posted by Ashley on .
Read the following scenario: You are a second-grade teacher at Happy Valley Elementary School. You are teaching language arts and social studies. Your classroom of 21 students consists of 7 white students, 5 Latino students, 4 African American students, 3 Native American students, and 2 Asian students. Four of your students are identified as special needs, with one in a wheelchair. A few of your students come from the poorest neighborhood in Happy Valley.
Write a 700-1,050 word paper in which you outline the steps required for a multicultural education to be effective. Describe types of activities you would incorporate into your classroom that would support a multicultural education for all groups in this class. How could each group make a contribution to the learning of others? Be sure to follow APA guidelines.
STEPS REQUIRED FOR A MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION TO BE EFFECTIVE
According to J.A. Banks there are steps required for a multicultural classroom to be effective. They are the following:
A multicultural education policy statement sanctions and supports diversity.
The staff has positive attitudes and expectations toward diverse students.
The school staff reflects ethnic and cultural diversity.
The curriculum is transformational and action-focused.
Parent participation provides a cultural context for teaching and a link with student personal/cultural knowledge.
Teaching strategies are constructivist, personalized, empowering, and participatory.
Teaching materials present diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural perspectives on events, concepts, and issues.
Each program component is monitored on a continuing basis.
A policy statement is a formal document outlining the ways an organization intends on conducting affairs and how the organization will act in specific circumstances. A school districts policy statement allows multicultural education in the classroom. Through programs that are created to allow equal opportunities for everyone. The goal of the policy statement is to provide the students with an equal opportunity to learn. Also to communicate with parents and the public on how important a multicultural education is to the school district (Banks, 1999).
The staff must maintain positive attitudes and expectation toward diverse students. Teachers sometimes have to learn to adapt to low-income students and students of color to discover their hidden and underdeveloped abilities. Teachers must look beyond challenges such as health, motivation, and educational needs of students to find their academic talent. Sometimes these talents are not shown on test scores. If students see positive attitudes coming from a teacher then they will likely have a positive attitude (Banks, 1999).
The school staff should be diverse. Staff should represent society, so that the students are able to understand that society values and respects people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. This should be in the school districts policy to hire and promote people of different gender, racial, and ethnic groups (Banks, 1999).
The curriculum should have a transformational and social approach. The curriculum should include concepts, events, issues, and problems from different ethnic perspectives and points of view (Banks, 1999).
School systems should have realistic ways that allow parents to get involved. Noninvolvement in all cases does not mean that the parents are not interested. Work or specific times may not allow parents to be involved. The teacher should take it upon themselves to discuss with parents to find this information out (Banks, 1999).
Teaching strategies should include plenty of time for the students to interact with each other. In the curriculum students should be allowed to have time to express their feelings with peers. This will allow the children to learn by expressing different perspectives (Banks, 1999).
Teaching materials must present diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural perspectives on events, concepts, and issues. It is not enough for textbooks to contain this information; teachers should include this as a fundamental part of discussions (Banks, 1999).
Each program component is monitored on a continuing basis. The monitoring should help to reinforce that multicultural education is a priority to the school and to ensure all teachers of their role in the program (Banks, 1999).
Banks, J.A. (1999). An Introduction to Multicultural Education (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
TYPES OF ACTIVITIES
There are several activities that a teacher could incorporate into a classroom that would support a multicultural education for everyone. A few activities that I would try are a “show and tell” day. Fridays tend to be a fun day so once a month I would have a day set aside for the students to bring in something that is special to them; it could be something like a picture, or a toy. I would start the first month with sharing something of my own. For example, I would show a birthday card that is special to me. This would let the children know that it is not about the expensive things in life but about the meaning. Another activity could be the name game. The students would find out what the meaning of their name is and why their parent chose that name. For example, my mom chose my name because when I was born it was number one on the most popular baby names in a baby name book. My name means ash-tree and is of English origin. In the United Kingdom my name is unisex although in the US it is better known as a female name. This will allow each student to show some culture and encourage parental involvement. The students could also do a parade as an activity. Each student could take a shoe box and decorate it with items from their culture. The students could paint, color, or glue items on the box. Then attach a string and have a parade showing off their shoe box. I would even incorporate an assignment to allow the students to learn from each other. I would have the students write a short essay explaining why they decorated the box the way that they did. Then they could do a presentation showing their box and reading their assignment. I would do a follow-up by allowing the students to do another assignment comparing and contrasting some of the different cultures in the class. There are many other activities that could be incorporated into a classroom to support a multicultural education.
Am I on the rigth track or way off??? :)
You are on the right track and this would be a wonderful class to teach! If you need even more ideas, check some of the sites here: