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The process of globalization as the global trend of the development of modern societies leads to active interactions and the integration of national communities, regions, and countries. Globalization is accompanied by an increase in the tension of interethnic conflicts as well as migration processes that affect the ethnocultural and social life of societies. The understanding of these processes and the attempts to solve the interrelated educational and social problems brought plenty of countries to the awareness of the phenomenon of multiculturalism in education.
Various scholars explore the notion of multicultural education from different perspectives. As noted by Banks (2015), the educational process aimed at building a tolerant and inclusive society should go beyond simple transferring of knowledge since it should equip students with cross-cultural competence. In her turn, Turner-Vorbeck (2013) emphasizes the role of multicultural education to include family diversity, pinpointing its “sensitivity to the broader diversity issues of class, race, ethnicity, and language and to further struggle to avoid generalizations” (p. 6). With this in mind, this paper will focus on the specification of the course description, expected outcomes, and curriculum design associated with religious oppression and its elimination.
The name of this course is EDU526 that refers to the special topics in graduate education. Focusing on supervision and leadership, the course offers the fundamentals of curriculum development, inclusion, achievement gap elimination, measurement, and diversity awareness. For the selected curriculum that is presented in Appendix A, the course title can be identified as follows: a religious aspect in diversity promotion: challenges and opportunities. The need for such a curriculum is caused by the current religious conflicts occurring in different countries all over the globe (Connor, 2012; Turner-Vorbeck, 2013).
Therefore, the curriculum covers such essential concepts as religious family background, privileges, oppression, social activism, etc. The closing questions and the follow-up assignment will ensure appropriate learning and measurement. The core goal of this course can be regarded as the promotion of equal learning opportunities through a specific curriculum design construction. More to the point, effective supervision is to be reached through the robust synthesis of knowledge, interpersonal communication, and organizational tasks set by a teacher.
The expected course learning outcomes can be identified through the lenses of the present-day needs in the field of adult education regarding inclusion. In the recent study, Connor (2012) argues that scholars widely explore ableism as a discrimination of people with disabilities, diverse religious beliefs, etc. in favor of able-bodied or those who have another religion. The author reviews the works by Steinberg (2009), Ayres, Quinn, and Stovall (2009), and Chapman and Hobbel (2010), elaborating on the idea of ableism instances and suggesting potential ways to address this challenge. Thus, it becomes evident that ableism study and analysis compose the first learning outcome.
At the same time, the evidence shows the immediate need for the development and implementation of relevant strategies to struggle against ableism as it leads to inequality in all spheres of life and inequitable privileges, while fair and honest nature of the employment relationships, interpersonal communication, and education contribute to the strengthening of people’s self-esteem, morality, and motivation (Adams & Bell, 2016).
The elimination of ableism through the accurate and adequate explanation of its essence and potential negative consequences is the most significant requirement for people to be able to select their professional career, develop their talents and skills, and obtain rewards in accordance with their achievements. In this connection, it is necessary to share and learn the examples of ableism in a real-life setting. Both individual and cultural levels are to be investigated to help students in an in-depth comprehension of the issue.
The next step of the multicultural curriculum is associated with developing critical thinking abilities in adults to increase their awareness and prevent stigmatization. According to Kattari (2015), this information can be utilized to “help able-bodied higher education faculty and staff members to recognize from where unearned able-bodied privilege comes and to support these individuals in examining their behavior through an ally lens” (p. 383). Specifically, the selected curriculum relates to religious discrimination, and there is a need to study the religious and cultural atmosphere in the classroom to determine the level of tolerance. After that, the learning outcome will focus on the creation of an atmosphere of tolerance, acceptance, respect, and approval of religious differences, provoking mutual interest between cultures.
It is expected to measure the accomplishment of course learning outcomes by answers on the closing questions and the group assignment results. Also, one may use interviews and several case studies to check the progress and effects of the course. The detailed learning plan and timeline are presented in Appendix A.
Drawing from the evidence presented in this paper, multiculturalism as one of the forms of liberal ideology is called upon to implement a policy of agreement and stability by promoting cultural pluralism and protecting cultural diversity. The basis of a multicultural worldview is the constantly evolving system of value orientations. A multicultural worldview is emerging in the form of attitudes toward the organization of educational and upbringing activities from the standpoint of multiculturalism. The suggested curriculum presents an essential contribution to the promotion of the mentioned values.
Adams, M., & Bell, L. A. (2016). Teaching for diversity and social justice (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Banks, J. (2015). Cultural diversity and education. New York, NY: Routledge.
Connor, D. (2012). Does dis/ability now sit at the table (s) of social justice and multicultural education? A descriptive survey of three recent anthologies. Disability Studies Quarterly, 32(3), 1-17.
Dover, A. (2015). Teaching for social justice and the Common Core. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 59(5), 517-527.
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English language arts standards. (2017). Web.
Hollins, E. (2013). Transforming curriculum for a culturally diverse society. New York, NY: Routledge.
Kattari, S. K. (2015). Examining ableism in higher education through social dominance theory and social learning theory. Innovative Higher Education, 40(5), 375-386.
Turner-Vorbeck, T. A. (2013). Expanding multicultural education to include family diversity. Multicultural Education, 20(3), 6-10.
|Lesson Topic||Conceptual Understanding of Religious Oppression.|
|Lesson Rationale||Due to the current setting regarding the recurring religious conflicts and clashes, the curriculum will be aimed at overcoming stereotypes emerging around heterogeneous groups and maintaining an inclusive educational environment that encourages diversity.|
|Standards||Anchor Standard 1 (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1): “Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively” (“English language arts standards”, 2017, para. 1).|
|Evidence||Contemporary educational institutions are heterogeneous organizations that furnish educational services and include diverse groups of students and employees who differ in various attributes such as cultural and religious backgrounds. The heterogeneous organization of educational process presupposes the interaction of students with different backgrounds at the same level and ensures equal access to the educational environment for all students regardless of their peculiarities (Dover, 2015). Consequently, the task of educational institutions is the provision of religious pluralism. In order to take into account the existing religious diversity and manage it effectively, educational institutions should form an inclusive educational environment. In connection with this vision, the main objectives of the educational process will be to orient at building equal educational opportunities for all students by increasing the awareness and tolerance in them and creating a favorable educational atmosphere that will contribute to the social self-location of adult students (Dover, 2015).|
|Desired Results/Learning Outcomes||Course learning outcomes to be achieved as the result of the curriculum implementation: |
– Describe cultural and institutional privileges connected to ableism within the U.S., raising awareness of the global issues such as religious oppression and the barriers that they form;
– Explore contemporary instances of ableism in educational settings;
– Identify ways to take action and interrupt ableism on an individual and cultural level;
– Establish a safe and tolerant learning environment inclusive of all students (Hollins, 2013) based on the importance of social justice and inclusive society.
– Promote critical thinking to enforce cross-cultural awareness and avert stigmatization and discrimination;
– Develop positive self-image of the diverse students (Banks, 2015);
|Stage 1: Introduction to the topic (15 minutes; Professor – Class mode). |
As the instructor, I will ask the students to brainstorm their ideas on the topic of religious oppression to investigate their background knowledge and initial representations.
After brainstorming, I will cover the basic domains and concepts related to religion, confessions, oppression, and discrimination based on religious differences.
Stage 2: Religious family backgrounds (40 minutes; Group discussion).
The purpose of the activity is to enable students to place themselves in the religious context and reflect on their self-image. The students will share their cultural and religious heritage reflected in their name, background, and traditions exhibited in their family. Part of the assignment will be to compare and contrast the differences they notice when talking about religions and nationalities (Hollins, 2013). The integral outcome will be to allow students to conduct self-identification within diverse cultural contexts.
Stage 3: Religious privileges (45 minutes; Group discussion and Professor-Class mode).
The students will discuss and create a chart of privileges that the representatives of different confessions can have. In particular, they will address if they have any privileges in the USA. After that, they will be required to discuss the experience of people who do not have the same religious privileges and what its consequences or effects are.
When the group discussion is over, I will collect the lists and create a chart based on students’ answers to reflect on the rightfulness of keeping certain population groups underprivileged and the way the US Constitution oversees this issue.
Break (15 minutes).
Stage 4: Types and Levels of Oppression (History and the Modernity) (45 minutes)
I will present the information regarding the types of oppression that have been exhibited throughout the history of the USA and the levels of discrimination faced at present. The particular emphasis will be made on the current events (for instance, terroristic acts that occurred and their influence on the society’s perception of particular religious groups). Students will share and justify their opinions on the latest occurrences.
Stage 5: “At Play in the Fields of the Lord” (Brincando nos Campos do Senhor) (USA, 1991) (40 minutes)
I will show excerpts of the movie to encourage students’ thinking about the manifestations of oppression and will provide explanations to them to drive students’ comprehension.
Stage 6: Social Activism (30 minutes)
I will ask the students to compile the ideas they gained from the movie with the Constitutional safeguards for religious freedom and the values promoted by society and analyze the way individuals can become active participants in changing society to become more inclusive.
Stage 7: Closing questions (10 minutes; Professor – Class mode).
|Materials Needed||Textbook, handout materials on types and levels of oppression, DVD with “At Play in the Fields of the Lord” movie.|
|Assignment / Follow-up||Group assignment: Analyze issues of religious oppression faced by you (your family, friends, partners, closest people or people that you know personally). |
Compile a list of stereotypical portrayals of people belonging to diverse religious confessions (based on levels and types discussed in class). Enumerate both positive and negative stereotypes/prejudices that you or people you know have come across and specify the problems and barriers that have emerged as a result of these prejudices.
Appendix A. Core details of the curriculum. See above.