Essays On Multiculturalism Education
Sinceeducation is at the root of the problem, it might be appropriate to use anexample in that context.
Although the debate at Stanford University ran muchdeeper than I can hope to touch in this paper, the root of the problem was asfollows: In 1980, Stanford University came up with a program – later knownas the “Stanford-style multicultural curriculum” which aimed to familiarizestudents with traditions, philosophy, literature, and history of the West.
Theprogram consisted of 15 required books by writers such as Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Aquinas, Marx, and Freud.
By 1987, a group called the Rainbow Coalition argued the fact that the books were all written by DWEM’s or Dead White European Males.
Thisdebate was very important because its publicity provided the grounds for theargument that America is a pluralistic society and to study only one peoplewould not accurately portray what really makes up this country.
Proponents of multicultural education argue that it offers students abalanced appreciation and critique of other cultures as well as our own(Stotsky 64).
The number of foreign born residents alsoreached an all time high of twenty million, easily passing the 1980 record offourteen million.
Most people, from educators to philosophers, agree that animportant first step in successfully joining multiple cultures is to develop anunderstanding of each others background. One problem is in defining the term “multiculturalism”.
By asking questions of each other, students can get firsthand answersabout the beliefs and customs of other cultures, along with some insight as towhy people feel the way they do, something that can never be adequately Students are not the only ones who can benefit from this type oflearning.This newly acquired vocabulary formeda common bond among the children in their early years, an appropriate timefor learning respect and understanding (Pyszkowski 154).Another exciting idea is to put children in the setting of the culture theyare learning about.Teachers certainly will pick up on educational aspects from othercountries.If, for instance, a teacher has a minority student from a differentcountry every year, he or she can develop a well rounded teaching style thatwould in turn, benefit all students.While it is common sense that one could not have a trueunderstanding of a subject by only possessing knowledge of one side of it,this brings up the fact that there would never be enough time in our currentschool year to equally cover the contributions of each individual nationality. The first would be to lengthen theschool year, which is highly unlikely because of the political aspects of thesituation.The other choice is to modify the curriculum to only include whatthe instructor (or school) feels are the most important contributions, whichagain leaves them open to criticism from groups that feel they are not beingequally treated.They felt that this type of teaching denied studentsthe knowledge of contributions by people of color, women, and otheroppressed groups.In 1987, the faculty voted 39 to 4 to change thecurriculum and do away with the fifteen book requirement and the term“Western” for the study of at least one non-European culture and properattention to be given to the issues of race and gender (Gould 199).that it is made up of a varied mix of races, cultures, and ethnicities.As moreand more immigrants come to America searching for a better life, thepopulation naturally becomes more diverse.