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Equity Pedagogy in Public Schools: Multicultural Education Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: May 13th, 2020

The article, “Education, multiculturalism, and education”, explores the challenges students face in multicultural classes. Despite a series of legal battles on the need to secularize the public and private education system in Canada, the author offers an opposing view. Seljak (2005) suggests that there is need to ackna owledge different religious beliefs in order to create flexible and proactive students in the Canadian classrooms (Seljak, 2005).

Seljak (2005) opines that there are several challenges faced in the implementation of equity pedagogy to ensure inclusion of all cultural and religious groups within the Canadian education system. For example, teachers are not aware of the different equity pedagogy techniques and are not adequately trained to teach students from other religious backgrounds other than Christianity. There is likely to be a breakdown in communication between students from the minority religions and teachers. This will negatively affect the capabilities of such students.

The author illustrates the importance of equity pedagogy to the performance of students in public schools. Students from different racial backgrounds learn differently. If a teacher, for example, adopts a teaching technique that favors majority students from a religion such as Christianity, the minority students from other religions such as Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists may be disadvantaged (Seljak, 2005). Administrators expect teachers deali areng with a multicultural classroom to use various techniques that correspond to the learning styles of students with different ethnic, religious, racial, and cultural backgrounds. For instance, the teacher can use a highly personalized but demanding approach when teaching in a multicultural classroom to internalize the elements of flexibility and respect for diversity.

Same as opined by Seljak (2005), multicultural education is a process that calls for the participation of the administrators, the teachers, and other stakeholders in the education system. The initial step in multicultural education is for the stakeholders to learn about the cultural background of their learners. From this, the stakeholders can understand their learners better. Understanding their learners will help the teachers and the other stakeholders to identify their education related needs without having to impose laws that discriminate students on the basis of their religion. The understanding will help in developing cura riculum that is suited to all students. This will enhance equity pedagogy in the education system.

Multiculturalism not only targets ethnicity, but also age, gender, religion, disability, and economic backgrounds. The author underscored this point by arguing that equity pedagogy should go beyond cultural diversity (Seljak, 2005). There are other forms of diversities within the classroom and within the community, such as gender and age. It is also important to note that students from the minority religions are not homogenous. With the increasing cultural differences, the society should acknowledge that changes in the educational system are inevitable. Thus, the curriculum should be changed to reflect this and cater to a larger audience with varied educational needs.

In summary, multiculturalism has brought with it many challenges which arise from micro-cultural values that represent the different ethnicities in classes, in addition to macro cultural values such as the teachers’ understanding of the background of students. There is a need to stress on five objectives of learning such as cultural integration, development of insight processors, discouragement of prejudice, empowerment of social values, and equality in educational opportunities to promote multicultural education.

Discussion questions

  1. What is the most appropriate strategy for delivering the content of a lesson plan in a bilingual class?
  2. What is the difference between a multicultural class and a bilingual class?

Reference

Seljak, D. (2005). Education, multiculturalism, and religion. In P. Bramadat & D. Seljak (Eds.), Religion and ethnicity in Canada (pp. 178-197). Toronto, Canada: Longman Publishing Group.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Equity Pedagogy in Public Schools: Multicultural Education." May 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/equity-pedagogy-in-public-schools/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Equity Pedagogy in Public Schools: Multicultural Education'. 13 May.

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