Multicultural Education

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Multicultural Education

Multicultural Education

1.In terms of multicultural education, what is the difference between equality and equity?

In terms of multicultural education Equality is when everyone gets the same thing. Where as, Equity is when everyone gets what they need, recognizing a larger social and historical context of inequality. (Nieto 2007)

2.What are some of the reasons that multicultural education has been criticized?

The practice of multicultural education in the schools is often criticized for trivializing the goal of multicultural education, which is the transformation of schooling to include the needs and perspectives of many cultures in shaping the ways in which children are educated and thus, the transformation of society. The inclusion of an occasional hero or holiday in a curriculum which leaves the European American story as the master narrative in the description of the United States cannot begin to create the understanding necessary for a multicultural society, nor can it produce the kind of education needed to successfully educate a multicultural populace (Sonia 2008). Students who understand that the perspectives of the Native Americans as they encountered the Europeans is as necessary to the story of U. S. development as that of the colonial settlers or the pioneers are more likely to understand that the challenges of society are complex and cannot be approached from only one direction. If they can learn that women have had a particular view of and impact upon society, varied not only by their gender but by their race and social class perhaps they can bring more balance to the ways in which they approach problem solving. If they can understand that the resistance of many European Americans to slavery, long hours and low pay, discrimination, and the destruction of the environment has advanced the society for everyone, perhaps students can challenge the limitations of ethnocentricity and create a more equitable society. Thus, multicultural education is more than holidays and food, it requires critical thinking with attention paid to complexity. It requires research and learning about the multiple perspectives involved in any historical or contemporary experience in order to understand the rich meaning therein. (Sleeter 2006)

Multicultural education is often given narrow parameters. Many think of it as education only for students of color. Certainly there is a substantial need for the education of ethnic minorities. Racism in the U.S. has created an educational system which continues to ignore the culture of students of color in learning and tracks many of them into continued subordinate positions in society. A restructuring of schools to meet their needs is essential. However, children of color do not live in a vacuum. In a democratic, multicultural society all children must be educated about the multiple strands of the past that have created the webs of the present. For example, African American students must learn about Asian Americans and Latino Americans, all of whom need to understand the journey of Native Americans, and vice versa. European Americans should study the past and present relationships of European Americans to people of color, the ...
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