Online Reading Essay
America, a country created by the outcasts of Europe in the 1700’s, is a nation that consists of a diversity not known by any other country. Since the first settlers travelled to this new nation, people from all over the world have come to this great country for many different reasons. Some people come to make a better life for their families, some people come to experience freedom, some have come to stay alive and avoid genocide of their own nation, in the past some have even been forced to come to America with their lives being changed forever. In schools today, we learn about the reasons people come to this nation, but it’s not often that we learn what happened after they arrived. Textbooks are often written to please school boards that value the white European’s journey to America, it’s not often we see a journey to America from a Mexican, Chinese or African’s perspective. In order to incorporate these cultures into the classroom, a teacher of a multicultural classroom should incorporate additional multicultural literature into the curriculum. By incorporating literature that provides different cultural perspectives, students of the culture will be able to relate better to the readings, while students not of the culture will be able to see things from another’s perspective.
According to the Normal Acculturation Process, when immigrant students come to a new country they go through four variable stages. During the second stage, the student experiences a bit of culture shock (Richard-Amato). This culture shock will lead to the student feeling isolated and frustrated while losing their sense of identity. With multicultural literature, the teacher is able to provide a sense of security to this student. If the student is able to read literature that relates to them and is familiar they will not feel such a strong feeling of shock, they will instead feel more secure knowing they are not alone in how they feel. Being able to relate to the characters in these works will also allow for more in depth discussions and understanding (Dietrich). The students are no longer reading about a stranger, they are reading stories about people they may not know personally, but who could easily be their best friends or neighbor.
In most multicultural classrooms there is more than one member of each culture. For those classrooms that do not have this kind of representation of cultures it is still important to incorporate literature from other cultures to insure the students of these classes do not become blinded and ignorant of people who are not like themselves. When I was in school it was very seldom that we were able to learn about cultures that weren’t of white European decent in class. For me however, I was able to learn about a variety of different cultures from my friends and classmates. Most of these cultures were Latin American cultures, while a few were of different African cultures as well as some Native American. Growing up in...