The working assumptions regarding multicultural education are based on ones own understanding of the concept of this interdisciplinary field of study. Nieto and Bode however believe that for an educational program to be effective, it should advocate for the creation of equal education opportunities. Multicultural education should take on inequality and tackle stratification is schools and in the society in general. A good educational practice should work towards helping all students to feel good about themselves, and to get along with each other. The behavior of students is highly influenced by social, political and economic factors, and for them to get along with each other, theses factors have to be conceptualized and worked on. Multicultural education should place the achievement of all students as a priority within its functions. Raising the achievement of all students is achieved by giving them high quality and equitable education. The third crucial working assumption of multicultural education is that students should be able to impact positively on the society. The things learnt should not only be for examinational purposes but they should generally make the students better people in the society. (Nieto, 2012)
Educational structures are based on ideologies that have been perpetuated over decades. For instance the ideology of learning has been encouraged by the need to transfer knowledge from one generation to the next. Most educational structures use the dominant teaching approach where learning is deemed as a passive activity. A teacher walks into class and lectures the students in certain topics, gives an assignment and then leaves. The teachers are expected to fill the students minds with knowledge and future success is attributed to the teachers hard work. Similarly, if the students fail, the teachers are responsible for the failure. In order to achieve equitable and high standard education levels, education has to change from being transmissional to transformative. (James, 2009)
Multicultural education highly advocates for the differentiation between equal and equitable education. Equity is the process that achieves equitable education. Equal education means that all students should be given the same opportunities and resources. Equitable education means that the students should be given what they need to achieve their targets, Equity is more profound and it goes far beyond equality. (Christopher, 2011) Multicultural education also advocated for transformative education. This means that the information and education received in schools should not only be crammed but examined but it should be applied more practically for the greater good of the society. Education should not only be transmitted from the teachers to the students but it should have a positive influence on the students and the whole society at large. With this in mind, multicultural education believes that raising the education standards and achieving equity and equality is a combined effort between both the teachers and the students. The teachers are not the only parties that should take praise or condemnation in instances of success or failure respectively. (Nieto, 2012)
The multicultural education aspect is more holistic in terms of purpose as compared to other educational structures. The three main aspects of multicultural education are geared towards improving the quality of education. Multicultural education is a workable strategy that should be implemented in schools so as to foster better learning conditions and student-teacher relationships.
Christopher Scroeder (2011) Diverse by Design: Literacy Education within Multicultural Institutions Utah State University Press; USA.
James A. Banks (2009). Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives Pearson
Nieto, Sonia.(2012), Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education 6th Ed. Pearson
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