The Development Of Student’s Tolerance In Multicultural Educational Environment (Kazan Federal University

Abstract

Currently the study of student’s tolerance plays a vital role in multicultural educational environment. We must bear in mind that tolerance is not something we wish to have, but rather something that needs to be present. As teachers, it is our role to demonstrate kindness, fairness and patience whenever we find ourselves dealing with students to show what is expected of them. So far, the importance of the study of tolerance in multicultural educational environment is high. The problem in our investigation is that first-year students are not adequately socialized into the system of higher education. They are not adapted enough to studying at the university level. They have a different level of both education and training, and as a consequence, deviant behaviour is observed. The purpose of our study is to develop and expand student’s tolerance in multicultural educational environment and our main objectives are to implement theoretical analysis of the concept of student’s tolerance and verbal aggression; to identify the form of verbal aggression used by students in the process of learning a foreign language, and to develop recommendations in order to increase student’s tolerance. The study was carried out among teachers and students (first and second courses). We started by investigating the use of direct and indirect verbal aggression to compare it with the level of tolerance. Correlation has been found.

Keywords: Toleranceverbal aggressionmulticultural environment

Introduction

In present society, as we enter the 21st century, the expanding ethnic background of nations, variety within societies, and an increasing amount of people who speak a second language have made multicultural education essential. Education is to provide equal knowledge along with equal attitude towards divergent groups of learners. We should agree with Gibson that multicultural education must be “a normal human experience” (Gibson, 1984).

Multicultural education implies activities consisting in creation of conditions for the formation of individual worldviews on positive cooperation on the basis of introducing them to the cultures of other people. And so, multicultural education refers to curriculum, teaching AIDS, and displays focus on ethnic minorities and foreigners. Teaching AIDS should be open to discuss topics of different cultures and nations and should adopt a form of respect of students for each other.

One of the components of education as stated by Makau (1999), is the goal to instill in people respect for other cultures. If we are to successfully educate students, it is necessary to organize our work to eliminate ignorance and misunderstanding between communicating parties - "student-teacher" and "student-student", and to eliminate social distance. If we wish to successfully educate all students and adults according to Banks, we must work to eliminate the blinders built of stereotypes, monocultural instructional methodologies, ignorance, social distance, biased research, and racism (Banks & Banks, 2009).

By tolerance, people consider patient and respectful positive attitude towards different ways of life, behaviours, customs, feelings, habits, opinions, ideas and believes. Therefore, it is connected with freedom and is close to the notions of charity and indulgence. The main conditions for the formation of tolerance are as follows: increasing the awareness of students on the essential and meaningful characteristics of tolerance, especially his study in the various fields of knowledge in a foreign language; developing tolerance in the field of values of students and the transformation of tolerance in the regulatory principle of their professional and non-professional activities; forming skills of tolerance in interpersonal interactions; developing attitudes of tolerance, which consists in the ability and emotional-readiness of the student to dialogue with other partners in the understanding of a friendly communication; and using lectures, discussions, game forms and training in educational work for the formation of tolerance (Fahrutdinova, 2014). Multicultural educational environment of higher educational institutions is designed to help foreigners enter their own culture and cultures of other peoples by means of familiarizing with cultural values and dialogue of cultures. The educational process is directed to the formation of ethnically oriented people and their ability to "revive" cultural meanings. Culture, as well as education, should solve the problems of enrichment of the individual with social mental qualities and human values of future generations. The main priority of education is the quality of intercultural education, its conformity with the needs and demands of the society, the state, the individual and the relationships between them at all levels (Yusupova et al., 2015).

In the realities of the modern world, the category of aggression probably is one of the most important. The methods of realizing active aggression researched and analyzed by scientists with the involvement of several disciplines, especially in areas such as linguistics, sociology, and psycholinguistics. Communicative aggression is the manifestation of a desire to humiliate and suppress an opponent in a competitive struggle. The notion of politeness is very close to the concept of tolerance in the sense of a communicative segment. To show courtesy as a result of good education or lack of education people use variety of enriched collection of verbal and non-verbal ways of communication. It is evident that rudeness, as one of the characteristic of verbal communication demonstration, is a consequence of the inability to express one’s attitude to phenomena in a traditional, polite and educated manner. We suppose that one of the favorable way to reduce aggression is tolerance education.

In accordance with this goal we had the following objectives: to carry out a theoretical analysis of the concept of multicultural education; to determine the ways and situations in which students and teachers have problems during English language lessons; to identify the features of the manifestation of cultural barriers among students in the process of learning a foreign language; to develop recommendations on how to guarantee educational opportunities to the existing social inequalities in education.

Problem Statement

Currently the importance of the study of education in multicultural society among students is high due to the fact that teaching methods in some cases serve certain groups of learners while offering barricades for other groups (Mchedlov, 2004). The clash between university culture and home culture still exists.

The problem of the study is that first-year students are inadequately socialized in the system of higher education. They are marginally adapted to teaching in the University, have a variable level of education and training, and consequently manifest deviant behaviours. The problem of this study is that there is need to rethink teacher education programs so as to equip teachers with pedagogical skills and better address the learning needs of the linguistically and culturally diverse student population in universities. The first-year students are not sufficiently socialized into the system of higher education. They are poorly adapted to studying at the university level, have a different level of both education and training and as a consequence, deviant behaviours are noticed in them (Garaeva et al., 2016). If we want to successfully educate students, it is necessary to organize work avoiding misinterpretation within the class as well as between group mates and so between students and teachers.

Research Questions

Education intends to ensure that, on the one hand, people realize their roots and thus can determine the space one occupies in the world, and on the other hand, education is purposed to instil in people, respect for other cultures (Makaev et al., 1999). Currently, a number of researchers have suggested a lot of descriptions of multicultural education. Multicultural education is a progressive approach for transmitting education which holistically critiques and addresses current shortcomings, failings, and discriminatory practices in education. It is based on social justice, educational equity, and respect for thought [Gorski]. Dewey defined multicultural education as an opportunity to improve racial relations and help all students gain the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to take part in cross-cultural interactions

Students learn the difference when interacting with one another. The same is true in education, as teaching has become a multicultural experience (Dewey, 1938).

Gay illustrates that multicultural education means “learning about, preparing for, and celebrating cultural diversity, or learning to be bicultural” (Gay, 1994). Biculturalism, defined as “the existence of two different cultures in the same country or region,” appeared in the middle of the 1950s (Tabachnick, 1980). It can happen in both bicultural and multicultural societies, and is the first step towards multiculturalism. Biculturalism and multiculturalism should not be clarified as synonyms (Chen et al., 2008). Involving in multicultural education suggests that teachers aim to create necessary study material for all culturally diverse groups.

Culturally relevant teachers display a willingness to nurture and support cultural competence through characteristics such as understanding culture and its role in education, taking responsibility for learning and about students’ culture and community, using students’ culture as a basis for getting knowledge, and promoting a flexible use of students’ native and world culture (Ladson-Billings and Tate, 2006).

Purpose of the Study

The aim of this study is to reduce the cultural misunderstandings between both traditional ethnic groups and minority ethnic groups, and foreign students and teachers in the process of teaching a foreign language (Banks, 2003) and as a consequence to develop tolerance among students in multicultural educational environment. The purpose of this study also consists in the development and expansion of tolerance among students in a multicultural educational environment. One is supposed to consider getting and providing education according to the basis of equal knowledge along with equal regard to various groups of students. In accordance with the intended purpose we were faced with the following tasks: to implement the theoretical analysis of the concept of tolerance and verbal aggression among students; to determine the form (verbal aggression, physical aggression, subject aggression, emotional aggression, self-aggression) of verbal aggression used by the students in the process of learning a foreign language, and the development of recommendations in order to increase tolerance among students.

Research Methods

The research is based on an ascertaining method (the participant observation method, oral questioning of students). It is necessary to develop student’s tolerance in the process of teaching a foreign language in multicultural educational environment. This should be based on the pedagogical cooperation principles. As a model for development of student’s tolerance in multicultural educational environment the following were activated: personal approach as one of the possible implementations of pedagogical cooperation; strengthening individual approach to students, establishing the training of cultural studies component, allowing to acquaint the students with the best customs and traditions of their own countries and the target language ones, involving students in extracurricular work in a foreign language, such as round tables, presentations (traditions and identity of student’s native country) and discussions in English and participation in various contests, quizzes, and holidays. Modern information and educational technologies allow us to teach a foreign language in the following way through: the creation of advanced information in individually-oriented subject environment, with a variety of educational and information resources and learning technologies; the development and application of multi-level system of individual exercises; the organization of project activity of students in various forms. In ethno-psychological researches, the problem of studying aggressive behaviour takes a special place. Determining the level of aggressiveness can help in the prevention of ethnic conflicts and stabilize social and economic situation in the country and to improve tolerance among students. Aggressive behaviour is a specific form of human action characterized by the demonstration of superiority in force or use of force against another person or a group of persons with a purpose to cause damage. Aggressive behaviour should be considered as the opposite of adaptive behaviour - tolerance. Adaptive behaviour involves the interaction of a person with other people, coordination of interests, demands and expectations of its participants. Psychologists B. Bass and R. Darki have developed a test that checks the level of aggressive behaviour. The research was conducted among 84 students (first and second courses), Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Kazan (Volga) Federal University. During the research, in order to develop tolerance among international students, the Pochebut scale presented and the Platonov study guide was used [(Platonov, 2003).

It includes 40 questions which defines common behaviour in stressful situations and adaptation aspects in a social environment. Students should answer only “yes” or “no”.

  • During an argument, I often raise my voice.

  • If someone is annoying me, I can say everything I think about him/her.

  • If I need to resort to physical force to protect my rights, I do not hesitate to do it.

  • When I meet someone I don't like, I can afford to pinch or push him/her quietly.

  • During a dispute with another person, I can slam my fist on the table to attract attention to myself or prove my innocence.

  • I always feel that others do not respect my rights.

  • Remembering the past, sometimes hurts me.

  • Although I don’t show it, sometimes I'm consumed with envy.

  • If I don't approve the behaviour of my friends, I just tell them about it.

  • In great anger, I use abusive language, swear.

  • If anyone lays a hand on me, I'll try to hit him first.

  • I can be so pissed off that I throw different objects.

  • I often need to rearrange the furniture, or completely change it.

  • In dealing with people, I often feel like a "powder keg", which is constantly ready to explode.

  • Sometimes I have the wish to make fun of another person’s badluck.

  • When I'm angry, I usually become gloomy.

  • In a conversation with a person I try to listen carefully without interrupting.

  • In my youth, I was often "itchy fists" and I was always ready to put them in motion.

  • If I know that a person deliberately pushed me, then I may fight.

  • Creative mess on my desktop allows me to work effectively.

  • I remember I was so angry that I grabbed all that came to hand, and broke them.

  • Sometimes people annoy me just by their presence.

  • I often wonder what hidden reasons make another person do something good for me.

  • If I commit an offense, it means I have lost the desire to talk to anyone.

  • Sometimes I deliberately say nasty things about someone I don't love.

  • When I'm mad, I scream the most vicious curse.

  • In childhood, I avoided fighting.

  • I know why and when it is possible to hit somebody.

  • When I'm pissed off, I can slam the door.

  • It seems to me that the people around don't like me.

  • I always share my feelings and experiences with others.

  • I often harm myself by words and actions.

  • When people yell at me, I respond in the same way.

  • If someone hit me first, I will hit him in return.

  • It annoys me when items are not in place.

  • If I can't fix a broken object, I become so angry that I can break or ditch it completely.

  • Other people always seem prosperous to me.

  • When I think about a person that is very unpleasant to me, I can get excited with the idea of causing harm to him.

  • Sometimes I think that fate has played a cruel joke with me.

  • If someone treats me wrong, I am very upset about this.

Aggressive behaviour in the form of manifestation is divided into 5 scales.

Verbal aggression (VA) – a person verbally expresses his aggressive attitude towards another person with verbal abuse.

Physical aggression (PA) – a person expresses his aggression toward another person by use of physical force.

Subject aggression (SA) – a person expresses his aggression on the surrounding objects.

Emotional aggression (EA) is a person of emotional alienation when communicating with another person, accompanied by suspiciousness or hostility towards him/her.

Self-aggression (SA) – a person not in peace and harmony with himself; he has no or weak psychological defense mechanisms; he is defenseless in a hostile environment.

In terms of their answer we could define the level of the student’s aggression and therefore the level of their tolerance. According to the scale there are three levels of student’s behaviour. If students have more than 25 grades it means that they have a high level of aggression, and they have a low level of adaptability (low level of tolerance); if students have from 11 to 24 grades it means that they have an average level of aggression (average level of tolerance), and they have an average level of adaptability, if students have from 0 to 10 grades it means that they have a low level of aggression, and they have a high level of adaptability (high level of tolerance).

Findings

The research results were based on observation and written questioning of students, carried out in different groups of the Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Kazan (Volga) Federal University. At the beginning of the academic year, it showed that 17% of the first-year students had a high level of tolerance, 69% - average level of tolerance and 13% - low level of tolerance (Fig.1). In the second-year students 44% had a high level of tolerance, 54% - average level of tolerance and 3% - a low level of tolerance (Fig.2).

Figure 1: Figure 01. [The first-year student’s research results on tolerance in September]
Figure 01. [The first-year student’s research results on tolerance in September]
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Figure 2: Figure 02. [The second-year student’s research results on tolerance in September]
Figure 02. [The second-year student’s research results on tolerance in September]
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In seven months, the situation became different. The first-year students displayed a high level of tolerance 64%, average level of tolerance - 31%, and 4% - low level of tolerance (Fig.3). The second-year students showed that 66%of students had a high level of tolerance, 38% - average level of tolerance and 0% - a low level of tolerance (Fig.4).

Figure 3: Figure 03. [The first-year student’s research results on tolerance in March]
Figure 03. [The first-year student’s research results on tolerance in March]
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Figure 4: Figure 04. [The second-year student’s research results on tolerance in March]
Figure 04. [The second-year student’s research results on tolerance in March]
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The research results (Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, KFU) in 7 months showed that tolerance among international students became higher due to teaching a foreign language by implementation of pedagogical cooperation.

Conclusion

The obtained data allow drawing a conclusion that in order to develop tolerance among international students in the process of teaching a foreign language, we should base it on the principles of pedagogical cooperation principles, strengthen individual approach to students, strengthen the training of cultural studies component, allowing to acquaint the students with the best customs and traditions of their own countries and the target language ones, involve students in extracurricular work in a foreign language, such as round tables, presentations (traditions and identity of student’s native country) and discussions in English and participation in various contests, quizzes, and holidays. We consider that the implementation of these approaches in teaching will develop tolerance among international students. Based on the results of the study, it is reasonable to conclude that the implementation of this approach to teaching will help to develop tolerance among foreign students.

Acknowledgments

The work is performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University.

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31 August 2017

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Garaeva, L., & Safina, L. (2017). The Development Of Student’s Tolerance In Multicultural Educational Environment (Kazan Federal University. In & R. Valeeva (Ed.), Teacher Education - IFTE 2017, vol 29. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 215-223). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2017.08.02.26