Saturday, March 20, 2004

Multicultural Education in Elementary and Secondary Schools.

Multicultural Education in Elementary and Secondary Schools. This is an essay on the role of multicultural education in the curriculum. Our curriculums have always been diverse. This essay wants to broaden them even more.

From the site:

Schools have introduced numerous programs and activities to recognize achievements of a wide range of various ethnic groups in the beliefs that a multicultural education helps to prepare students for life in an ethnically diverse society and can bring about cognitive and affective benefits to students.


Generally, the introduction of multicultural activities has been motivated by at least four intentions: (1) to remedy ethnocentrism in the traditional curriculum; (2) to build understanding among racial and cultural groups and appreciation of different cultures; (3) to defuse intergroup tensions and conflicts; and (4) to make the curricula relevant to the experiences, cultural traditions, and historical contributions of the nation's diverse population.


Many educators now assert that a growing body of evidence links multicultural education and improved academic learning. For example, Hale (1986) described cognitive gains achieved by children in a pre-school program integrating material on African American culture throughout the curriculum. Zaslavsky (1988) demonstrated how elements of African and other cultural traditions can be used to teach complex mathematics concepts to inner-city students. A study (Fulton-Scott, 1983) using three elementary programs for Hispanic children not English-proficient revealed that the math, reading, and language scores of students in bilingual and multiculturally-integrated English as a Second Language programs were significantly superior to scores of students enrolled in bilingual ESL without the multicultural integration.


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