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Journal of
eISSN: 2373-6445

Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry

Review Article Volume 10 Issue 2

Formation of intercultural competence of students in secondary school

Dagbaeva SB

Departmnet of Psychology, Zabaikal State University, Russia

Correspondence: Dagbaeva SB, Departmnet of Psychology, Chair of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Pedagogics, Zabaikal State University, Russia

Received: September 28, 2018 | Published: March 15, 2019

Citation: Dagbaeva SB. Formation of intercultural competence of students in secondary school. J Psychol Clin Psychiatry. 2019;10(2):69?71. DOI: 10.15406/jpcpy.2019.10.00630

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The article discusses the formation of intercultural competence in the school; various aspects of the school environment that can affect the students' acceptance of ethnic diversity are considered. Intercultural competence is understood as a value attitude to the culture and history of other peoples, the desire for interethnic harmony. The analysis of federal state educational standards and programs in the field of formation of intercultural competence of schoolchildren is carried out. The productivity of the formation of intercultural competence of schoolchildren is associated with the introduction of multicultural education, which consists in recognizing by students of cultural diversity as a social norm and personal value. As the most influential agents in the school, a teacher and a textbook are identified. Discussion of ethnic differences in modern school textbooks has a number of risks: language is confused, redundant and turns calls for tolerance to others into abstract, moralizing and unconvincing statements. Teachers do not always take into account the ethno-cultural characteristics of the students' learning and communication.

Keywords: intercultural competence, secondary school, students


Today, the problem of multiculturalism in school is becoming more urgent. Actively discusses the role of parents, teachers and peers in the formation of intercultural competence.1 In modern schools, there is a tendency to reduce the number of homogeneous classes and the emergence of polyethnic classes.2  However, the technologies for the formation of intercultural competence in the general education system remain insufficiently developed.3,4 Education conservatively refers to innovations, but, nevertheless, due to actively penetrating modernization in this sphere, there are strong changes.5 Education ceases to be just a stage in the beginning of life and becomes a continuous process that accompanies a person throughout life. At the same time, the demand for a multicultural and multilingual personality will only increase (ibid.). Thus, new realities require the organization of education that facilitates the integration of a person into a multiethnic world as an active figure.6 Today, the formation of intercultural competence and mutual respect in the minds of people is not just the task of education, but its main function.

Objectives, methodology and research design

Object of the study: the features of the formation of intercultural competence of secondary school students in modern conditions. The methodology of the research is based on the post-non-classical pedagogical psychology, the main postulate of which is to create the most possible favorable conditions for revealing the internal potential of each participant in the educational process. The research logic includes: analysis of foreign and domestic traditions, federal state educational standards and programs in the field of formation of intercultural competence of schoolchildren; identification of the features of the formation of intercultural competence in the modern school.

Discussion of the research outcomes

Ideas of integration and systematization of generally recognized Russian traditions and values, comprehension of national and national peculiarities of our country are laid in new federal state educational standards.7 The new federal state educational standards for general education are based on the system-activity approach, according to which the development of the child occurs through the pedagogically organized cooperation of subjects of education by modeling the integral system of the upbringing and socialization of students and through its activities.8 Vectors of the development of intercultural competence of schoolchildren are set an approximate program of education and socialization of students in primary, basic and senior schools.9,10 The strategic goal of the Program is to ensure the conditions of the spiritual and moral formation of the student's personality, his civil identity, active constructive position, as well as the preparation for life self-determination in the processes of his subsequent mastering of basic national values, values ​​of Russian society, universal values ​​and their implementation in social practice. The solution of questions of formation of intercultural competence of schoolchildren was also reflected in the draft Concept for the Development of Multicultural Education11,12 and the Comprehensive Program for the Development of Multicultural Education.13 Multicultural education appears as an institution of purposeful socialization of students, designed to contribute to the successful development of the cultural, historical and social experience of mankind, the samples and values ​​of the native, Russian, world culture; the formation of tolerance in relation to other peoples and cultures, the predisposition to intercultural communication and exchange; formation of the ability to clearly express their point of view and to argue the judgments expressed, clearly formulate their own attitude to events and phenomena; active interaction with representatives of different cultures while maintaining their own linguistic and cultural competence; formation of harmonious Russian identity on the basis of ethno-cultural and national-territorial self-awareness [ibidem]. Different models of multicultural education become the basis for the formation of the general citizens' identity of students and pupils in many modern multicultural societies.14 Multicultural education contributes to the formation of a positive attitude to the presence in society of various ethno-cultural groups and the ability to understand their representatives and interact with partners from other cultures.15 The most influential agents of socialization in school are the teacher and textbook. The willingness of students to accept the diversity of the world, their ability to recognize the right of "the other" to differ and their responsibility for the reproduction of social inequality and discrimination largely depends on the extent to which stereotypes and prejudices are imbued with the textbooks, statements and actions of the teacher. The presence of ethnocentrism and modern versions of racism in the educational and methodological literature contributes not only to their universal assimilation, but also supports the belief that there is no alternative to such a vision of social relations.16

Textbooks continue to be the most common type of socializing texts under the control of the state, which allows us to consider their content as one of the incarnations of the state identity policy. The study of school textbooks has shown that, in Russian school textbooks, no attempts are made to critically interpret the experience of "mastering the national suburbs" and get rid of the paternalistic view of "neighbors." The Russian and Soviet presence in the territories of modern independent states is seen as a boon to the peoples inhabiting them. Accordingly, the claims expressed by "neighbors" cannot be interpreted as "fair", having any grounds, within the framework of the current logic of the formation of national histories, conflicts are unsolvable.17 The modern discussion of ethnic differences in school textbooks is an extremely problematic area.18 The dominant way of discussing the "national" in the textbooks, in particular, involves the use of the concept of "ethnos" as "a community that historically exists on a certain territory", which contributes to the materialization of symbolic boundaries and the reification of "culture"; connects "national cultures" with "territories"; ascribes a person to "his national ethnic culture" and, accordingly, to a certain "territory". The training course "Foundations of Religious Culture and Secular Ethics" (ORKSE) was introduced. The experience of implementing this course raises many comments from teachers, among them: the complexity of texts for children's perception, although the textbooks are colorfully decorated; inadequate training of the teachers themselves for the conduct of this course (insufficient qualification in ethnopsychology, religious studies and ethics); the choice of age group and study time.19 Unfortunately, teachers do not always take into account the culturally conditioned features of the students' learning and communication. There are situations when, along with the transfer of knowledge, teachers broadcast inflexible, frozen and not corresponding to the present moment stereotypes, views, beliefs and ways of interacting with the world. Khukhlaeva OV20 singles out among the ethnopsychological problems of teachers:

  1. The effect of the teacher's prejudices, the negative evaluation of the pupil caused by his ethnicity due to the presence of a certain attitude towards members of a particular ethnogroup
  2. Inattention to the peculiarities of the national character of the student
  3. The teacher's lack of understanding of the culturally conditioned features of verbal and non-verbal communication;
  4. Ignorance of differences in the system of mental reflection and perception of information. In connection with the high probability of occurrence of these manifestations in a multicultural class, the developed emotional sensitivity and flexibility of the teacher, taking into account the specificity of communication of students, is necessary.

Children not belonging to the main cultural group are more likely than others to fall into the risk group in terms of achievement due to differences in the predominant system of mental reflection and perception. The situation of failure can contribute to the manifestation of an inferiority complex and compensatory aggression. And the teacher's inability and unreadiness to recognize the equivalence of cultures whose representatives are trained in educational institutions can aggravate this situation.


Thus, we formulate the following conclusions:

  1. The secondary school is the most important institution with the necessary potential for the formation of intercultural competence of students. Education should participate in the formation of civil, ethnocultural and universal identity, in the transmission of various traditions, values, norms and attitudes of behavior of the younger generation, which requires changing the system of relations within the educational space and expanding the scope of the education process for children, creating extracurricular structures, new educational forms, including restructuring of additional education, etc.
  2. Ideas and directions for the formation of intercultural competence are laid in the new GEF, in the draft state program for the upbringing and socialization of children, in the project of multicultural education in the Russian Federation. The role of multicultural education is to build knowledge about society and the ethno-cultural world, the recognition of cultural diversity by schoolchildren as norms and values.
  3. The most influential agents in the school are the teacher and textbook, teaching knowledge as a normative, requiring mastering, which largely determines the willingness of students to accept the ethno-cultural diversity of the world. Significant disciplines in ethnic socialization are history, social studies, the foundations of religious culture and secular ethics, translating basic national values ​​and models of normative behavior. It should be recognized that the Russian teacher does not always take into account the ethno-cultural characteristics of students, often broadcasts his own negative ethnic stereotypes and attitudes, which actualizes the issues of increasing their intercultural competence.



Conflicts of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


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