Multicultural education can be expressed as educational philosophy which focuses most on celebrating on the cultural differences while on the other hand recognizing importance of challenging all form of discrimination based on gender, race, age, religion and sexual orientation. Dr. James as the author and educator has identified four approaches that the teachers are supposed to use during teaching and learning process (Brown et al, 2012). These identifiable approaches are used for the integration of ethnic content which has evolved into the curriculum. Teachers can use for integrating multiculturalism into their curriculum.
The use of contributions
This is using the examples of contributions of those people who have done great work to the community and the world at large. Teachers use this approach in order to show what the heroic people have accomplished from different races and cultures. Teachers do this without changing the lesson plan or the goals and objective being taught in classroom. For instance, during science lesson the teachers may explain to the learners different contributions of different scientific people from different countries or American ethical groups. This makes the learner aware of different people from different cultural groups making them socialize well with others(Gay, 2007).
Use of additive
This is a multicultural dimension that requires adding cultural realities that the traditional curriculum had left out and focuses mainly on traditional holiday like Independence Day. Teachers provide different stories on how different countries used to celebrate these holidays and how they gave thanksgiving. For example, teacher can give stories on how Native Americans took place in the first thanksgiving celebration. This will be one of the ways to add multicultural element and it is effective in classroom teaching and learning (Kimball et al, 2007). Use of additive approach does not change the overall curriculum but it instills some changes in it.
This approach of multicultural education seeks to change the altitudes and the perception of the cultural differences. This approach uses different curriculum by in cooperating problems experienced from different cultural and how these cultures perceived them. This encourages the learner to view these problems and concept of solving these problems from what they learn. For instance if a teacher is teaching a history lesson, he/she explains how different people fought during wars. From this, learners are able to view how the settlers, the soldiers and the native people survived during this period of time.
It is an approach where the learners now use transformational approach for social change. After the students have been equipped with knowledge and skills on how to tackle different situations they can act as the agents of change not only to themselves but also to the whole community. They can now instill change in the community by using transformational concepts tough earlier by their teachers. According to Sam Miguel (2007) students can create social change by influencing the leaders either senators of the region to change a situation in the community. They can also engage in activities which will bring change in the community by reaching out students from other ethical groups.
Colorblindness is the racial ideology which is directed to end discrimination in classroom in its best way possible. Colorblindness tries to teach every individual to teach each other equality without considering the race, culture and ethnicity. This issue of colorblindness is seen as the unseeing eye whereby the white people in the society do not face the challenges of race but they feel comfortable on their social status. Colorblindness uses no classification, categorization or distinctions based on race whereby no racial data used. It is believed that treating people equally leads to a better society and racism cannot exist in it.
There was a goal from landmark civil rights registration to remove racial discrimination and there was need to establish race blind standard. The American civil rights have prohibited state institutions from considering race, sex and ethnicity in public sectors including schools. Clarence Tomas supports the idea of colorblindness and he believes in equality where all the people should be treated the same. Multicultural approach helps even in understanding where the discrimination has occurred because inequalities are very difficult to hide a person with the knowledge (Brown et al, 2012).
Color-blind perspective should be applied in order to meet the needs of the entire individual since color-blind people can do other normal things. These people are able to see and cannot be differentiated until they start reading names of colors. Teachers should understand these learners and make copies of handouts with high black or white contrast and not a colored paper. Color-blindness should not be an issue today because there are rights which no one should violate. Modern racism is seen to be rare because even government is trying to target the color-blind individuals (Brown et al, 2012).
Color-blindness should be well advocated because it creates a society which denies their negative racial experiences and it can include their own ideas which may cost them. This perspective should be applied in classroom so that the teachers and other students can treat all the learners without favors but taking keen concern on those with special needs including color-blind learners. There are a variety of approaches to conquer the challenges faced by multicultural education including cross cultural mentoring for the faculty of color and anti-racist pedagogy.
It is the teachers’ responsibility to change the society by eliminating racist in class while the learners are young because they will our future parents and should act as agents to change the world. Teacher should evaluate a plan by either forming cooperative groups from different cultures in order to stimulate learning and elimination of racist. Some of the approaches may accomplish certain curricular objectives but not all. It is important to support national curriculum into our school whereby the students need to be supported in either way to improve their academic work (Ball, 2004).
San Miguel (2007) says that there is need for the schools to be equipped with necessary material and good management for the support of education. Most of the multicultural learning activities consist of discrete lessons which are organized on certain events. An example of multicultural program is the project REACH which is geared towards respecting ethnic and cultural heritage. This is an academic based program designed into the regular curriculum for the middle school which infuses the history of culture of various groups of people.
Multicultural education materials have been created by organizations and commercial publishers in order to support individual class lessons which are part of class unit. For the basis of the curriculum, there are many activities covering more subject areas. The program is also responsible for other duties that are guidance and counseling to produce an excellent equipped student. These programs need much competent from the leaders so as to produce effective outcome. It should be comprehensive, focused and well- publicized leading to measurable and smart goals of the education (Gay, 2007).
Decisions regarding curriculum and instruction are mostly influenced by goals and objectives from different social groups. Most of the states have adopted goals for affirming multicultural education realizing the values of cultural diversity. The large size of the learners enrolled into today’s schools has led to greater problems. Societal changes and social ills have influenced student to student and teacher to students’ relationship through the interaction. Many cases of misbehavior are being reported by the educators which need immediate action to be taken (Kimball et al, 2007).
According to Gay (2007) to create a respectful and conducive environment for teaching and learning, many schools have implemented school wide behavior management systems. The wide behavior system is developed through multi-step and multi-faceted approach making sure that the community is committed to these steps. The students should poster good behavior which is desired by the school and contrally there should be consequences. There are steps to follow in order to reach high standards of discipline. Forming a group of specific people to start on the plan will help to monitor these behaviors whereby there will be a lead group for the members (Gay, 2007).
This group should consist of those people with experience and must provide guidance and counseling to students. The school community including the students, parents, teachers, the administration and other stakeholders are working hard to maintain a safe environment that enables effective learning and teaching. For systematic behavior management, there must be a positive focus with empathetic and equitable treatment for all. Students should respect others and should attend all the classes arriving on time. A school should create a list of clearly defined expectations for behavior expected from the school community.
In conclusion, there should be a welcoming altitude in the school which helps the students achieve their goals through the created altitude. A vision should be set in the school program so that the school can produce successful students. Mainstream centric curriculum has much influence on students as it equips them with skills and tries to provide educational experience to them so that they can commit themselves in their cultural heritage. This is also a strategy that can be applied to foster good results in education.
San Miguel Jr, G. (2007). “Let All of Them Take Heed”: Mexican Americans and the Campaign for Educational Equality in Texas, 1910-1981. Mexican American Monograph Number 11. University of Texas Press, PO Box 7819, Austin, TX 78713-7819.
Borman, G. D., & Kimball, S. M. (2005). Teacher quality and educational equality: Do teachers with higher standards‐based evaluation ratings close student achievement gaps?. The Elementary School Journal, 106(1), 3-20.
Gay, G. (2007). Educational equality for students of color. Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives, 195-228.
Brown, M. K., Carnoy, M., Duster, T., Currie, E., & Oppenheimer, D. B. (2003). Whitewashing race: The myth of a color-blind society. Univ of California Press.
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