English as second language.

Essay by shaziaUniversity, Bachelor's May 2003

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What is Multicultural Education?

Multicultural education relates to education and instruction designed for the cultures of several different races in an educational system. This approach to teaching and learning is based upon consensus building, respect, and fostering cultural pluralism within racial societies. Multicultural education acknowledges and incorporates positive racial idiosyncrasies into classroom atmospheres.

Pros of Multicultural Education

A significant demographic transformation is on the horizon for the United States of America. According to Bennett estimates that "by the year 2010, over 40 percent of our school age population will be children of color". Additionally, research has indicated that ethnic minority students are disproportionately poor, dropping out of school, being suspended or expelled, and achieving far below their potential relative to the ethnic majority Consequently, teachers must prepare themselves and their children for the ever changing challenge of interacting and communicating with diverse races. Reduction of fear, ignorance, and personal detachment are possible benefits to a Multicultural education.

The following excerpts are taken from Paul Gorski, a University of Virginia Doctoral student during a case study interview:

The idea of political correctness with the black race astounds me. I found it extremely interesting that some blacks in our class prefer to be called African American. In all of my classes...I have felt like I was stepping on eggshells as to not offend the blacks in my class. I am honestly glad it is not that big of an issue to my fellow classmates--it promotes a more comfortable, genuine environment for me to be totally honest and carefree.

Initially, the student interviewed in the case study reflected an attitude that would probably not facilitate consensus building, respect for other cultures, or fostering of cultural pluralism within different racial communities and in the classroom. However, with integrated curriculum, social activities, administrative...