Going Deeper with Multicultural Education

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Going Deeper with Multicultural Education

  • Presented by Paula Doskocil, Kim Horn, Laurin Mapes, and Roosevelt Nivens

Going Deeper With Multicultural Education in Classrooms

  • As with all great teachers, his curriculum was an insignificant part of what he communicated. From him you didn’t learn a subject, but life….
  • Tolerance and justice, fearlessness and pride, reverence and pity, are learned in a course of long division if the teacher has those qualities…..
  • By William Alexander Percy

Projected Growth of Minorities in Schools in the United States

  • In 1984, approximately one in four schoolchildren were minority students. (Shaw, 1997)
  • In 1994, in the 25 largest American school districts, minority students compromised about 72% of the total school enrollment. (Shaw, 1997)
  • In 2020, the figures will rise to about one in two children being minority, with many of these students being poor. (Shaw, 1997)

Growth of Minorities in Schools in Midlothian

  • In 1991, the percentage of minority students enrolled in the Midlothian School District was 11 percent.
  • In 1995, four years later, the minority population increased one percent.
  • By 2000 the population had only increased by 2 percent in a ten year span.


  • Due to the growth of ethnic and cultural diversity in the public school population, an added component of multicultural education needs to be integrated in all curricula areas throughout the year.
  • Efforts must be made in order to meet the needs of all students by integrating multicultural viewpoints and histories, applying instructional strategies that encourage all students to achieve, and to prepare teachers to promote meaningful, engaged learning for all students, regardless of their race, gender, ethnic heritage, or cultural background.

Components of Multicultural Education

  • Ethnic, minority, women’s, and religious studies
  • Bilingual education and English as a second language
  • Cultural and global awareness
  • Human relations and conflict resolution
  • Special education

Concepts of Multicultural Education

  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Classism
  • Ageism
  • Prejudice
  • Discrimination
  • Oppression
  • Powerlessness
  • Power
  • Inequality
  • Equality
  • Stereotyping

Myths Associated with Multicultural Education

  • Other cultures should be presented as distinct ways of living that reflect differences from the dominant culture
  • Bilingualism is a liability rather than an asset
  • There should be separate, unified set of goals and curriculum for Multicultural Education

Myths Continued

  • Multicultural education is only relevant in classes with students who are members of the cultural or racial groups to be studied
  • Mere activities, which are not placed in explicit cultural context, constitute viable multicultural education curriculum


  • Teachers must consider children’s cultural identities and be aware of their own biases.
  • In order to change people’s oppressive ways, we must learn about oppression.

Perspectives Continued

  • The promotion of a positive self-concept is essential, as is a focus on activities that highlight the similarities and differences of all children’s lives.
  • Through multicultural literature, children discover that all cultural groups have made a significant contribution to civilization.


A Look at Various Programs Implemented in the United States

  • Content-Oriented Programs
    • This type program adds multicultural education to its curriculum by incorporating a few short readings or a few in-class celebrations of cultural heroes and holidays within the school year. Some take a more thorough approach, adding numerous multicultural materials and themes to the curriculum.
      • To develop multicultural content throughout the disciplines
      • To incorporate a variety of different viewpoints and perspectives in the curriculum

A Look at Various Programs Implemented in the United States

  • Student-Oriented Programs
    • These programs specifically address the academic needs of carefully defined groups of students, often minority students.
      • Programs that use research into culturally-based learning styles in an attempt to determine which teaching style to use.
      • Bilingual or bicultural programs
      • Language programs built upon the language and culture of African-American students
      • Special math and science programs for minority or female students

A Look at Various Programs Implemented in the United States

  • Socially-Oriented Programs
    • These programs are designed to restructure and desegregate schools, and to increase all kinds of contact among the races.These include programs to encourage minority teachers, anti-bias programs, and cooperative learning programs.
      • To increase cultural and racial tolerance and reduce bias
      • Emphasize “human relations” in all its forms and incorporate a broader spectrum of content-oriented and student-oriented programs to emphasize pluralism and cultural equity in the American society as a whole, not just within the schools.

Activities for the Classroom

  • Candy Activity (See Appendix) (Social Studies)
  • The Drinking Gourd (Spann, 1992) (Social Studies)
  • Eyes of the Dragon (Spann, 1992) (Math/L.A./Art/S. S)
  • Where the Forest Meets the Sea (Spann, 1992) (Science)
  • In the Spirit of Harambe (See Appendix) (Social Skills)
  • Getting Started with Respect (See Appendix) (Social Studies)
  • Exchanging Stories- Names (See Appendix) (Language)

Follow the Drinking Gourd Activity

  • Goals
  • The students will learn about the Underground Railroad.
  • The students will learn geography of the U.S.
  • Objectives:
  • 1.     The students will be able to identify the free and slave states on the map with 85% accuracy.
  • 2.      The students will be able to explain the concept of the Underground Railroad with 85% accuracy.
  • 3.      The students will be able to use the “Follow the Drinking Gourd” song to map a course the slaves may have used to reach the Underground Railroad with 85% accuracy.
  • Materials:
  • Words to “Follow the Drinking Gourd” song
  • Copy of Follow the Drinking Gourd, by Jeanette Winter
  • Underground railroad map
  • Underground Railroad map (enlarged)
  • Crayons

Follow the Drinking Gourd Activity Continued

  • Procedure:
  • 1.      Read Follow the Drinking Gourd and discuss how the slaves reached freedom.
  • 2.      Find on map the places the story mentioned.
  • 3.      Give the students a copy of the Underground Railroad map and discuss all the routes the slaves used for freedom.
  • 4.      Have the students determine which routes could have used to “Follow the Drinking Gourd” song.
  • 5.      Give the students the enlarged map and words to the song.
  • 6.      Using the words to the song draw the landmarks the slaves looked for to find freedom.
  • 7.      On the Underground Railroad map the students will label the free and slave states with their correct names.
  • Extra Activities:
  • 1.      Take another route the slaves used and make up a song that could have showed them to freedom.
  • 2.      Write journal entries from the point of a slave using the Underground Railroad to reach free land.
  • 3.      Calculate the number of miles the slaves may have traveled in order to reach Canada.

Books on Multicultural Education for Curriculum and Teaching

  • Affect in the Curriculum: Toward Democracy, Dignity, and Diversity
  • Beane, J. A. New York: Teachers College Press, 1990.
  • The American Tapestry: Educating a Nation: A Guide to Infusing Multiculturalism into American Education Alexandria, VA: National Association of State Boards of
    • Education, 1991.
  • Assessment for Equity and Inclusion: Embracing All Our Children
  • Goodwin, A. Lin. New York: Routledge, 1997.
  • Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education
    • Graff, G. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1992.
  • Cooperative Learning in Diverse Classrooms
    • Putnam, JoAnne W. Paramus, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1996.

Books Continued

  • .
  • Culture and Power in the Classroom: A Critical Foundation for
  • Bicultural Education
  • Darder, A. New York: Bergin and Garvey, 1991.
  • The Dialogic Curriculum: Teaching and Learning in a Multicultural Society
    • Stock, Patricia L. Paramus, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1993.
  • Empowerment through Multicultural Education
    • Sleeter, C. E., ed. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1991.
  • An Introduction to Multicultural Education
    • Banks, J. A. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 1994.
  • Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Approach for the Primary School Classroom
    • De Gaetano, Yvonne. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Macmillan, 1997.

Books Continued

  • Making Choices for Multicultural Education: Five Approaches to Race, Class and Gender. 2nd ed
    • Sleeter, C. E. and C. A. Grant. New York: Merrill, 1993.
  • Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society. 3rd ed
    • Gollnick, D. M. I. and P. C. Chinn. Paramus, NJ: Prentice- Hall, 1997.
  • A Post-Modern Perspective on Curriculum
    • Doll, William E. New York: Teachers College Press, 1993.
  • Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom
    • Delpit, Lisa. New York: The New Press, 1995.
  • Teaching for Diversity
  • Border, L. L. B. and N. V. N. Chism, eds. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1992.

Books Continued

  • Teaching in a Pluralistic Society: Concepts, Models, Strategies.
  • 2nd edition
    • Garcia, R. L. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1991.
  • Teaching Stories
  • Logan, Judy. New York: Kodansha, 1993.
  • Teaching Strategies for Social Studies
    • Banks, J. A. 5th edition. Boston, MA: Wesley-Hodson, 1991.
  • Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
    • Hooks, Bell. New York: Routledge, 1994.
  • Teaching with a Multicultural Perspective
    • Davidman, Leonard and Patricia T. Davidman, eds. 2nd edition. New York: Longman, 1997.

Web Sites for Multicultural Education

  • Intercultural E-mail Classroom Connections (http://www.iecc.org/)
    • "The IECC (Intercultural E-Mail Classroom Connections) mailing lists are provided by St. Olaf College as a free service to help teachers and classes link with partners in other countries and cultures for e-mail classroom pen-pal and project exchanges."
  • K-5 Cybertrail: Multicultural Curriculum Resources
  • (http://www.wmht.org/trail/explor02.htm)
    • Includes well-organized links to Resources for Teachers, Web sites for Kids, E- Mail Exchanges, and Schools Around the World.
  • Multicultural Math (http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages/terri/multicultural.html)
    • Includes multicultural math goals, links to multicultural math sites, and other related information.
  • Multicultural Pavilion (http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/multicultural)
    • The Pavilion's mission is to "provide resources for educators to explore and discuss multicultural education; to facilitate opportunities for educators to work toward self-awareness and development; and to provide forums for educators to interact and collaborate toward a transformative, critical pedagogical approach to multicultural education." Resources include a Discussion Board, archives of online papers and essays, research and inquiry links, a tutorial for finding resources
    • online, and a list of links to online sources.

Web Sites Continued

  • Multicultural Studies from the Social Studies School Service (http://www.socialstudies.com/)
    • "Social Studies School Service has been a leader in educational resources since 1965, searching out the highest quality supplementary learning materials, including books, CD-ROMs, videos, laserdiscs, software, charts, and posters. Our experienced editorial staff and teacher consultants carefully evaluate titles from over a thousand publishers, searching for materials that are effective, balanced, easy to use, and reasonably priced. In our ongoing effort to respond to the needs of teachers, we publish over 30 catalogs a year (focusing on different subject areas and grade levels) that list the best materials for you using short, informative, and objective descriptions."
  • National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture
  • (http://www.igc.apc.org/namac/index.html)
    • The main Web site for NAMAC will be very useful for anyone who is trying to find a source for films, or for organizations devoted to media, education and social justice. NAMAC provides a very extensive listing of both national and local organizations, both alphabetically, and by state.
  • National Civil Rights Museum (http://www.midsouth.rr.com/civilrights/)
    • Information regarding the museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Also includes a Virtual Tour of the museum with text and photographs.

Web Sites Continued

  • Standards: An International Journal of Multicultural Studies (http://stripe.Colorado.EDU/~standard)
    • An online journal dedicated to multicultural studies, with a different theme for every issue. See vol. 6 no. 1 for "Education."
  • Vandergrift's Children's Literature Page (http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/special/kay/childlit.html)
      • An acquaintance with and an understanding of literary characters is one
      • of the first ways a young child has of making sense of what it is to be
      • human." Kay Vandergrift offers a myriad of wonderful resources
      • pertaining to children's literature, including lists of books with
      • positive portrayals of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian
      • Americans, and Hispanic Americans. She also includes a list of books with
      • positive portrayals of women.

Workshop Evaluation

  • How often do you integrate multicultural ideas and principals into the taught curriculum?
  • Every lesson
  • Once a week/ couple of times a month
  • On holidays and designated months
  • Never
  • After participating in the multicultural awareness workshop will you integrate more multicultural ideas into the lessons?
  • Yes, most definitely
  • I will try some activities
  • No
  •  What was the most beneficial part of the workshop?
  •  What was the least beneficial part of the workshop?
  •  Do you think your school does a good job of incorporating multicultural ideas at your school?
  • If yes, please explain how this is accomplished.
  • List 3 things you can do in your classroom to improve multicultural attitudes.
  •  What suggestions do you have for this workshop?

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