Journal of the Department of Behavioural Sciences
Vol. 1, (1), March 2012
KITAB BHAI: A CASE STUDY OF MULTICULTURAL SCHOOLING IN TRINIDAD
Sabeerah Abdul-Majied
Educators have, since the 1970s, focused on the importance of studies in multicultural experiences in the classroom. These studies examine how multicultural issues may impact on children's learning in their formative years and how best to improve tolerance for diversity amongst students. Studies have shown that numerically derived minority status in schools is an especially fertile context for the creation of inferior behaviour. The widely accepted consensus within the literature suggests that a directed program of study into multicultural appreciation needs to be taught to all children. This paper focuses on the social interactions of two six-year-old minority (East Indian) girls attending separate primary schools where their classmates were children of a majority (African) group. It seeks to find out whether in their day- to- day social interaction the minority group of children experienced or demonstrated behaviours that could be linked to their minority status at school. Findings based on a 16-month data collection period were that there were no negative cultural effects caused by their minority status. The study suggests that multicultural acceptance, in these case studies, was an innate aspect of development for the students. In fact if taken in a larger context the study further suggests that contrary to international trends no directed multicultural program may be necessary for Trinidad primary schools.