Education experts have spent many years planning and revising learning material and assessment tools to meet the demands of diverse learners coming into the 21st century. Educators have responded to this demand by becoming more aware of the need for a multicultural education program that helps meet the needs of each diverse learner, examining their own attitudes and bias opinions toward minority students, and acknowledging the important role every stakeholder plays in providing an equal education to every learner. However, in spite of these efforts, there is still a growing concern for the achievement gap that remains evident among students. Despite some evidence of success and strong progress by black, Hispanic, and socioeconomic disadvantaged students from 1970 to 1988, the education reform efforts of the last decade have not enabled significant numbers of students to become educationally competitive or to close the gaps in achievement (Lee, 2001).
The purpose of this paper is to reflect on multicultural education, the achievement gap, and unresolved issues, prospects and challenges moving through the 21st century. I will show my knowledge, through research, of the efforts and tactics educators and policy makers are being urged to consider helping narrow the academic disparities which continue to divide racial and ethnic groups moving forward. Furthermore, after viewing the required video presented by Dr. Ferguson, I will describe my views on the achievement gap, and how as a teacher, I can implement some of the suggestions and concepts of Dr. Ferguson into my classroom, school and/or district. After all, we need to arrive at mid-century with adults and children from every background feeling they have as much access to opportunity as anybody else does and as much reason to play the game with the expectation that if they work hard they will be successful (Ferguson, 2004).
Reflection on Literature Content
This assignment required research into the achievement gap that still exists between majority cultures and students of culturally diverse backgrounds. The reading and videos within the assignment reflect ways to progressively approach multicultural education programs that promote a positive outlook on diversity, and which seek fair and equal education opportunities for all learners while seeking to close achievement gaps that still exists throughout students. Although people have voiced such issues as equal opportunity, desegregation, and inequalities in educational achievement in recent years, few schools have developed deliberate and systematic programs to address these problems (Manning & Baruth, 2009). The most widely accepted explanations for achievement gaps include assumptions about such issues as poverty; academic coursework and instruction; peer pressure; student attendance and mobility rates; disparities in resources; parenting; preschool; teacher quality and attitudes; stereotype threat; teacher...