ECE 405: Children & Families in a Diverse Society
August 29, 2010
Definitions of multicultural education vary. Some place emphasizes on the cultural characteristics of diverse groups, some emphasize social problems such as those associated with oppression, some place emphasize on political power, while others on the reallocation of economic resources. Some restrict their focus to people of color, while others include all major groups that are different in any way from mainstream Americans. Other definitions limit multicultural education to characteristics of local schools, and still others provide directions for school reform in all settings regardless of their characteristics. The following are the most frequently used definitions of multicultural education: An idea, an educational reform movement, and a process intended to change the structure of educational institutions so that all students have an equal chance to achieve academic success A philosophy that stresses the importance, legitimacy, and vitality of ethnic and cultural diversity in shaping the lives of individuals, groups, and nations A reform movement that changes all components of the educational enterprise, including its underlying values, procedural rules, curricula, instructional materials, organizational structure, and governance policies to reflect cultural pluralism An ongoing process that requires long term investments of time and effort as well as carefully planned and monitored actions (Banks & Banks, 1993). Institutionalizing a philosophy of cultural pluralism within the educational system that is grounded in principles of equality, mutual respect, acceptance and understanding, and moral commitment to social justice (Baptiste, 1979)
Of the six main approaches to multicultural education I chose the Human Relation, approach, which focuses on teaching children how to make and maintain a good relationship, with children of...