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Implementing Multicultural Education Essay

1474 words - 6 pages

Where there is any form of change in education that is discussed, there are always those who disagree with that change. These critics deem that they are problems that exist with the concept of multicultural education. One argument against multicultural education is the fear that the lack of a clear definition will essentially confuse teachers which will affect the classroom. Professor Ryan, a professor of education at Lasalle University states that “the term multicultural education is a slogan. It means different things to different people, and it assumes different purposes in different contexts” (Webster 14). His argument is that to minority students multicultural education offers a sense of empowerment, but for the majority student it is simply to force them to appreciate other cultures.“Grant and Millar have identified that an unclear definition of multicultural education has allowed critics either to ignore multicultural education or view it as a construct without creditability” (Pope-Davis et Coleman 244). The argument is that many public schools and universities do not implement multicultural education because there is no clear definite purpose and that it is still not standardized which makes it difficult to develop a curriculum incorporating it. These critics fail to realize that a definition of multicultural definition is ambiguous because it needs to apply to the students in the classroom. It is also relatively new and until schools start to implement it, it will remain ambiguous.
Another view from critics is that multicultural education is considered as “separatist or divisive” (Landsman 69). Landsman states that “an important goal of U.S education should be to forge a common nation and destiny from the tremendous ethnic, cultural, and language diversity (69). The view that multicultural education is separatists stems from the idea that the classroom should not be focused on other cultures. However, it should focus on the mainstream culture that is often precedent in classrooms throughout the country. Still opponents hold strong to the notion that multicultural education is detrimental to students in that it breaks the bond that the people in this country have. As Banks pints out “the claim that multicultural education will divide the nation assumes that the nation is already united” (64). Another critic who considers multicultural education as separatist states that “to dwell on cultural differences is to foster negative stereotypes, and that it is human nature to view those who are different as inferior” (Edchange). This statement truly enforces the notion that it is better to fear the unknown rather than learning about it and finding a way to accept it. It also can make students believe that having a superiority attitude about learning about other cultures.
Glazer argues that an emphasis on multicultural education will “undermine the successes of assimilation, which in the past has united immigrants of diverse cultures into...

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