Ciencias de la Educación

21 de febrero de 2019

Why is it Necessary to Consider Interculturality within the Classroom Setting?

María Fernanda Téllez Téllez

The twentieth century brought the development of communications. The steam engine, the automobile, the air transport, the telephone and more recently, the computer science that has facilitated social mobility at an exponential rate. Despite the institutionally conceived boundaries and the desire of governments to delimit the range of action of others over their territories, it has been unavoidable for human beings to face other cultures and civilizations that are different from theirs. Therefore, a question arises: how can I understand a person who speaks differently and whose logic does not correspond to mine? This is where interculturality plays a key role; thus, there is a need to create educational contexts that facilitate reflection, understanding and that favor the acceptance of others and the value for diversity.

In other words, interculturality implies being tolerant towards people’s values ​​and understanding them individually and collectively. Human beings need to develop the ability and sharpness to understand others. It is becoming increasingly difficult to accept others due to our inability to define ourselves and, therefore, to define others. The latter implies seeing others with different eyes that allows us to accept the difference and at the same time to perceive the Other as an equal who can build the world with others.

In relation to the above, Gómez and Hernández (2010) stated that interculturality needs to be considered as something that can be constructed with others, founded on respect and legal, equal, and fair relationships where cooperation is needed to achieve a socio-political, moral and educational project. In other words, social construction depends on interculturality as a process of exchange and acceptance of the Other.

Therefore, interculturality as a possibility to see the Other from his or her reality and from his or her difference must become a fundamental aim in Education. This vision must transform the classroom setting; in this sense, the teacher must be sensitive to and develop intercultural competence. According to Hernández (2011), the school represents a space to establish relationships with others. In sum, the teacher should promote intercultural competence from an early age to awaken cultural and social awareness.




Gómez, J.T., & Hernández, J. G. (2010). Relaciones interculturales, interculturalidad y multiculturalismo; teorías, conceptos, actores y referencias. [Intercultural relations, interculturality and multiculturalism; theories, concepts, actors and references]. Relaciones Interculturales Cuicuilco, 48, 11-34. Retrieved from


Hernández, J.A. (2011). La competencia intercultural en el alumnado de educación primaria: Diseño y evaluación de un plan de intervención para su desarrollo [Intercultural competence in primary school students: Design and evaluation of an intervention plan for their development]. (Tesis doctoral). Universidad de Alicante. Retrieved from