Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Multicultural Education in the Classroom.

American schools and learning environments are becoming more and more diverse. This rich diversity requires that teachers adopt instructional methods and strategies that reflect the learning needs of all students. The University of South Dakota is home to a growing number of international students. The university also hosts students of different social and economic backgrounds. This diversity necessitates an environment that works for all and mirrors the cultures of all the people it serves, hence the field of study known as multicultural education.
Multicultural education answers the questions of the new challenges brought by the demographic transformations in U.S. schools. With a set of strategies and materials at its disposal, multicultural education moves beyond the one-size-fits-all type of teaching. It seeks to promote collaboration among students, decision-making, and critical thinking while moving toward cultural pluralism. Multicultural education is comprised of three major dimensions: content integration, prejudice reduction, and equity pedagogy. Each of these dimensions ensures that all students benefit equally from the lessons taught in the classroom.
Content integration deals with the extent to which teachers use examples and contents from a variety of ethnicities, races, religions and cultures to illustrate key concepts, generalizations, and issues within their subject area. This is evidenced by the books that are read, the activities that are completed, and the lessons that are taught. The prejudice reduction strategy, on the other hand, works to remove the negative views students have about their peers. In effect, in their communities, students grow up with many misconceptions about people they are not familiar with. Prejudice reduction describes the lessons and activities teachers use to help students develop positive attitudes toward different racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. Teachers that seek to reduce prejudice in the classroom promote inter-group cooperation, monitoring, and equal treatment of all students. Finally, equity pedagogy seeks to modify the instructions to facilitate academic achievement from all subgroups. To achieve this goal, instructors make use of a variety of teaching methods and instructional strategies in order to meet the learning needs of all students. Those methods and strategies include checking for understanding, cooperative learning, direct instruction, and hands-on learning.
Overall, multicultural education uses a variety of tools that help to accommodate the unique aspects of having students of different origins, ethnicities, and social background in today’s schools and learning environments. 

 PowerPoint of Multicultural Education

                                                                         Prosper Zongo
                                                                         Graduate Teaching Assistant
                                                                         Center for Teaching and Learning

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