Multiculturalism in the Classroom

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Multiculturalism In Todays Classroom Multicultural influences in education are not a new idea or fad that is going to dissipate. Multicultural ideas have slowly made small impacts on education since its inception. It most famously came about during the civil rights movement of 1960’s and has steadily gained ground in the public school systems. It started with racial equality and grown to include language barriers, religious freedoms and children with disabilities. The definition of multiculturalism in the Webster’s Dictionary is: “of or relating to a social or educational theory that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only a mainstream culture” (Webster’s 2012). Reasons Multiculturalism should be integrated into America’s schools have been met with opposition. With the changing ethnic makeup of our society, Multicultural education is an idea that seeks to develop the same opportunities for all students; it is not geared only for the benefit of those from different racial, ethnic, and social-class groups, but it is also designed to help the middle to upper class white Americans (Banks, 2012). Ideally the goal of multicultural education is to restructure schools, retrain teachers and staff, so that all students will gain the knowledge, outlook, and abilities required to succeed in America. In order to achieve the acceptance of a multicultural curriculum in all grades and infrastructure of the educational system must adopt this. Although it is a complex concept, Professor J.A. Banks the University of Washington has five dimensions to describe the major components: 1) content integration, 2) the knowledge construction process, 3) prejudice reduction, 4) an equity pedagogy, and 5) an empowering school culture and social

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