Effective Organizational Implementation of Youth-Directed Cultural Education
The impact of globalization and multiculturalism on today's youth is widespread. Not only is education in different racial, cultural, and social contexts necessary to facilitate better communication and learning, but also to avoid prejudice and violence due to misunderstanding. However, mainstream public education curricula may not provide the relevant instruction for cross-cultural understanding, thus creating an opportunity for youth to develop programs designed to fulfil this need. To investigate the efficacy of youth-based cultural awareness advocacy, a student organization dedicated to youth-on-youth cultural education was established at an American high school. Led and directed entirely by students, the organization planned and held events in the community to create opportunities for youth to interact with cultural awareness and diversity education. These included an annual festival highlighting student talents in multicultural arts, a media acquisition initiative to fill gaps in ethnic media collections at school libraries, and international service-learning campaigns to empower other youth in cross-cultural learning. The organization was successfully sustained without administration intervention, and was effective in providing cultural education, promoting opportunities for learning outside the classroom, and unifying the community by showcasing its inherent diversity. Thus, youth-based organizations can provide a powerful, sustainable means for supplemental cultural education in public education systems.
Keywords: Youth, Cultural Education, Multicultural Learning, Student Organizations
Mr. Kevin Koo