Multicultural Education

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Multicultural Education

Getting Rid of the Stereotypes, and Teaching in a Multicultural Perspective

Overview:

It is rare that any two-classroom teachers will have the same definition for multicultural education. “The basic goal of multicultural education is to help all children understand and appreciate events and people from various points of view” (Welton, 113). Teaching with a multicultural perspective encourages appreciation and understanding of other cultures as well as one’s own. Rey Gomez states that teaching with this perspective promotes the child’s sense of the uniqueness of his own culture as a positive characteristic and enables the child to accept the uniqueness of the cultures of others.

Children’s attitudes toward their race and ethnic group and other cultural groups begin to form early in the preschool years. Children are easily influenced by the cultural, opinions, and attitudes of their caregivers. Caregiver’s perceptions of ethnic and racial groups can affect the child’s attitudes toward those minority groups. “Early childhood educators can influence the development of positive attitudes in young children by learning about and promoting the various cultures represented among the children they teach” (Gomez, 1). Gomez also states young children can develop stereotypic viewpoints of cultures different from their own when similarities among all individuals are not emphasized. Teachers can help eliminate stereotypes by presenting material and activities that enable children to learn the similarities of all individuals. Early childhood teachers and parents of young children should become aware of the myths and assumptions associated with multicultural education so that they develop appropriate goals and methods. Listed below are the assumptions of multicultural education created by Paul Gorski and Bob Covert:

1. It is increasingly important for political, social, educational and economic reasons to recognize the US is a culturally diverse society.

2. Multicultural education is for all students.

3. Multicultural education is synonymous with effective teaching.

4. Teaching is a cross-cultural encounter.

5. The educational system has not served all students equally well.

6. Multicultural education is (should) being synonymous with educational innovation and reform.

7. Next to parents (primary caregivers) teach...

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...es you can step on along the way, making sure there are no stereotypes in my classroom will be a necessity. Getting rid of the stereotypes, and teaching in a multicultural perspective will be one of my goals in the near future when I am a teacher myself.

Works Cited:

Dimidjian, V.J. “Holiday, Holy Days, and Wholly Dazed.” Young Children

1989: 6, 44.

Dixon, G. T. & Fraser, S. “Teaching Preschoolers in a Multilingual Classroom.”

Childhood Education 1986: 62.

Gomez, Rey A. “Teaching with a Multicultural Perspective.” Eric Digests

1991. 30 Jan. 2002 http://www.ed.gov/databases/ERIC_Digests/ed339548.html.

Gorski, Paul. & Covert, Bob. “Defining of Multicultural Education.”

Multicultural Pavilion 2000. 30 Jan. 2002 http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/multicultural/initial.html.

Norton, D.E. “Language and Cognitive Development Through Multicultural

Literature.” Childhood Education 1985: 62.

Phillips, C.B. “Nurturing Diversity For Today’s Children and Tomorrow’s

Leaders.” Young Children 1988: 2, 43.

Welton, David A. Children and Their World: Strategies for Teaching Social

Studies. 7th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
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