Meaning of intercultural education

Intercultural education is a new area in education which needs to address the diversity in society. The diversity is the result of globalization and migration. Main countries, especially European countries, are dealing with diversity issues now by providing intercultural education policy. Many experts suggest that intercultural education has to be implemented at all levels of education starting from pre-school to higher education (Clay & George, 2000). If intercultural education is provided at all levels, students then will acquire intercultural competence such as cultural tolerance, accepting diversity and respecting cultural differences.  It is important to present of role intercultural education for harmonized society.  Therefore, I want to discuss the meaning of intercultural education

Intercultural education encompasses several meanings.  They seem similar with inclusive education meaning such as “peace education”, “equal education” “empowering marginalized students” and “reality education” ( Clay & George, 2000). Reality education includes practical application of political ideology on the matter of presence other ethnic, cultural and religious group in a particular country. The purpose of intercultural education that they reveal, ensures to control power relationship in education and social changes by promoting education for emphasy, moral consiouness.  It means that they think intercultural education is pivotal to sustain social cohesion, the development of mutual understanding and creating intercultural dialogue in the dynamic multicultural society.

Intercultural education also has pertinent value for Kazakhstani context. This is because 130 ethnic groups with different religious, culture and languages are living in Kazakhstan.  Promoting intercultural education will contribute to educate culturally tolerant, open and ready to accept diversity.  Then it will lead to lessen cultural and ethnic conflicts and to stop segregating minority groups.

In conclusion, intercultural education is important to promote because it focus on developing cultural tolerance, accepting diversity and living in a harmony.


Clay, J. & George, R. (2000). Intercultural education: a code o practice for twenty first century. European Journal of Teacher Education, 23(2). Retrieved from

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