HSER 509: Multicultural Issues in Human Services
Multiculturalism in education is an essential element in shaping America’s increasingly diverse society by reducing racism. This research takes a look at the relationship between multiculturalism and how educating the youth would cure racism. Multiculturalism is the view that cultural differences should be respected or even encouraged. The concept of multiculturalism reduces racism in our society because it forces people to communicate and understand individuals’ cultures that are different from theirs. Multiculturalism is very important in our Society. It helps us look at other cultures respectably and freely. Without it, we would be forced to be informed about only the main cultures in our society. Multiculturalism can be defined as the policy of maintaining a diversity of ethnic cultures within a community. Getting to know cultures only enhances our knowledge and understanding, which leads to accepting and learning new history. Our education of these various cultures and languages has provided us with open minds, and awareness of the world among us. When we have a better understanding for a culture different from ours it will help us be more understanding which would reduce racism
America today is an increasingly multicultural society. Immigrants from many lands and backgrounds add daily to the ethnic and religious mix. Increasingly, children of new immigrants do not speak English as their native language. They follow customs and religions that “mainstream” Americans find exotic or even threatening. These new arrivals add to a population of native-born minorities, many of whom have long faced discrimination and second-class citizen status. African-Americans suffered for generations under the legacy of slavery. They faced prejudicial laws and exclusion from the American Dream. Denied access to basic opportunities in education, most found themselves condemned to a life of low-wage, dead end jobs. They and their children lacked many of the attributes of the “good life,” sharing little in the newfound affluence and prosperity of a burgeoning suburbia. Poor and overcrowded, with substandard housing and paucity of facilities for education, healthcare, and recreation, the nation’s inner cities became home to large numbers of African-American and newly arrived immigrants. The situation remains perilous today. Education offers a way out. Multicultural education, in particular, presents opportunities for those of different backgrounds and national, ethnic, and origin. Multicultural education offers hope to those who speak other languages, and follow other traditions and religions. But multiculturalism also presents problems, not least among which is the chance for friction between minority groups and the majority population. As well, there are the potential difficulties in perpetuating a situation in which ethnic, religious, and racial minorities remain as distinct groups outside the American mainstream. Each of these areas Multicultural education is based on the premise that individuals of different backgrounds possess different attitudes and assumptions in regard to learning and to the social and cultural constructs that going into the learning process. Teachers too often teach those things that they consider important to themselves. An educator who comes from a white middle class background will almost inevitably approach the classroom from that perspective, thereby ignoring what might be the special needs and perceptions of minority students. As stated in Allen and Hillman-Wilmarth, To implicate oneself in one's own narratives of learning and teaching means turning habituated knowledge back on itself, and examining its most unflattering – for many, its most devastating – features. It also means exploring how even this most unflattering moment may offer...