Culture and Multicultural World Pluralism

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In, 'Multiculturalism and the Common Center,' Diane Ravitch compares the

plualist views on what the curriculum in the schools should include. The

pluralist would like to include the history of all cultures while the

particularist want to have the different cultures taught only their own history. In order to

live in a multicultural world pluralism is neccessary because people are more tolerant of

each other if they understand where a person is coming from and what their background is.

Ignorance is the cause of many conflicts between people, and education can prevent this

problem.

        Particularism stresses the importance of knowing one's roots and not bothering

with other people's history. This is a very narrow-minded way of thinking which

leads to stereotypes and judgements that people make. Particularism causes groups to be

formed which exclude those who are not of the same race. America is thought of as

Eurocentric and not as a mixture of all cultures. Particularist believe that the schools are

only teaching European culture and forgetting about other cultures. Therefore supporters

of particularism are trying to use particularism to give children self-esteem. They believe

that if minorities can see that other minorities have done great things in the past they will be

inspired to achieve high goals. Black History Month was supposed to give African

American children self-esteem according to particularist, but they do not have Asian

History Month or Indian History Month. What is taught in school should apply to

everyone. Particularism is not the main component in giving a child self-esteem. An

inspiring teacher or role model--not necessarily of the same race--plays a major role in

developing a child's self-esteem. Michael Jordan is a positive role model for many children

of all races, not just African Americans.

        Pluralism stresses one common culture brought together by a variety of cultures.

Pluralism will teach children to be open minded and accepting of all people regardless of

the color of their skin by teaching them why people are different. Children need to be

prepared for the real world and this world their are people of every ethnic origin. It can

not be ignored that we must all live and work together. When a child grows up

and begins his/her career, he/she will be sitting next to people of other races. A person

does not have to deny or forget what their background is, but it is important to be educated

in every aspect of history, not just his/her own. Children can be very critical of other

children, especially if they look or act different, but if they understand why, they will be

less critical. Pluralism will ultimately give the best results. It opens a person up to new

things. One of the great things about America is its diversity, and we should not try to

seperate it.

        In the schools it should be required for the teachers to teach about all cultures so

that children will be well rounded. This will prevent children from being ignorant and

racist. If a class consists of only one race they should still be required to learn other

races culture. A standard of teaching needs to be set that can not be changed.

Everyday the schools become more diverse and the children need to be able to live

comfortably in this type of environment.

        America has developed a culture of its own, and it is not entirely Eurocentric. When the

United States of America was founded it consisted not only of Europeans but also Native

Americans, Africans, and Spaniards. All of these cultures influenced the American culture

and its development. The history of the world involves the collision of cultures and over

time many of them faded into each other. Segregating the different cultures is regressing

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