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Importance of Multicultural Education to Prevent Cyberbullying: Critical Essay

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Picture this: you are a black teenager who constantly fears being bullied by your peers. You are continually being targeted as a racial minority. The negative stereotypes associated with your race are generalized about you. At home, bullying follows you, as the accessibility of the Internet has surged and cyberbullying is now another form to engage in bullying. Schools view cyberbullying as an off-campus problem and decide not to intervene. Cyberbullying is now prevalent in your life, and you are the main target. This was the case of a black teenager, Ashawanty Davis, who died by suicide after being cyberbullied for several months. School officials did nothing to help her, cyberbullying continued to get worse, and she saw no other alternative than taking her own life.

Over 59% of teenagers in the U.S. experience cyberbullying at one point in their lives (Pew Research Center). The outcome cyberbullying brings forth is heightened rates of depression, anxiety, and alternatives such as suicide. In the classroom, it affects students’ academic performance. Oftentimes, teenagers are also afraid of attending school. All of these unfortunate effects affected the life of Ashawanty Davis. A possible solution to minimize victimization both in school and online is through multicultural education. Cyberbullying is a prevalent problem as teenagers are growing up learning about a Eurocentric view of history. This view limits the cultural perspectives students know, and misconceptions about racial minorities continue to develop and widespread. The implementation of multicultural education can help lessen cyberbullying as students learn about different cultural perspectives, learn to think critically, and become increasingly open-minded. This will help in deconstructing false stereotypes and prejudices against people of color. Originally my focus was primarily on minimizing cyberbullying victimization of black students, however, multicultural education can be beneficial to all racial minorities.

The United States encompasses a wide range of diverse cultures. Our population consists of a diversified set of cultures, traditions, beliefs, and values, consisting of people from different racial backgrounds. The U.S. is gradually becoming a majority-minority society. Soon, racial minorities will become the new majority in the U.S. An analysis of demographic changes in the population from 2016 to 2060 found a gradual decline in the white population and a surge in racial minorities by 2060. The two racial minorities with the largest proportion of the increase are Hispanic/Latino and Black/African American populations. As our demographics shift into this majority-minority nation, our education has to change to adapt to this growing change in demographics. Multicultural education is important as it includes teaching methods that incorporate people of color in various subjects such as science, history, language arts, and math. Multicultural education would emphasize to teenagers that people of color are important too. According to Banks, multicultural education allows students who are members of diverse racial, ethnic, language, and cultural groups to have an equal chance to achieve academically in school. Not only are people of color being acknowledged and embraced at school, but white teenagers will be able to learn about their peers’ diverse backgrounds. White teenagers can be educated on cultural backgrounds aside from their own and diminish their stereotypes and prejudices against people of color. This aids in reducing cyberbullying against racial minorities.

Though, uncertainty about the effectiveness of multicultural education has been raised among both educators and students. Teachers are concerned about changing the curriculum, as the standards schools have to meet are already a lot. Even teachers who are in support of multicultural education have their doubts about how it is going to be carried out, and if it will be an extra burden for them instead. However, carrying out multicultural education does not mean changing the curriculum to its entirety. It is more than just targeting school subjects. Multicultural education expands beyond that it includes policy, learning climate, instructional delivery, leadership, and evaluation. This means helping change the educational perspective of only having one correct view of things. It means students will be more open and aware of other perspectives. As students acknowledge different beliefs and values among peers, this leads to more positive interactions with one another. You can help teachers see their own biases in teaching and express to them why it matters to you as a student.

In particular, bringing forth awareness and preventative measures on cyberbullying begins in school. Teenagers are not born racist. They learn it either from a parental figure or through media exposure, expressing themselves negatively about people of color. Educators and school representatives have to acknowledge the diverse student population in our schools. For instance, individual school policies should focus on exposing everyone associated with the school to the diversity of perspectives and values, through both the curriculum and school activities. In lesson planning, educators have to draw from the experiences of our students’ various backgrounds, and not just one prototype child. This allows students to be able to relate to the material and their peers to learn about their different backgrounds. This includes the school staff and teachers, representing the school and teaching school subjects. To positively and effectively convey the importance of diversity, our staff has to represent it. Multicultural education could be a huge step forward in minimizing cyberbullying against racial minorities as students become aware of different cultural views. Educators and students will be able to value each other’s diverse backgrounds.

As a student, you have the power to use your voice to enact change in school. This is your education system, what you learn at school will help you acquire knowledge and skills applicable in various settings. So, you ask yourself, what can I do? Let’s hear the story of Sabrina (D.E Lund, 271). Sabrina is of Asian heritage and she resides in a populous diverse city. Sabrina is passionate about social justice issues. Most of her work in high school has centered around involvement and volunteer work in organizations that advocate for social justice issues. She began raising awareness amongst her peers about the issues by creating a club at school. She confessed there was a time she felt frustration, gathering adult attention specifically. However, presenting the issue in her school setting and creating awareness among her peers and educators helped her find different ways to obtain her outcomes. Similarly, you can do the same for multicultural education. As students, you can create clubs on campus to raise consciousness about the importance of multicultural education. Talk to educators about why this matters to you and why. Teachers value student input. Having these discussions at school can help bring attention and importance to the value of multicultural education. You as a student are a powerful source of action. Take charge of your educational system just like Sabrina did.

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Personally, as an advocate for multicultural education, I understand the time and commitment that can go into carrying this out. I know sometimes it can become tiring and discouraging as well. However, little by little you will see the amount of influence you can have on your peers and educators. As students, you can create awareness about the importance of multicultural education as a tactic to diminish discrimination against people of color. Nowadays, most students spend a significant amount of time on social media. You can use Twitter, for example, to create awareness of the importance of multicultural education. This can help inform teenagers about how it can benefit them. The hashtag will be #WhyMulticulturalEducationMatters. This is where you can help spread awareness. As both a high school student and a frequent user of social media, you can help share and spread the hashtag. The purpose of the hashtag is to first create an understanding of the benefits it can have for students. The hashtag can include personal stories of the impact on people’s lives, facts about the benefits, and highlighting the important factor of ethnic minorities becoming the new majority by 2060. Promoting this hashtag could be a stepping stone to bringing attention to multicultural educators to your peers. Once you get your peers’ attention, it will be easier to bring forth awareness to your school as a group.

One key goal of multicultural education is making students aware of different perspectives. In order for students to be more accepting and respectful of different cultures, they have to recognize their current views and biases about racial minorities. For example, a way it can be applied is in a history class. The Mexican-American War would convey different views and emotions from Americans and Mexicans. Americans would acknowledge it as a war, as opposed to Mexicans who see it as an invasion of the territory by the U.S. The two different races perceive it differently as they were both affected in different ways. Americans see it as an expansion of land, while Mexicans see it as the U.S. stealing land from Mexico. Students being able to discuss different cultural perspectives in school can lead to acknowledging and accepting different viewpoints. It can lead students to be more open-minded as they become aware of how events in the past affected different cultures differently.

Increasing exposure to different perspectives will help students be informed and aware that there is more than one perspective in education. It will shift the focus from a white-centric education to a multicultural one. One of my greatest concerns is that students have a Eurocentric view of the world. This should be alarming to you as well, as it is not teaching you about other cultures. As students, we are taught a single view of history. Most students lack a basic understanding of things such as slavery, rudimentary world geography, or the history of indigenous people. As a student, you can help teachers recognize their bias in teaching their curriculum. This recognition of different perspectives can help reduce cyberbullying threats ethnic minorities face. Through multicultural education, students become self-conscious of their biases toward cultures.

You might be asking yourself, how does multicultural education help combat cyberbullying? Multicultural education can help reduce cyberbullying victimization against ethnic minorities. As students become exposed to an array of different perspectives, it is difficult to cyberbully when presented with the facts and realities of ethnic minorities. Cyberbullying is harder to engage in when there are awareness and respect for other cultures. Currently, students lack a basic knowledge of the important role slavery played in shaping the United States and the impact it continues to have on race relations in America. This partially explains why teenagers often say negative comments about people’s races online. If teenagers gain accurate knowledge and gain correct insight into other races, it can help diminish victimization toward racial minorities. It is hard for a bully to target a racial minority when presented with facts and different cultural perspectives. It will help cyberbullies think twice before negatively targeting racial minorities.

Continuing, many students do not know how to communicate and debate outside of a Eurocentric perspective of history. In schools, we want to promote respect for different backgrounds. Through multicultural education, students become self-conscious of their biases toward cultures. The first step to deconstructing negative views against people of color is making students aware of their own negative beliefs about racial minorities. They become aware that most, if not all of the stereotypes and prejudices about people of color are false. Cyberbullying centers around the interpretation of history. Once students become aware that there is more than just a single view of white history, a potential reduction in online victimization can be seen. As cyberbullies begin realizing the negative portrayal of racial groups is utterly false, a sense of guilt and cognitive dissonance can rise. A bully’s awareness and self-reflection through this educational system can diminish their behavior.

With this in mind, students will gain various skills and experiences to interact in our growing diverse society. The skills you gain as a student through multicultural education are applicable beyond school settings. It teaches and emphasizes the idea of students keeping in consideration that there are other perspectives outside their own. It allows students to acquire skills of critical thinking and be open-minded to other ideas outside their own. All of this learning and self-realization students experience through multicultural education helps diminish cyberbullying. It is hard for students to continue to engage in cyberbullying by empathizing with other peers and knowing that the racist remarks they say are wrong. Cyberbullying consists of a lot of wrong prejudices against people of color. Once students are able to see history interpreted in various ways, it is less likely they will continue such behavior.

All in all, multicultural education plays an essential role in reducing cyberbullying threats toward racial minorities. Our ultimate goal of multicultural education can start to diminish negative racial stereotypes and prejudices against people of color. Beyond helping students with cyberbullying, it can offset other things such as standardized testing. The side effect of standardized testing would be that as students are becoming aware of different cultural perspectives and become critical thinkers, the testing has to adapt as well. Standardized testing would have to acknowledge that there is more than one perspective for different cultural backgrounds. Multicultural education is very helpful. It can help reduce the increase in cyberbullying among racial minorities as students transform their pre-existing knowledge. It will help racial minorities not be as vulnerable to cyberbullying. As well as prepare students for their college and workforce careers.

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Importance of Multicultural Education to Prevent Cyberbullying: Critical Essay. (2023, October 11). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/importance-of-multicultural-education-to-prevent-cyberbullying-critical-essay/
“Importance of Multicultural Education to Prevent Cyberbullying: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 11 Oct. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/importance-of-multicultural-education-to-prevent-cyberbullying-critical-essay/
Importance of Multicultural Education to Prevent Cyberbullying: Critical Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/importance-of-multicultural-education-to-prevent-cyberbullying-critical-essay/> [Accessed 4 Mar. 2024].
Importance of Multicultural Education to Prevent Cyberbullying: Critical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Oct 11 [cited 2024 Mar 4]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/importance-of-multicultural-education-to-prevent-cyberbullying-critical-essay/
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