What is the proposed solution and expected outcomes of religion and spiritual diversity in multicultural education?
Multicultural education is a fact of life in most progressive, democratic societies today. Indeed, any society that claims a focus on freedom and democracy would necessarily need to translate this to its young by means of education. Such education must therefore be set up in a way that encourages and promotes the values regarded as most important in society. This is the only way in which to secure a consistent future for the society in question.
So, when considering the role of religion and spiritual diversity within a classroom, this should be treated with as much respect as any particular student's ethnic and cultural background.
One way in which to address this is offering a variety of lessons with diverse spiritual and/or religious focus points. To start such a series of lessons, the teacher should be careful to highlight the fact that different learning opportunities will be offered for various spiritual focus points.
In terms of student-centered learning, students can also be asked for their input regarding how many spiritual directions and religions are represented in their households, their circle of friends, and so on.
In more advanced classes, students can even be asked to research a spiritual direction that is unknown, or less well-known, to them.
The potential outcome of these solutions would be that learners will learn about spirituality in the sense that there are many viable ways in which to be spiritual. It is also expected that they will become aware of the beauty of spiritual directions and religions other than their own. Finally, it is expected that, if handled with sufficient sensitivity, students will gain a sense of respect for others and an understanding of diversity as a good and necessary part of living in a society that is free.
For these reasons, one can estimate the imporance of combining religious with diversity studies as highly important, especially for younger groups of learners.