In line with the opening and celebration of the Extension Program Month of SLU, Professional Education teachers from The School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts hosted a brief discussion with students of both Teacher Education and Liberal Arts on multicultural education–a new educational approach aimed at promoting equal opportunities for education and inclusiveness among students. This was a two-day event, lasting from March 21-22.
This discussion was facilitated by the teachers of the Professional Education department. Their present supervising instructor is Dr. Bernadette Soliba, who is also coordinating their department’s extension program. Other teachers who served as speakers for this event were Dr. Barbara Elena Lagos–the head of the Professional Education Department, Sir Joselito Guiterrez–a professor of the Filipino majors, Ma’am Glorificacion Quinopez–a professor of the Preschool majors, Dr. Benny Duriano–a professor of the MAPEH majors, and Dr. Stephenie Busbus–a professor of the English majors.
Through this brief discussion, the teachers involved sought to raise awareness of programs and practices that could improve education for women, ethnic groups and minorities, low-income earners, and people with disabilities. They pieced together this discussion and organized a way for the students to spend a moment of their time learning all about how they could improve equity and learning between everyone in their lives in spite of their differences in culture, language, gender, and other unique traits.
The speakers also challenged aspiring future workers and communicators to be knowledgeable and respectful and to incorporate the unique capabilities of each of their students into their daily interactions with colleagues to promote a welcoming, diverse workplace.
Another main focus of the discussion was the merits of understanding multicultural education in order to prepare students for working and living, as well as provide them with an active role in learning. The speakers explained that through multicultural education, students aspiring for careers in various professions could enhance a sense of connection and allow productive self-reflection in order to identify and confront their own biases.
In order to wrap things up, the speakers presented their own project of promoting multicultural education to teachers of Baguio City National High School. This one program of theirs was a seminar aimed at discussing the benefits and strategies of multicultural education with public school teachers, as well as the construction of instructional materials that could help make students more aware of the need to respect each others’ differences.
The teachers behind the scenes of this small event believe that in order to become more competent in the world beyond school, students could gain a more sensitive understanding of multiculturalism and how they can better deal with differences between not only students but friends and coworkers as well.