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Nowadays, multiculturalism is one of the essentialities of the modern education due to the rise in the diversity in the classroom (Ford, 2014). In turn, this concept is highlighted in K-12 standards by referring to culturally responsive teaching, justice in decision-making and racial awareness and identity (Aceves & Orosco, 2014).
In spite of the gravity of multiculturalism in the American society, the teachers and students tend to misinterpret the concept of the intercultural environment by often regarding representatives of various ethnicities as “monocultural” (Ford, 2014, p. 60). This misconception drives the development of stereotypes and bullying and contributes to the fact that modern American education lacks consistency (Ford, 2014). These issues and the rising significance of multiculturalism are the primary reasons for conducting research in this sphere.
Consequently, in the context of this paper, evaluating Bank’s four approaches to integration of multiculturalism and the color-blindness tactic are vital. Alternatively, offering instructional strategies to minimize the occurrence of racism in the classroom and designing a program to make multiculturalism an essential part of the educational process are critical. In the end, modifying school-wide behavior, making it more culturally responsive, and proposing suitable techniques to achieve these goals cannot be underestimated, as they improve the level of multiculturalism in the educational institution.
Bank’s Four Approaches
In the first place, evaluating and analyzing Bank’s approaches to the incorporation of the multicultural content into the curriculum is critical. In this case, the researcher divided the tactics into contributive, additive, transformative, and social action approaches (Chun & Evans, 2016). In this case, a contributive approach is often referred to as the most common strategy to cultivate an increase in the level of multiculturalism in the classroom.
It is commonly associated with using holidays and historical figures to build an understanding of international relations in the world (Chun & Evans, 2016). In the context of the curriculum, organizing various events such as international food festival and devoting each week to different leaders such as Martin Luther King and Christopher Columbus will help determine a contribution of various ethnicities to the development of the United States of America.
In turn, the additive approach implies emphasizing the importance of diversity without redesigning the curriculum (Chun & Evans, 2016). In this case, the instructor uses the common historical facts and well-developed programs without spending additional time on changing the content (Chun & Evans, 2016). Referring to historical events, periods, and ethnicities such as indigenous people, Hispanics, and African Americans during the educational sessions will help form a general overview of the history of the country and the world. Organizing these classes every month is the most appropriate timeframe.
In turn, one cannot underrate the effectiveness of the transformative approach, as it allows for discovering historical events from dissimilar angles (Chun & Evans, 2016). In the context of the curriculum, the proposed above educational sessions about the fundamental historical events and figures can be modified by adding different perspectives. For example, while discussing the African-American Civil Rights movements, the instructor has to refer to the viewpoints of various continents like the Americas and Europe and races such as African Americans and Hispanics. Each class can be divided into segments to devote equal time to each discussion.
As for the social action theory, it implies that students discuss the issue and participate in finding a solution (Chun & Evans, 2016). In the first place, this strategy can be applied to the curriculum with the help of discussion forums. This concept will assist in cultivating an understanding of the gravity of the issue of sexism or racism in the classroom. After indicating a problem, the students will be encouraged to develop various solutions to minimize the level of racism in American society.
Color-Blindness, Racism, and Instructional Strategies
The concept of color-blindness suggests that the individuals have to be treated equally disregarding their visual racial attributes (Mazzocco, 2015). This approach does not categorize the modern society into ethnic groups and highlights the importance of individualism (Mazzocco, 2015). Nonetheless, despite the beneficial intentions of color-blindness, this approach cannot solely diminish the racism. On the contrary, some scholars refer to the fact that it contributes to its development.
For example, color-blindness does not help the students to adapt to the habits of representatives of different cultures during the social interactions (Apfelbaum, Norton, & Sommers, 2012). Simultaneously, it creates racial bias and bullying, as the students are not educated about the cultural features and differences (Apfelbaum et al., 2012). Instantaneously, color-blindness diminishes the significance of discrimination in modern society and disregards the rights of various ethnicities (Apfelbaum et al., 2012). A combination of these factors underlines that color-blindness is a primary source of racism due to misunderstandings and the lack of social background and flexibility.
To avoid racism and discrimination in the classroom, the teacher can utilize various external resources such as YouTube. Following this approach will help provide an objective opinion about races and cultural differences, and the teacher’s tone will be unbiased. Simultaneously, the instructor can develop a set of rules, which all students have to follow. Alternatively, students can participate in the development and propose their own solutions to enhance the atmosphere and learning environment in the class. Applying this tactic can assist in avoiding discrimination, as this framework has to be equally respected by all participants of the educational process.
Speaking of other instructional tactics, they have to comply with the K-12 principles of cultural responsiveness and engage different students into the discussions (Aceves & Orosco, 2014). In this case, emphasizing the significance of equality together with the students will assist in building a learner-friendly environment in the classroom.
At the same time, students’ participation in various discussions concerning race and culture will help them express their opinions and shape the understanding of the diversity and its gravity. It could be said that the tactics mentioned above will help minimize the gaps created by the color-blindness and racial bias. It will be one of the approaches to encourage students’ participation and underline the importance of diversity.
A Program for Integrating Multiculturalism
Based on the analysis conducted above, it is critical to design an educational program, which will support the integration of multiculturalism in the curriculum. In this case, the importance of multiculturalism can be delivered to the students by organizing various discussions, performances, and cultural evenings monthly or weekly. Applying the game-based learning is reasonable, as it is believed to have a positive impact on the academic excellence (Yien, Hung, Hwang, & Lin, 2014). Dressing up and playing the roles of the representatives of different cultures will help students to feel the diversity of the cultural world.
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As for the literature classes, this subject can apply the general concepts of the program. Once a week a teacher can identify the culture-related fictional literature to be read during the class. The readings can be represented in the form of short stories or tales. After reading the materials, the students can discuss the actions of the main characters and compare them with the customs of their own cultures. Using this approach will assist in learning about the diversity and multicultural nature of the modern world. In turn, learning and being acquitted with the poems of different cultures could serve as a basis for the development of performances and cultural evenings once a week.
As for the history, this subject can apply similar concepts as literature due to the interdependence and similarities of these disciplines. Nonetheless, in this case, it will be critical to discuss the connection between the cultures and their contribution to the development of the world. Displaying dissimilar opinions with the help of the transformative approach will have a beneficial impact on the student’s understanding of multiculturalism. At the same time, using performances of famous historical events and games make the classes interesting and interactive.
In this case, the discussions can be organized once a week while other occasions can be held once a month. Furthermore, integrating history and literature can be viewed as a possibility. As for math, the teacher can design the tasks to be associated with the customs and traditions of different cultures. Simultaneously, conducting historical sessions about math once a week will help students become acquainted with diversity, and using technology will make lectures more interactive (to be organized twice a week).
Incorporating Positive Behavior in Schools: Techniques
Focusing on the educational sphere is critical, as it is one of the definers of the educational quality. Nonetheless, one cannot underestimate the gravity of the school-wide behavior on cultivating the responsive cultural environment within the educational unit. In the first place, one of the primary goals is to support multiculturalism in the educational institution.
In this case, this goal can be reached by encouraging students to participate in various events (School climate and discipline, 2016). Consequently, it could be said that organizing school-wide events such as international food and culture evening, dances, and cultural conferences will assist students and teachers in sharing their understating of multiculturalism.
Another aspect, which will have a positive impact on the development of multiculturalism is paying vehement attention to the emotional intelligence and learning environment (School climate and discipline, 2016). These factors can be delivered to the students with the assistance of supporting activities such as educational sessions and counseling.
In this instance, these activities will have a beneficial impact on students and teachers simultaneously. The students can clearly express their problems to the counselors and receive feedback. At the same time, critical attention will be paid to teachers’ emotional intelligence and their ability to deliver the ideas of multiculturalism to students. Based on the evaluation of the instructor’s intelligence, it will be evident if the additional training is a requirement.
Lastly, one cannot underestimate the involvement of parents’ in the educational process (School climate and discipline, 2016). They are critical definers of the academic excellence, and their support and awareness of the essentiality of diversity and multiculturalism have a positive impact on the school-wide practices. In this case, encouraging parents to participate in the specialized educational sessions will have a positive influence on the learning conditions at home and inside the institution. At the same time, the parents can take part in the cultural evenings and events and schedule meetings with the counselor to resolve the problems in case of their occurrence.
Aceves, T., & Orosco, M. (2014). Culturally responsive teaching.
Apfelbaum, E., Norton, M., & Sommers, S. (2012). Racial color-blindness: Emergence, practice, and implications. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(3), 205-209.
Chun, E., & Evans, A. (2016). Rethinking cultural competence in higher education: An ecological framework for student development. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Ford, D. (2014). Why education must be multicultural: Addressing a few misconceptions with counterarguments. Gifted Child Today, 37(1), 59-62.
Mazzocco, P. (2015). Talking productively about the race in colorblind era.
School climate and discipline: Key elements of school-wide preventive and positive discipline policies. (2016).
Yien, J., Hung, C., Hwang, G., & Lin, Y. (2014). A game-based learning approach to improving students’ learning achievements in a nutrition course. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 10(2), 1-10.