Multicultural Education

Essay by ctannahill February 2010

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In today’s society there are many cultures and each of these has a different perspective of the world around them. In schools there is a growing need to address cultural differences. This includes biases that happen when there is a lack of understanding of other cultures.

One way to begin is to understand exactly what culture is. According to Richard Gargiulo, culture is the attitudes, values, belief systems, norms, and traditions of a group that collectively form their heritage (2006). By understanding what the term culture encompasses, one can endeavor to demonstrate sensitivity to people’s differences.

Multicultural education is an important aspect in the education field. It is defined as an educational strategy where the cultural background of each student is valued, viewed positively, and used to develop effective instruction (Gargiulo, 2006). By utilizing this form of education, differences and biases can be addressed in the most diverse classrooms.

By providing culturally relevant instruction educators can address culture differences and how these differences influence student’s perspectives and behaviors (Banks, 2001).

This can benefit the entire classroom, even the instructor, by encouraging tolerance and understanding of one another’s differences.

By implementing instruction with an emphasis on cultural differences and commonalities students can begin to develop an understanding of the plurality of our society (Hanley, 1999). This can then lead to the examination of commonly made assumptions and biases of other cultures and even their own cultures.

By using these concepts teachers will provide students the tools to address cultural differences and biases. This can be achieved with multicultural education teaching students to have an open mind when addressing issues, to have a greater concept of oneself and others, and sensitivity and understanding of others of any culture. This will also enable students to better understand different cultural interpretations of events and...