Introduction : The Intricate Relationship between Culture and Education
Education is one of the fundamental experiences that every human born in this world experiences in some degree from the very first day to the minute we take our last breath. While it is true that formalised education can only take place in certain academic institutes, a man never really stops learning.
This is why there is an intricate relationship between culture and education. Because culture as a part of society is always within us and our cultural awareness is always on an upward trajectory if we can keep our mind open to new thoughts and new ideas.
What is the Concept of Culture?
Before we try and inculcate a sense of cultural appreciation among ourselves, first we need to realize what culture is and how the relationship between culture and education is not just limited to academic education but rather falls under a much broader purview of life experiences that are constantly molding us and giving us deeper cultural awareness.
Even before that, we need to understand a basic concept of culture in lieu of modern society. Most societies in any modern city are culturally diverse. and in being a melting pot of humans of various culture and religion, provide an amalgamation of many ideas, religious and social beliefs as well as customs.
And while everyone might not adhere to every part of the certain culture, in being part of a greater society we develop a relationship between culture and education that brings about a much broader concept of culture as well as cultural diversity that what academic education can achieve on its own.
The Relationship Between School Culture and Education
Because Cultural Appreciation is something that is impressed upon young minds very early, the bulk of the relationship between education and culture is brought about very early in one’s life by their school culture.
While never a necessity for cultural awareness, a greater cultural diversity early in one’s life leads to a mind that is more exposed to other ideas and is more accepting of newer thoughts even though they might conflict with their own cultural beliefs.
To understand this nuanced relationship between culture and education in greater detail, we have broken it down into several important factors that underline how a young student conceptualizes different culture and religion.
1. Development of Personality
We have seen that education is one of the cornerstones of developing the personality of a young mind. But it has to be remembered that the experiences that they accrue in the place where they spend the majority of their time, ie. their school culture has a defining role to play in here as well.
2. Parental Expectations
Often parents who might not have been exposed to cultural diversity might end up with a very narrow concept of culture, in which case the responsibility for creating an accepting mindset for various culture and religion falls on the teacher.
3. The Impact of a Stunted Education System
If the education system of a place cannot provide the young students with the necessary culturally diverse environment either through the presence of various strata of society and/or literature that is culturally relevant to other people, then there is a great chance that the student fails to develop any cultural awareness.
The relationship between education and culture is not one that can be categorized or broken into fixed boundaries. As it is with most intangibles, it is an acquired experience that benefits from the presence of a formal education but can even thrive in the lack of it.
In fact, there are a few cultures around the world that do not value traditional forms of educations at all and one great example of that would be the Amish. But that doesn’t mean that Cultural Appreciation is absent in them as they belong to a group that holds tradition and culture very close to their heart.
Isolation, forced or self-imposed is, however, dangerous as we have seen the effects of racism and discrimination in the modern world.
As difficult as it is, to sum up, the relationship between culture and education in the span of a few words, I think quote from the great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi does it justice
A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.