ERIC Number: ED371989
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Multiculturalism: Themes and Variations.
Fullinwider, Robert K.
Perspective, v5 n2 Spr 1993
Although critics frequently attack the concept, multicultural education is neither a new nor a single idea. Cultural factors have become increasingly important for teachers and students alike. In that sense, teachers, administrators, and curriculum designers must become more multicultural. It is helpful to define multicultural education as education that is responsive to cultural differences, with the aim to: (1) promote individual student achievement; and (2) promote mutual respect and tolerance among students. Analysts differ over whether teachers should be judgmental concerning the culturally based student behavior they observe. The need to avoid ethnocentrism, however, does not necessarily mean teachers must be entirely nonjudgmental. It is possible to evaluate another's behavior by first interpreting that behavior properly. Multicultural education may have the aim of training students for future citizenship in a diverse society. Broader goals may include a reduction in prejudice and discrimination, the provision of social justice and equal opportunity, and an equal distribution of power among all groups. Such education becomes increasingly controversial as it expands beyond the basic goals of good citizenship. The underlying aim of multicultural education should be giving students a more or less realistic view of the world and helping them think for themselves. To succeed, the effort must bring to its construction a true diversity of voices. (Contains 32 references and 12 endnotes). (SG)
Descriptors: Behavior Problems, Cultural Differences, Cultural Pluralism, Curriculum Development, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Individual Characteristics, Multicultural Education, Student Development, Student Problems, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, World Views
Council for Basic Education, 1319 F Street, N.W., Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004-1152.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council for Basic Education, Washington, DC.