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Multiculturalism in the United States

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Colleges and universities should emphasize the diverse culture we live in. This position can be validated through the passages written by Mike Rose's "Lives on the Boundary" and Adrienne Rich's "What Does a Woman Need to Know." The following two quotes exemplify Mr. Rose's and Ms. Rich's point of view illustrating this topic. A quote from Mike Rose affirms "We are in the middle of an extraordinary social experiment: the attempt to provide education for all members of a vast pluralistic democracy."(Rose, 117) In another quote Ms. Rich states, "For no woman is really an insider in the institutions fathered by masculine consciousness."(Rich, 69) Our society is made up of various cultural groups. Colleges and Universities are a microcosm of our society. Gender differences, racial, and ethnic backgrounds must not only be encouraged but emphasized.

Diversity in today's classroom can easily be seen when a class of students consists of individuals who speak a dozen or more languages. Mike Rose demonstrated these differences by using the diverse ethnic groups seen in the area of downtown Los Angeles. Within a few short blocks one can travel to Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Olvera Street, and Skid Row. His examples of immigrants from China, Italy, and others all shared common deficiencies in literarcy. The newcomers all came to this country with poor reading, writing, and speaking skills. These individuals were often embarrassed about their lack of skills, which made them feel threatened by their teachers. Without a relationship with the dominant culture, the immigrants were ill prepared to learn classical literature since the writings seemed irrelevant and uninteresting. Teachers are increasingly challenged to make subjects comp...

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...down into separate systems that teach to the needs of one culture over another is contra-productive. People need to learn how to subsist in both an educational system and the society we live in. To achieve the goal of teaching in today's diverse classroom, a college professor needs to help students of all cultures by utilizing teaching methods that can be directly related to the lives of his or her students. This means that varying ones educational curriculum to meet the needs of a diverse culture will have to be the norm.

Works Cited

Rich, Adrienne. "What Does a Woman Need to Know?" Presence of Others Third Edition. Andrea A. Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2000. 65-71.

Rose, Mike. "Lives on the Boundary." Presence of Others Third Edition. Andrea A. Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2000. 105-119.
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