Students Need A Multicultural Classroom Essay

1243 words - 5 pages

Students Need a Multicultural Classroom

I can identify with the multicultural concept of the classroom because I am African American, a woman, and a soon to be a teacher. This subject is one that is of extreme importance. The multicultural classroom is a learning environment that should be most effective because of the simple fact that it should encompass everyone. As a future teacher one of my goals for my classroom is to make it as diverse as possible. Not only because it should be a standard operating procedure, but because I feel students will be able to learn more effectively in an environment where they feel that their heritage is included.

The definition of multiculturalism in Webster's Dictionary is "the existence, recognition or preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society." Therefore with this definition in mind a multicultural classroom is one that is the sum of all these things. A multicultural classroom is a learning environment that strives to reach all of its students, especially those of non-dominant ethnicities. In this environment students learn about the curriculum as well as their own cultural history. The aim of multicultural education is to ensure equity in education for all students and to help empower young people to make the world a better place both individually and collectively (Bigelow, 1993). Multicultural education is designed to help all students reach their full potential. Just about all teachers should have a desire to teach in a multicultural class because most classes in the United States of America contain at least one or two students of a different race or cultural background. This should not be considered a problem, but an asset because having so many different types of students allows the classroom to become more diverse. This diversity allows the learning environment to a mirror the outside world. As teachers, we train students for the "real world"; we train them to be able to function in society. If this is true, then the classroom should be as close to that setting as possible.

As a student in junior high and high school, I was taught that the United States is a melting pot, meaning that many different groups of people live here and together we all form one large culture. The ideal behind this concept was that groups of people would adapt to society and submerge into the mainstream culture. Was our society ever truly a melting pot? The answer is no. Hence, today in the United States we have adopted another idea. That idea is that we are societal salad. This means that though we all live in one place in one area, we still maintain our cultural identities to some extent. I feel this is positive because one's personal identity is important if one is to know who he or she is. That is why the multicultural classroom is so important. "Education became a central focus of the Civil Right Movement. If blacks and Latinos were to have an equal...

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