure that the history and contemporary life of various cultures are accurately reflected and portrayed in the overall curriculum of the public schools;
- enable students to understand the interdependence of all ethnocultural groups;
- unable students to understand the interdependence among members of a particular group;
- develop integrated and interdisciplinary curricula that promote cultural and intercultural understanding;
- develop partnerships with ethnocultural groups through communication, cooperation and consultation to ensure their participation in the educational system;
- foster the development of an educational system which reflects the needs and aspirations of all members of society.
- continue to provide professional and material resources which support and enhance multicultural education throughout the various curriculum areas. These resources include consultant services, multicultural education resource units, workshops on multicultural and intercultural education and race relations and multicultural education support documents;
- continue to provide support for heritage and second language education in the form of consultant services, program development, and funding, as determined by the Public Schools Act;
- continue the development of a learning resources collection that represents the cultural diversity of Manitoba and Canada. The collection houses within the Instructional Resources Branch includes resource materials for heritage language and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs and multicultural and cross-cultural education;
- provide professional development programs and in-service sessions for teachers and administrators on multicultural, intercultural and race relations education;
- assist in the development of programs for students with limited proficiency in either of Canada's official languages;
- enhance the awareness of multiculturalism in schools and the community by promoting special events such as Multicultural Week;
- address Aboriginal language instruction issues as part of a comprehensive policy on Native Education presently under development by the Advisory Committee on Native Education;
- encourage the development of school library programs and services which support and highlight multicultural education;
- monitor and evaluate instructional materials by providing guidelines for screening for unfair and stereotypes;
- assist schools with evaluation of other materials by providing guidelines for screening for unfair bias and stereotypes;
- consult, formally and informally, with representatives of the ethnocultural communities of Manitoba to ensure that these communities are fairly and equitably represented in the educational system of this province;
- encourage and support the development of criteria for ensuring equality of opportunity, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, cultural heritage, religion, ethnicity, physical capabilities or intellectual potential, in the hiring, promotion and evaluation of department personnel.
- develop their own multicultural education policies and implementation strategies;
- develop and provide introductory and ongoing professional development and in-service programs for administrators, teachers, and support staff with the following objectives
- to ensure awareness of multiculturalism among all divisional personnel;
- to examine personal attitudes, and increase knowledge of and skills in intercultural education;
- to equip educators with the skills to handle incidents of stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, and racism in their jurisdiction;
- to familiarize teachers with resources that are available throughout the province in the areas of multicultural, intercultural and race-relations education;
- develop partnerships with the ethnocultural communities in their jurisdiction to address issues in multicultural/ intercultural education, including programming for heritage language or English as a Second Language instruction;
- reflect the multicultural diversity of Manitoba's population in their hiring practices.
- recognize and affirm their responsibility in the field of multicultural education;
- provide opportunities for their students to gain knowledge, skills, and practical training to enable them to function effectively in a multicultural society;
- reflect the multicultural diversity of Manitoba's population in their hiring practices.
- ensure that they are informed about current school programming policies and practices;
- develop partnerships with schools/school divisions to address issues in multicultural/intercultural education, including programming for heritage language or English as a Second Language instruction;
- continue to inform schools of community activities and events which may complement the schools' multicultural education programming;
- continue to sponsor a variety of community-based educational cultural programs. These are valuable resources that support multicultural education initiatives in schools;
- liase with and assist post-secondary institutions, including Faculties of Education, in the development of programs and services which support the concepts of multicultural education.
The multicultural thrusts outlined in this policy document provide the conceptual framework for multicultural education in Manitoba. The implementation of this policy is supported by the following documents:
- Policy for Heritage Language Instruction
- Foundation for Excellence: Curriculum Integration