Essays on multiculturalism in schools

By , educators estimate language-minority students will make up 40 percent of children in school Thomas and Collier This statistic represents not only the increasing diversity of the population in the United States but also a pressing need within the educational community to reevaluate its focus. Currently, an entire portion of the school age population does not benefit from the system of education in our country.

Essay on Diversity and Multicultural Education in the Classroom

Since this group grows larger every year, curriculum needs to be adapted to meet the needs of a more diverse group of students. Although a concrete, universal definition remains elusive, most educators understand that multicultural education is a method of teaching that exposes students to a wide variety of cultures, traditions, and social groups in an attempt to help them better understand how they fit into society.

This also includes bilingual education, which seeks to increase students' proficiency in English while at the same time maintaining their connection with their first language. Multicultural education has grown in popularity throughout the past 15 years as student populations have grown increasingly diverse. The need stems from the fact that "traditional student affairs and psychological research historically has excluded or minimized the importance of the individual's social identities i.

Multicultural Education Literature Review Essay (Critical Writing)

It is detrimental to assume that a child who does not know English would benefit from the same type of education as a student who has been speaking English his or her entire life. Multicultural education seeks to allow all students to benefit equally from education. The debate on this issue remains complex, and as a result it is easier to avoid rather than discuss or address.

Activists bring up the fearful image of the "melting pot" in argument against multicultural education. In this social model, programs use education to mold the various cultures of America into one homogeneous group deemed socially acceptable by dominant society.


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This results in the loss of the history and traditions of the many ethnic groups who inhabit our nation. Supporters believe in order to "make it" in society, minority students are forced to abandon their heritage, thus giving up their personal and cultural identities Nieto They fear that multicultural education will serve only to destroy the cultural differences making each of us unique.

Another accusation against multicultural education is it completely undermines the integrity of the history of Western thought and achievement. Critics shrug off multiculturalism as an identity crisis of the minority population which threatens to destroy Western culture Giroux Schlessinger states a contrasting argument as he explores the effects of multiculturalization on society. He comes to the conclusion that while cultural diversity promotes human interaction, the overemphasis of these differences leads to conflict.

First, it creates a group Schlessinger refers to as the "militants of ethnicity"--people caught up in upholding cultural differences who become alienated from society and instill social unrest. Second, cultural separation results in "balkinization": a disuniting of society that eventually leads to social breakdown on the premise that no one will be able to relate to any cultural group but their own.

Schlessinger argues that the only way to achieve social diversity without the fragmentation of society is to create an education system that lifts up cultural differences and teaches tolerance and understanding. Only through a system of multicultural education can people gain the cross-cultural experience necessary to interact in today's international world.

Multicultural education benefits and improves our society. Thomas and Virginia P. Collier argue for multicultural education because, "in the remedial program, English learners receive less access to the standard grade-level curriculum. The achievement and equity gap increases as native English speakers forge ahead while English learners make less progress" The current system of education proves culturally inadequate since it widens the gap in student achievement rather than closes it.

Our current programs for bilingual education involve either separating English learners from the school population or minimizing their exposure to core material. Both options alienate them from their peers and deny them the education they need and deserve. In his book Hunger of Memory , Richard Rodriguez writes about the changes in his life as a result of bilingual education. He explains that the biggest barrier in the English learner's quest for acceptance in society remains the sense of separate between his or her culture and the American life he or she is pursuing.

Rodriguez insists, "full individuality is achieved, paradoxically, by those who are able to consider themselves members of the crowd. Thus it happened for me: Only when I was able to think of myself as an American, no longer an alien in gringo society, could I seek the rights and opportunities necessary for full public individuality" An educational program making all members feel like they belong builds a stronger and less fragmented community. Once a sense of public identity is achieved, the individual understands his or her societal role and can better interact with other people.

The Multiculturalism And Education Policy

In this way, education represents the pathway to becoming a member of society. The argument against multicultural education has taken a number of different forms. Henry A. Giroux's essay, "Democracy and the Discourse of Cultural Difference: Towards a Politics of Border Pedagogy," emphasizes one of the more powerful movements by conservative intellectuals who claim multiculturalism works against the entire institution of Western thought.

They argue multicultural proponents hold distorted attitudes that emphasize bigotry and prejudice in Western culture rather than its great achievements. Furthermore, they label multiculturalism as a crisis within the value system of American culture that destroys the "common culture" that has resulted from hundreds of years of shared international discovery. Giroux quotes Roger Kimball, who states. Resources By Chapter. Sample Student Essays.

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Web Links. Grammar Mini-Lessons. Billings , Santa Clara University Sample Student Essays Chris Garber, "The Importance of Multicultural Education in a Global Society" People speak as if race is something blacks have, sexual orientation is something that gays and lesbians have, gender is something women have, ethnicity is something so called "ethnics" have Thus, if persons do not fit "neatly" into the aforementioned categories, they are not acknowledged as sharing group membership in any particular group.

Moreover, if they do not openly identify with the above categories, people assume that they do not have any worries about the various identities.

Giroux quotes Roger Kimball, who states Implicit in the politicizing mandate of multiculturalism is an attack on the idea of common culture, the idea that, despite many differences, we hold in common an intellectual, artistic, and moral legacy, descending largely from the Greeks and the Bible, supplemented and modified over centuries by innumerable contributions from diverse hands and peoples.

It is this legacy that has given us our science, our political institutions, and the monuments of artistic and cultural achievements that define us as a civilization.

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF The Concept of Multicultural Education

Indeed, it is this legacy, insofar as we live up to it, that preserves us from chaos and barbarism. Although the immigrants are not prejudiced against in terms of academic and education matters they are forced to engage in observing and participating in norms that are of the natives and others from the education institution policies. However, this has been caused the failure of some teachers to collaborate with ELL teachers on how to modify their teaching approaches, discuss academic expectations with the ELL parents, or just having to take time to know their new students.


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Looking for critical writing on education? Let's see if we can help you! Most English teachers are trained on the model and value of the dominant culture.


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  • However, with the increased influx of immigrant students teaching becomes challenging. Teachers need to be empowered with tools and inculcate new methods in the curricula model so as to negate the negative belief and attitudes that teachers may hold against teaching EELs. In addition to multiculturalism, learning needs to be aware of the demographic changes within their states. A casing point is the influx of Latinos in America.

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    Culture And Multicultural Education Education Essay

    These immigrants are linguistically challenged and therefore, although there is the existence of ELL classes, most teachers do not value them as being grounds towards understanding their diversity and culture, but see ELL classes as just being English tutorials for these immigrant students. Whether they do understand and appreciate the dominant culture does not bother them as long as they speak English at the end of it learning period.

    The consequence of this attitude is that most immigrant students opt to drop out as they cannot fit in their new social-cultural environment. This critical writing on Multicultural Education Literature Review was written and submitted by user Cain Bradford to help you with your own studies.

    Rockwall High School MultiCultural Essay Winner

    You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly. You can donate your paper here. We use cookies to give you the best experience possible.