Tolerance, Acceptance, and Understanding
Tolerance, acceptance, and understanding are chief virtues that every student should be equipped with. Although the terms are not similarly defined, they surely complement each other to create a harmonious and safe environment. This way, students learn to embrace diversity at school!
Tolerance means that you have the ability to put up with others even though they might come from different socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, ability levels, and appearances, among other distinguishing characteristics. You can also tolerate ideas that you dislike or disagree with. When you tolerate someone, you are liable to say phrases, such as: “I can live with people who are different.”
Acceptance means that you approve of someone. You also acknowledge him/her for who s/he really is. Tolerance does not lead to acceptance. That is, although you might have an ability to tolerate someone, you might not accept him/her. For instance, you can tolerate the fact that your colleague is of a different culture background. However, this does not mean that you approve of him/her.
Understanding moves beyond tolerance and acceptance. While both tolerance and acceptance are highly desired traits, they cannot replace understanding. When you understand people, you are able to deal with them adequately. One core element of understanding is valuing differences and acknowledging people for who they actually are.
The presence of those traits within an educational institution is crucial in promoting a diverse community, especially at school. With tolerance, acceptance, and understanding, students learn to appreciate dissimilarities and to view them as means of development and growth. This, in turn, enhances societal living conditions, which is one major goal that educational institutions strive to achieve.
Diversity at Eastwood International School
Eastwood International School is one of the most diversified schools in Lebanon. We cater for students from over thirty-four different embassies. Consequently, Eastwood consists of various cultural and racial groups. This makes Eastwood’s community rich in every sense of the way. The experiences that each of these groups brings to Eastwood’s family are inspiring, educational, and fulfilling.
Maintaining such diversity at school is an ongoing process. Our school is bully-proof, and discrimination has never been recorded.
How do we have diversity at school?
Primarily, we ensure that every student knows the meaning of tolerance, acceptance, and understanding. Faculty members deliver those virtues through Eastwood’s hidden curriculum. Whenever possible, encounters at Eastwood are seized, and learning opportunities are created. As a result, tolerance, acceptance, and understanding are continuously reinforced. We also celebrate individual differences. Doing this signifies that every one of us is unique in his/her way. Most importantly, we maintain an environment that is based on mutual respect. Respect is one way of showing others how much we value them. Valued individuals are apt to behave and react positively under various circumstances. This strengthens the sense of safety and belongingness in our community. It also promotes a high degree of diversity at school.
We leave you with a plea to be kind and compassionate toward others. Tolerate, accept, and understand that we are all different, and that’s okay. In diversity lies beauty, power, and opportunities!
Michel A. Khoury
Eastwood Schools Director