There was an experiment done by Falbo and Da Baessa (2006) with Indian and Latino students speaking either Kiché or Q’eqchi’ to see the effects of multicultural education on their academic performance. They studied both their own cultures and languages and other’s for one year. The result of the experiment showed that the students having multicultural education had a better academic achievement on reading, writing and mathematics than the students who only learned about their own or a totally different culture. Multicultural education teaches students strategies to solve problems, especially cultural problems, and builds students’ self-confidence with study in both universities and in their communities (Alismail, 2010). Furthermore, the study showed that multicultural education could reduce prejudice among students.
One way that a teacher can ensure that the cultural capital of all students is recognised, understood, and valued is by fostering a strong home-school connection with the families of all students (Ewing, 2013. p.98). By forming authentic relationships with students and their families, a teacher can ensure that they are "actively engaged in knowledge and ideas that they see as related to their own
population, the need for multicultural education is even more relevant. Today, the United States is experiencing its greatest immigration levels since the early twentieth century (Suárez-Orozco et al., 2005). Multicultural education serves to address such diversity. Its primary goals are to promote justice, equity, and respect for all by teaching students the attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary to participate in multiple cultures within their community, the nation, and the globe (Banks, 2006). National mandates for inclusion of multicultural components in art education curricula are now in place in the United States (Banks, 2006).
A celebration of diversity recognizes different behavioral expectations, different ways of defining success, different patterns of socialization and different ways that parents are involved in the education of their children (Stanton-Salazar. 2001; Valdes. 1996). A celebration of diversity means that teachers will accept different types of behavior in a classroom and will not make assumptions about students’ abilities without thoroughly knowing each student’s cultural background and experiences. It also means teachers will get to know their students’ home and community cultures and appreciate diverse ways of teaching and learning that might be found in their students’ culture.
Some pros that I could see in implementing this in the classroom is that students are getting early exposure to differences in color, language, gender and physical ability of people different from themselves. Students are also being exposed in a safe environment where they can continue to grow their knowledge on diversity. Along with exposure teachers are also able to share teachable moments with students through questioning and different activities. In contrast there are also some cons. One significant con that I can think of is that some of the topics may be sensitive and be too deep for students of such a young age to comprehend.
If we educators show that children have a sense of belonging, children will feel more confident and build more safe relationship with everyone. We should also encourage children to keep using their own language so that it’s not lost and learn to speak English at the same time.
In “Multiculturalism Should Be Promoted” an article that appeared in Culture Wars in 2004, director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington in Seattle James A. Banks and editors of Rethinking Schools argue that multiculturalism should be taught and practiced in today’s schools. Part I of the article, written by the editors of Rethinking Schools, talks about “A Fight for Justice” and “White Privilege.” The editors’ focus their argument by providing what teachers should incorporate inside their classrooms to promote multiculturalism, its definition, and what multiculturalism can provide for the community. The editors pointed out that multiculturalism entails support. In Part II, written by James A.
Korn-Bursztyn and Bursztyn (2002) indicated that teachers lacking a multicultural education are inadequately prepared for the reality of a multi-racial society and tend to have low expectations for minority children. Teacher educators must ask themselves to what degree their teacher preparation programs (a) promote increased cultural self-awareness, (b) develop a recognition and appreciation of diversity, (c) promote cultural competency, and (d) prepare teachers to work effectively with a diverse group of students and parents. Teacher education programs that promote multicultural education is a necessity. It simply is not a matter of preference, it is a necessary knowledge and skill. As the century progresses, our nation becomes increasingly reliant on minorities, immigrants, and white women for almost 90 percent of its work force (Ruddy, 2008).
Diversity is growing in the United States and, as a result, the public schools. Gay () suggests that many answers lie in the inclusion of multicultural education in the curriculum. Students need to be educated in the contrbution of multiculturalism to the social, political, cultural and economic issues of today. The lack of multiculturalism in school curriculum is mainly due to the fact that many educators believe the inclusion invovles separate lessons as it is a separate entity. The misundersatnd that this approach influences the entire educational system as it plays a role in instruction, policy, leadership, evaluation and learning climate.