Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Multicutural education has been a growing debate within school systems for many years. This has been a problem because their are so many students with diverse backgrounds are coming to school expecting to see some of their own culture being brought in the curriculum. The debate is that when students of different cultures come to school and do not relate well with the traditional curriculum they don't do well in that school. They end up being called "culturally disadvantage". When middle class white students are not doing well, it is often thought that there is a problem with the teaching method. This problem undermines the confidence of diverse groups. Teachers and society assume that the only thing wrong with diverse children is the environment that they live in. The problem rest with the school systems. They need to put different cultures within the schools curriculum.

The word "multiculturalism" is define as being, "a general desire or need for students to have something in the curriculum that relates to their own ethnic traits, if these exists, or to those of their parents ancestors". Culture is define in a way where "a particular group is categorized reality in terms of language, beliefs, values, customs, kinship patterns, skills , and dietary customs". This means that culture with itтАЩs different practices, and beliefs help diverse people make sense of the world. Culture and our whole outlook of the world are put together by our attitudes, values, opinions, and concepts. Also affect on how we think, make decisions, behave, and define events. For people to understand people from other cultures they need to understand their attitudes, values, and beliefs, and where they come from. They need to understand how racism and oppression effects them and how they cope with it. The education system has a responsibility to recognize and respect diversity because it's not going away.

The goal of multi cultural education is to teach students different cultural backgrounds so they can function in a diverse, cultural world, which is reality. The debate over multiculturalism is how to define the content and practices, along with what groups would benefit from it. Some researchers view multi cultural education as "specifically addressing bilingual, bicultural education, race and ethnicity". Multi cultural education shouldn't be categorized to fit one group, mostly the more oppressed or the most talked about minorities. Multi cultural education should be for all diverse and oppressed groups. The problem is that most teachers are not familiar with different cultures, so it starts with teachers. They need to be educated themselves. All the teachers not just the white one's need to be taught different cultural. A lot of teachers don't even know their own background. When the teachers are caught up with their education, then a multi cultural curriculum and can be created, which won't be easy. It requires sensitivity, respect, understanding and acceptance for ethnic social and cultural diversity. It also requires "an understanding that variations in learning experiences have an effect on a students achievement and performance outcomes". Students should benefit from this, to where it boost their self-esteem and academic and personal achievements. This program should be used to minimize stereotypes and prejudices, understanding one's attitudes in order to understand where that person is coming from.

Some states are already starting a multi cultural education program, such as New York. Teachers reported teaching materials on minorities and women. Others dealt with the Holocaust. "A survey of in-service workshops completed by New York State teachers in 1990-91 showed that far more had taken workshops on African History, black studies, ethnic studies, multi cultural education, and cultural diversity than of American and European History". As I said before it starts with the teachers education. How are they suppose to teach a multi cultural education program if they donтАЩt know anything about other cultural. You learn about Euro- American history starting in the 4th or 5th grade till your finish with school all together. The most you learn about other cultural, mostly deals with slavery, war , and protesting, which are all important no doubt, but it doesn't explain everything.

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