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Scholarly Journal Review: Multicultural Education Essay (Article)

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Updated: Jan 17th, 2020

Introduction

Multicultural education manifests antiracist and anti-discrimination. The two elements can be demeaning and destructive to all people in the society. An inclusive education curriculum is fit for the prosperity of education and betterment of the society. Education should be used as a measure of enhancing cultural transformation and fostering multicultural and an all-inclusive system.

It is evident that there is a reciprocal relationship between education and culture and they both influence each other. Education can only be improved if all its ills and shortcomings are analyzed in the context of the larger society.

In a country like the USA, the impetus of adopting multicultural education was driven by the history of civil rights. This was actualized through two main legislations: the No Child Left behind (NCLB), which sought to equalize achievement and the legislation on the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, which set down the standards on how teacher education programs nurture future teachers.

The need for multicultural education was due to the fact that the existent school segregation posed a lot of challenges in efforts to enhance teaching and dialogue across diverse cultures. Three articles will be reviewed based on their multicultural approach to education.

This review will be analyzed based three overriding themes, these are: Beyond Today which is an urban after school program, multicultural education in the USA context and multicultural education based on the Reconstructionism philosophy.

Discussion

“Multicultural Education: Reconstructionism Coming of Age”

This article captures multicultural education by using the reconstructionism philosophy. This philosophy examines the strengths and the weaknesses of the multicultural efforts towards achieving innovative education and analyzing education reform movement.

Of all the four philosophical approaches to education, the essentialism, progressivism, perennialism and reconstructionism, it is only reconstructionism which examines education in the light of cultural transformation. This philosophy is also necessary when analyzing the realities of crisis-culture syndrome (Mathai, 39).

Education can only be meaningful when it is interpreted along the cultural line. This article recognizes the interconnectedness between education and culture and to enhance the utility and improvement of education the relationship between the two must be factored in.

There should be democracy in schools where the majority has their way while minorities have their say and that in the event of a conflict the will of the majority should not be imposed upon everyone, but dialogue should be allowed to prevail.

The fight against racism and discrimination is at the center of multicultural approach to education. Multicultural education should be utopianism in form so as to enhance rationality, humanity and happiness by all members of the society. This article advocates for desegregation and the embracement of diversity for a better education.

Multicultural education is a critical aspect for a liberal kind of education which values diversity and critical thinking. Consequently, multicultural learning concerns thinking in a more open and expansive manner (Mathai 39).

“Multicultural education in the United States: reflections”

Multicultural education has been used as a measure to address social issues. It has been applied based on economic, historical, social, and political context of particular countries.

The adoption of multicultural education in the USA was prompted by legalized segregation, the massive number of immigrants who brought their different linguistic and cultural practices into the USA. This placed impetus on the need for changes in education and curriculum.

Multicultural education began movement during the period of the 1960s during that moment of civil rights. In the USA, multicultural education can be realized along the following models: content integration, reduction of prejudice, equity pedagogy, improvement of school culture and the adoption of knowledge construction process.

The US government has formulated the National Council of Multicultural Education to streamline education to meet the demands of multicultural needs.

There is also the National Council for Accreditation of teacher education, which determines the licensing of teachers and examines and accredits based on the following aspects: knowledge and skill of the teacher, system of assessment, diversity, faculty qualification and united governance and resources.

“Who are your Friends?” Complexities in Multicultural Education. Importance of multicultural education

This article concerns the Beyond Today program that seeks to enhance reconstructionism dimension of intercultural education. This program seeks to eliminate racial discrimination in schools and foster social justice in educational institutions. The program gathers children of all diverse backgrounds and inculcates them to social change.

The research on Beyond Today program is instrumental, especially for teachers and also teacher educators when they are planning on how students respond to multicultural education. This research was necessitated by the segregation of schools, which posed a lot of challenges to the educators.

The program aimed at bringing to the attention of the students how important multicultural education can be and how it can be actualized. Beyond today brought together students from diverse backgrounds with the sole objective of exploration of issues like inequality, social justice and discrimination.

Application in Classroom Environment: Multicultural education seeks to inculcate the students to the principles and the need to embrace diversity. Education bridges the gap between theory and policy practice. Since education is considered an agent of socialization, introducing multicultural education will seek to empower children and students to nurture the culture of appreciating while embracing diversity (Epstein 40).

Three Lessons Learned from the Articles: First of all the theories, reconstructionism is the only one that addresses the need for multicultural education. This approach draws the attention of the world on how to understand multiculturalism. Multiculturalism addresses all the practices that concern diversity in the American context and other multicultural environments.

Consequently, along this vein diversity and differences have always existed and can not go away soon. The only remedy to the problem of diversity is to embrace them and utilize diversity in working together (Mathai 72).

I have also learned that multicultural education can be used as a tool to address various issues, three among them are: discrimination, social issues and inequality. Multicultural education was used as a measure for the legalized school segregation in the USA.

Intercultural education was also prompted by the massive flow of immigrants to the USA, which necessitated the development of the Service Bureau for Intercultural Education in 1934 to enhance the course for assimilation and embracement of cultural pluralism.

The third lesson is that multicultural education is impeded by psychological and social conditions: this is due to the resurgence of socially homogeneous groups, which have enable students to engage in discourses that regard racist experience to enable them protect themselves from any attacks. In this context, multicultural education should encompass aspects like race, gender, religion, social-economic differences and equalities.

Two things I have questioned from the articles: The categorization of multicultural issues into examinations, lessons and test scores reduces the ferocious evils of discrimination and inequality into just paperwork.

Emphasizing on education as a measure to curb the various aspects of discrimination creates a false impression and false partition between the school administrators, students and the policy analysts on the need to reduce the emerging phenomenon of social inequalities (Kahn 527).

However, influential education force maybe the students are not bound by what the teachers and the teacher programs inculcate but are only bound politically to nurture social change and not in ameliorating the existent social inequalities. The approach of using education only seeks to emphasize the distance between theory, policy and practice (Kahn 527).

One thing I have never understood: One of the things that I did not understood while reviewing the articles is the stressing of multicultural education as a mode of eliminating various cases of discrimination. This is despite the fact that it is the government which is charged with the responsibility of formulating policies that govern the society.

A review of the government policies does not mention the injustices that need to be addressed by the academic curriculum besides the completion of assignments and the undertaking of tests. It can be impractical to consider multicultural education as a tool to challenge the existing status quo yet those in government do not advocate for it.

Conclusion

Diversity and differences are evident all over the world and from time immemorial individuals have identified themselves with particular groupings like race, religion, tribe, language and nation, but the greatest challenge with this is that people experience difficulty in embracing and accepting these diversities.

To foster multicultural education, it is necessary that government and several other actors like influential societal organizations allow learning institutions to put students in the learning process and make them engage in dialogue; this will enable them to actualize and facilitates social change.

Works Cited

Epstein, Shira. ““Who are your Friends?” Complexities in Multicultural Education.” Urban Review 42.1 (2010): 39-57. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web.

Kahn, Michele. “Multicultural education in the United States: reflections.” Intercultural Education 19.6 (2008): 527-536. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web.

Mathai, Thomas. “Teacher Education Quarterly (1994): 71-78. Web.

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