Practices of an educational institute in promoting ethnic diversity
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
In the past few decades migration of people from one part of the world to another for multiple reasons like job opportunities, education, etc., results in societies to transform into multicultural and multiethnic societies. Increasingly cultural, ethnic and religious diversity have become one of the most important challenges which human society is facing across the globe (Cross, 2004). Nations who are not prepared to face this challenge are in fronting extremism, ethnic and religious conflicts which in turn harm the human value system. As diversity is a global challenge and how we address it will have global consequences, urgency is required in order to address the issue of diversity as an opportunity rather than a burden. Many educationalists and social activists believe that educational systems are the appropriate platform to deal with diversity issues. Educational institutes are now more populated with the students from diverse cultural, ethnic, geographical and religious backgrounds. Education is expected to contribute to stabilizing, conflicts, eliminating cultural stereotypes, encouraging intercultural dialogue, and promoting peace, tolerance and mutual understanding. The education systems particularly higher education is continuously reflecting on their policies and practices which has greater impact on students' learning gains in these diverse societies. In this regard the study aims to explore practices of an educational institute in promoting ethnic diversity through a case study in a private university. This study can be seen as the first of its kind in the context of Pakistan which could contribute in overcoming the challenges and issues related to diversity. Furthermore, it will contribute to the development of a healthy working relationship among the stakeholders from diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. This study may also open the avenues for future studies with reference to diversity management with regard to the education system in a developing world context like Pakistan. The central research question that guides the study was: How do the practices of an educational institute (private university) promote ethnic diversity? This study has been conducted through the case study method within the qualitative research paradigm. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, document analysis, artifact analysis and observations. Since the purpose of the study was to explore the phenomena of diversity in an educational organization, certain actors were the focus of the study. The director, four faculty members and four students from diverse backgrounds were selected as research participants through purposive sampling. The findings reveal that perception and understanding about diversity vary as a result of an individual's knowledge and experiences. Organizational culture, values and teaching learning processes are some of the key practices through which diversity can be managed and promoted in educational organizations. Moreover, leadership vision and values play a significant role in managing and promoting diversity.
Ali, N. (2011). Practices of an educational institute in promoting ethnic diversity (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.