Multicultural/Global Education

Culture is a multifaceted element that encompasses race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, language, socioeconomic status, individual beliefs, and customs among others (Aragona-Young & Sawyer, 2018). In the global society, dramatic demographic changes in both cultural and linguistic diversity of people are occurring challenging education institutions to modify the curricula and instructional strategies to meet the needs of the diverse learners. Unfortunately, while incorporating a multicultural/global curriculum is a necessity, the transition process has been slow. Consistently, we identify and discuss two factors that have affected the incorporation of multicultural curricula in today’s schools.

Factors affecting Incorporation of Multicultural Curricula in Schools

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As the diversity of American schools increases, teachers must understand the role of culture in the classroom and adopt teaching practices that accommodate learners from different cultural backgrounds. One of the challenges in multicultural education is providing a fair education to all the learners. As Alismail (2016) elaborates, a fair education considers the perspectives of several groups and developing an inclusive curriculum to promote social justice. Unfortunately, ideological or political resistance and teacher accountability pose multiple barriers to the incorporation and transition to a multicultural curriculum. Teachers who do not have adequate skills to enable them to integrate the various students’ cultures into classroom experiences provide a barrier to multicultural education. In this regard, the lack of adequate skills among teachers brings up the second challenge in incorporating multicultural education – the generalization of student’s cultural characteristics. According to Grant and Chapman (2013), teachers often generalize about the cultural characteristics of Pacific Americans and African Americans among others. The problem with over-generalized perceptions of different learners’ cultures is they can act as a barrier to creating and affirms effective multicultural classrooms.

References

Alismail, H. A. (2016). Multicultural Education: Teachers’ Perceptions and Preparation. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(11), 139-146.

Aragona-Young, E., & Sawyer, B. E. (2018). Elementary teachers’ beliefs about multicultural education practices. Teachers and Teaching, 24(5), 465-486.Grant, C. A., & Chapman, T. K. (2013). History of Multicultural Education Volume 5: Students and Student Learning. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis

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