The world is made up of many different types of people, each one having his or her cultural background. Over the years, the United States has become increasingly populated with cultural diversity. This influx has prompted school administrators to recognize the need to incorporate multicultural programs into their school environment including classroom settings, school wide activities, and curriculum as it becomes more evident that the benefits of teaching cultural diversity within the school setting will positively influence our communities, and ultimately the entire nation’s future. The purpose of this paper is to share the pros and cons of multicultural education in the classroom. Additionally, I will express my views compared to those in the reading requirements for this assignment, as well as, new knowledge obtained through the research. Finally, I will share situations where I was challenged introducing a multicultural issue during a class.
The United States has a history of being viewed as a superior culture in which weaker cultures must adapt. However, this attitude has been cause of repression and conflict among the different cultures. As a result, activists have worked for years pushing to empower cultures; thus, encouraging unity rather than cultural divide for the strength of our nation as a whole. According to John Ogbu (1978), every "minority" group has a unique history in the United States that needs to be studied, understood, and validated to more authentically understand, support, and educate them. Education experts have responded to the overall push for this unification by developing an interdisciplinary approach in the development of multicultural education.
Multicultural education is a progressive approach for transforming education that critiques and corrects discriminatory curriculum, practices, and policies in education. It is grounded in ideals of social justice and equity, critical pedagogy, and a dedication to providing educational experiences in which all students reach their full potentials as socially and culturally aware and responsive citizens (Ford, 2014). Educators share an understanding that school aged children need a program that provides an education that discourages racial injustices and encourages respect of individual cultures, and overall positive accord among everyone. According to Manning & Baruth (2009), multicultural education programs instill in learners, during their crucial developmental years, a sense of responsibility to work toward the democratic ideals of justice, equality, and democracy.
Research into multicultural education proves there is still great debate on the subject. Some school administrators support the program and seek effective and inclusive ways of incorporating it into their school programs by developing multicultural programs and activities that encourage the entire school to participate. Furthermore, school leaders advise teachers and stress the importance of...