When I was in grade school, I don’t recall coming across to many books that weren’t traditionally in the curriculum. I mean everything I read in grade school was a solid, remarkable piece of literature but nothing I could ever relate too. Even though I grew up in a diverse time, I didn’t read multicultural literature in school. I read them on my own time. Multicultural literature should be integrated into the curriculum of today’s school system; I believe multicultural literature teaches children about the similarities they have with another culture as well as it being a way for children to relate to others. However finding good quality multicultural literature is maybe very hard to come by.
Cultural knowledge is important in today’s society, with America being such a melting pot. America is a heterogeneous culture, and this is one of the reasons why exposure to different experiences through literature is a crucial part of educational curriculum. If we take a look in classrooms today across America, we will find students of all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, and cultures. Students in the classroom come from different social classes and all kinds of family structures.
Richard Rodriquez the author of “Public and Private Language” was growing during a time when he was the only Mexican American in his class. He tells the story of how hard it was for him to adapt to the new surroundings he was in and learn English. If multicultural literature had been apart of Rodriquez curriculum, he would have been a little less reluctant to participate in class, “So their voices would search me out, asking me questions. Each time I’d hear them, I’d look up in surprise to see a nun’s face frowning at me. I’d mumble, not really meaning to answer” (Rodriquez 283).
Multicultural literature helps children identify with their own culture, and exposes children to other cultures, while helping to open...