The authors of the article aim at highlighting the impact of modern world processes on the contemporary education system; the strengths and weaknesses of globalization are discussed. The strongest aspects include the emergence of the world market for educational services, the informatization and digitalization of education, convergence, the standardization of educational and cultural systems, accelerated technological progress through the exchange of technologies. There is also the development of international cooperation, etc.; among the weaknesses are the deindustrialization of the economy, the gap between developed and developing countries, various problems associated with tolerance, environmental degradation, the emergence and spread of global environmental problems. Within the framework of this article, the issues of tolerance and the ecological crisis are of the greatest significance and research interest for the authors. The problem of the formation of a modern personality in the new world multicultural conditions is actualized. The primary goals of modern education are introduced; they are reflected in the Declaration on the Culture of Peace, adopted by the resolution of the UN General Assembly of September 13, 1999. The authors describe practical material confirming the need to develop and introduce the term “multicultural personality” into the educational discourse, as well as emphasizing the importance of changing the orientation of education to a more global perspective. The results of discussion sessions in the format of panel talks with students on global problems such as the environmental crisis and tolerance in modern society are presented.
It is relevant to acknowledge from the start, the processes of globalization and integration modify all spheres of human activity – economic, cultural, informational, legal, educational, etc. With the advent of a variety of global processes the world is changing, humanity is being integrated into a single unity – a new multicultural world society appears, which needs a person who has knowledge, who is competently oriented in the socio-cultural space, who can easily adapt to the ongoing changes, who has empathy and tolerance.
In modern society, the emphasis is shifting from "a person who knows" to "a person who is prepared for life." (Akulich, 2005). Therefore, the question of the formation of the personality of the new era is debatable and is of significant interest for educational theorists and practicing teachers.
The relevance of the research topic consists in raising the level of awareness among students related to the global problems of the modern world. Nowadays modern society puts educationalists into increasingly challenging situations and sets them the task of turning the process of education to a new perspective.
Globalization tackles all the spheres of human activity demanding the development of a new type of personality among the younger generation – ‘multicultural personality’ capable of interacting with peers within the framework of various types of issues.
Creating a multicultural education space is considered to be an important factor of developing a person of the global world with a set of a number of characteristics, skills and competences for peaceful existence and development within the multicultural society. It is essential to note that the multicultural educational environment is one of the most relevant constituent elements of the multicultural educational space.
Researcher Gurov V.N. (Gurov, 2004) defines it as a part of a university educational environment representing the sum total of definite conditions influencing directly the development of a multicultural personality ready for effective intercultural communication. One must be capable of saving its ethnic identity and behaving tolerantly towards the representatives of different cultures and respecting a different way of life, traditions, customs and life patterns aiming at living peacefully with people representing various types of nationalities.
Moreover, based on the scientific studies conducted by Batarchuk D.S. He defines the multicultural educational environment as the natural environment for developing a multicultural personality. The researcher puts forward the following definition for the multicultural personality, – ‘a creative, humanistic, bilingual, ethno tolerant person possessing the already formed cultural and educational values, cultural competence, self-identification, intercultural communication skills within the framework of cultural pluralistic environment, adapting to different cultural values able to create material and spiritual wealth’ (Batarchuk, 2011). More than that, ‘the multicultural environment guarantees the dialogue of cultures, knowledge integration into a holistic view of the world, cultural feedback, autoregulation and personal development’ (Shalumova, 2018).
Purpose of the Study
Modern researchers appraise the impact of these processes ambiguously. Supporters of globalization proceed from the fact that this is an inevitable phenomenon that has a positive direction and prospects. The positive aspects of globalization in the field of education are:
- the emergence of the world market for educational services. The main indicator of the development of it is the number of foreign students in each country;
- informatization and digitalization of education, which "form a new type of culture of modern society – digital culture, which requires modernization and the system of professional education" (Strokov, 2020);
- convergence, which involves the integration of scientific knowledge and technological advances;
- standardization of educational and cultural systems in connection with the increase in migration flows and the emergence of a new multicultural society;
- rapid technological progress due to technology exchange;
- development of international cooperation, etc.
Despite a number of positive sides of this process, antiglobalists oppose certain aspects of globalization, in particular global trade and political organizations, believing that globalization leads to the destruction of national culture, art, language and customs. And this contributes to the dominance of mass culture, standardization of minds, consuming attitude to the environment, the destruction of national industries, which entails social, economic, environmental consequences. It is important to highlight the negative characteristics to which this process leads, since they completely change the idea of life in society and its structure as a whole. Among these characteristics are the following:
- deindustrialization of the economy, as a result of which a person is forced to retrain. Thus, it leads to an urgent need to change two or more professions;
- as a result of general integration and unification, the gap between developed and developing countries is becoming more and more impressive;
- problems connected with tolerance. The vanishing of borders between countries, unhindered relocation, as well as the forced migration of some peoples inevitably led to a clash of interests and worldviews, which in turn provokes conflicts;
- environmental degradation, the emergence and spread of global environmental problems. For example, all kinds of pollution, climate change, depletion of the ozone layer and many other phenomena that have a negative, destructive impact on various ecosystems and the environment in general.
Within the framework of this article, the issues of tolerance and the deteriorating environmental situation are of the greatest significance and research interest for the authors. First of all, this is due to the development of the world market for educational services, an increase in the number of foreign students, the development of new international educational programs and the emergence of a single world educational space. In these conditions, a special place is occupied by issues of tolerant attitude, which is the guarantor of a humanistic style of communication and mutually beneficial cooperation as well as excludes the possibility of conflicts based on intolerance and discrimination on various grounds (Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, 1999). Modern education strives for plurality and variability, blurring the boundaries between peoples, countries, cultures. Problems of tolerant attitude of people to each other and to representatives of different nationalities, as well as respect for the environment are, according to the fair statement of many researchers, the basis of the well-being of social life and require special attention from the entire world community (Federal State Educational Standard of Basic General Education, 2011).
Adapting to new changes and adhering to the strategy of development and spread of the culture of peace, modern education is designed to ensure the formation of personality traits, capable of successful socialization in the context of globalization, rapid adaptation to ongoing changes, empathy and tolerance (Guboglo, 2003).
The primary goals of education are the formation and upbringing of a multicultural personality, "perceiving itself as a subject of a polylogue of cultures, having an active life position, possessing a developed sense of tolerance, emotional stability, capable of productive professional activity in a culturally diverse society" (Federal State Educational Standard of Basic General Education, 2011). These tasks are reflected in the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, adopted by the resolution of the UN General Assembly on September 13, 1999 (Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, 1999):
- to intensify national efforts and international cooperation to achieve the goals of education in the interests of human development and socio-economic development of countries;
- to ensure the upbringing and education of children, which are based on the formation of a culture of peace, values, world outlooks, types of behavior and lifestyles, so that they can resolve any disputes peacefully, with respect for human dignity and tolerance;
- to involve children in activities that contribute to the formation and development of the ideals of a culture of peace;
- to ensure equal access to education, avoiding ethnic, gender, religious and other types of discrimination; to encourage the revision and improvement of curricula and teaching materials, taking into account the provisions on education for peace and human rights;
- to encourage and support efforts that contribute to the formation of a culture of peace in the field of education and train new personnel competent in issues of tolerance and consensus building;
- to strengthen activities aimed at training and education in the areas of conflict prevention and peaceful resolution, as well as post conflict peacebuilding;
- to intensify the implementation of initiatives to promote a culture of peace undertaken by higher education institutions in various regions of the world.
All in all, modern society at its current stage of development requires innovative ideas and non-patterned thinking to be introduced in the sphere of education with the aim to promote a more responsible attitude towards the surrounding world in order to combat different urgent questions without delay. For this reason focusing on students as the target audience and conducting meetings with their participation seem to be the main sources of tackling these acute topics by creating a new type of personality in the new educational environment.
The authors of the article under consideration resorted to the method of analysis and conducted experimental research.
We focus on analysing a number of research papers carried out by specialists in the field of education, teaching and environmental protection.
Different round tables focusing on the issues raised (specifically, tolerance questions and environmental crisis) were organized throughout the year 2021 with more than 30 senior bachelor students majoring in teaching. They represent Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistic University named after N.A. Dobrolyubov and Nizhny Novgorod State Pedagogical University named after K. Minin. The results of conducted seminars serve the practical material allowing the authors to come to a number of relevant conclusions.
The results of the panel talks confirm the necessity and justify the development and implementation of the term ‘multicultural personality’ into the educational discourse. These findings also testify to the fact that it is significant to accentuate the importance of changing the direction of education to a more global perspective. The students and their teachers took part in these panel talks sessions with the aim not only to acquaint all the participants with the problems of a more tolerant attitude and the ecological crisis within the framework of world community. But it also allows one to reveal the full spectrum of viewpoints related to these issues, juxtaposing dubious and controversial questions, determining the possible ways of solving the issues raised.
The conducted panel talks on the contemporary burning problems proved to be illustrative of the fact that the proportion of the initially sceptical to discussing the problems of tolerance and environmental crisis students dramatically decreased. As a result of the finalising session, about 85% of students consider ecological problems and those related to ethnic tolerance among modern people the most vulnerable and tangible issues demanding immediate resolutions. Moreover, the experimental research brought into focus the urgent necessity to raise awareness concerning the above-mentioned topics among the younger generation. The participants actively discussed the possible solutions putting emphasis on developing a multicultural educational environment as a tool to turn the negative aspects of globalisation to positive ones, improving the impact of the problems inflicted by globalisation. About 10% out of all the participants shared the concerns of the majority, though they confessed that it would be too difficult for them to force themselves to adapt to a new, more responsible, lifestyle consisting in enhancing the attitude related to ecology and tolerance. Only a few students showed their indifference towards the issues under consideration.
Table No. 01 vividly depicts the findings discussed above. It shows the dates of the arranged round tables. Moreover, it also reveals the percentage of the participating students whose attitude towards the touched upon questions improves turning to a more responsible one. It is to be hoped that such a positive tendency is going to remain among the representatives of the younger generation.
It is relevant to put forward the following conclusion: contemporary problems within the framework of modern society (namely, the problems of tolerance and ecological crisis) force people to challenge themselves with seemingly insurmountable tasks. According to different researchers, it is clear to come up with the assumption that our society at its current stage of development demands every person’s involvement and a responsible attitude from each of the participants. Discussing with students the burning issues that tackle the current state of society and acute interdisciplinary studies, focusing on the topics related to the ecological, social, cultural and other spheres of society, as well as the questions of the future of humanity contribute to forming a new type of learner. A 'multicultural personality’ is able to feel empathy and tolerance, thus, becoming a worthwhile representative of contemporary multicultural society.
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31 March 2022
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Chistogradova, O. A., & Ukhanova, O. A. (2022). Underlying Causes For Developing Multicultural Personality Within Education Globalization Processes. In I. Savchenko (Ed.), Freedom and Responsibility in Pivotal Times, vol 125. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 481-487). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2022.03.58