About Ohio/Wva schools none
Since early American history, schools, like society, have addressed cultural diversity in
different ways. In the colonial days, some attempts to adjust to cultural differences were made
in the New York colony, but the dominant American culture was the norm in the general
public, as well as most of the schools. As America approached the nineteenth century, the
need for a common culture was the basis for the educational forum. Formal public school
instruction in cultural diversity was rare, and appreciation or celebration of minority or ethnic
culture essentially was nonexistent in most schools. In the 1930's, the educators were in the
progressive education movement, called for programs of cultural diversity that encouraged
ethnic and minority students to study their heritage's. This movement became popular in many
schools until around 1950. Now, these days in education, the term multicultural education
never escapes a teacher's thoughts (Ryan, 26).
What does the term 'multicultural education' mean to you? I means different things to
different people. For instance, to some minority communities, it means to foster pride and self-
esteem among minority students, like the progressive movement in the 1930's. Another
example would be in the white communitites, that multicultural programs are designed to
cultivate an appreciation of various cultural, racial, and ethnic traditions. Cortes defines
multicultural education by the process by which schools help prepare young people to live with
greater understanding, cooperation, effectiveness, and dedication to equality in a multicultural
nation and inerdependent world (Cortes, 16).
When I observed at Madison Elementary in December, I expected the school would
be multicultural in the sense of ethnic or racial backgrounds. Instead, I was very surprised to
discover that the school was predominately white students, with only a handful of African
American students in each classroom. I did find...