Multicultural Education

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Multicultural Children’s Literature

Multicultural education must be integrated into the curriculum and focus on the appreciation of all cultures and ethnic differences. Much research has been documented supporting the use of high quality multicultural children’s literature as a powerful medium to develop varying cross-cultural understandings of perspectives concerning cultures, roles, insights, traditions and beliefs (Au, 2001; Callins, 2006; Howrey & Whelan, 2009; Lowery & Sabis-Burns, 2007; Mei-yun, 2007) . Teachers also can use multicultural literature depicting children's worlds as a means to bridge home and school cultures personally as well that of the students. Within Howrey and Whelan’s (2009) research project, utilization of multicultural children’s literature was used to enhance teachers to become culturally responsive educators. “According to Villegas and Lucas (2002), exposure to the literature of different groups can give future teachers access to the rich textures of people’s lives, hopes, aspirations, dreams, disappointments, pains, and joys” (p. 27). Literature can be a powerful vehicle for understanding cultures and experiences different from our own. Howrey and Whelan (2009) research analysis concluded that multicultural children’s literature provides not only “a mirror on one culture and a window to another” for children, but for adults as well. (p. 132).

In parallel, the work of Evans (2010) highlights the use of multicultural literature to address racial, ethnic, and linguistic equality. In this qualitative study, demonstrated that through using an innovative critical literacy practice with multicultural literature, students’ awareness and understanding of others was positively impacted. Over a period of ti...

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... diversity of our society and understand that all teachers enter the classrooms with personal social identities and cultural biases. Respecting, valuing, and celebrating personal and students’ unique strengths foster in creating equitable classroom communities. Taking the time to develop appropriate knowledge bases, having high expectations for all students, providing a welcoming environment, and working with family members and the community, depict a multicultural classroom atmosphere. Sheets (2009) provides on culturally responsive instruction, “it is important to become conscious that the arduous journey from novice to expert requires hard work, relentless commitment, and a high investment of time and energy” (p. 17). All teachers must continually acquire the ability to apply and translate ideologies immersed within diversity to enable all students to achieve.
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