Intercultural education (T. Szkudlarek 2003) is a proposal of educating the whole society (both minority group members as well as the dominating majority) to life in conditions of cultural pluralism. The aims of cultural education concern preventing obligatory assimilation and marginalisation of ethnic minority members and preventing the strengthening of domination attitudes among majority members which lead to poorer uniformity based on segregation and elitism.
Intercultural education postulates concern:
- Promoting tolerance and justice,
- Intercultural relations analyses as well as promoting tolerance and justice,
- Intercultural relations analyzes as marked with hidden and open violence,
- Teaching competences which make it possible for representatives of minorities to have equal rights in their functioning in the society,
- Teaching the skill of accepting distance towards own culture, values and system of thinking.
Intercultural education (Ouellet 1991) may serve the purpose of promoting and developing a fuller understanding of cultures in contemporary societies, better communication between people who come from different cultures and increasing the ability to take part in social interactions.
While preparing intercultural education it is worth remembering about the risk of more or less conscious involvement on the side of certain views. Other ‘traps’ which are should be avoided are reducing cultural reality into simple generalisation and oversized interpretation of all conflicts from cultural point of view, while avoiding psychological and sociological factors. (Ladmiral i Lipiański 1989)
Principles which are important in theoretical understanding and practical organisation an intercultural education according to D. Bouchet (1995):
- Nobody is a typical member of their culture.
- No culture exists in a closed and uniform shape.
- Nobody is a member of only one isolated group.
- Each culture is a form of transmission of its values and patterns which may undergo far reaching transformations and therefore it has features of a process.
- Nobody receives their identity in a ready and unchanged form.