Becoming a Multicultural Educator

Becoming a Multicultural Educator

                                                  Why This book.



We wrote this book because we felt that it truly was needed.   We have been working in the field of multicultural education for almost 20 years. During this time we have been increasingly concerned about how multicultural education is taught. Although it can be conceived in various frameworks our concern, since we work directly with PK-12  educators and administrators, is that people wanted a book that not only explained what multicultural education was, but how to implement it in the classroom.

Various polls and surveys of the syllabi used to teach preservice teachers and graduate students about multicultural education shows a wide variance. Some teach multicultural education from the perspective of oppression. Others teach it with a focus on second language acquisition, or social justice. All of these aspects are important. However, in this era of high-stakes testing and the demand for more accountability in education, teachers are looking for resources that focus on applied skills.

Therefore, in Becoming a Multicultural Educator: Developing Awareness, Gaining Skills, and Taking Action   we have created what we believe is a very informative but particularly useful text for both teacher candidates as well as veteran teachers at all levels. We believe that the text combines theory and practice in a user-friendly format.   In order to close the achievement gap and to continue fighting bias and discrimination, we must help educators learn how to connect with students cultures, experiences and perspectives and then how to adjust our curriculum and teaching strategies to best meet their needs. The text  stresses that multicultural education is for all students since we must prepare the workers of the future, and not only the academic skills but the social skills and cultural competencies in order to work together in a global economy.

We hope that you will find it helpful in your teaching and welcome any feedback.

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2013 Recipient of Philip C. Chinn Award from the National Association of Multicultural Education

Providing an essential foundation for pre-service and in-service PK-12 educators, this engaging and practical book focuses on essential questions and theoretical concepts about becoming a multicultural educator. Award-winning authors William A. Howe and Penelope L. Lisi bring theory and research to life through numerous activities, exercises, and lesson plans designed to heighten the reader’s cultural awareness, knowledge base, and skill set. Responding to the growing need to increase academic achievement and to prepare teachers to work with diverse populations of students, this text show readers how to incorporate cultural knowledge into more effective classroom practice. The fully updated Second Edition is packed with new activities and exercises to illustrate concepts readers can apply within their own classrooms and school-wide settings.



Section 1. Background
1. Multicultural Education: History, Theory, and Evolution
2. What is a Multicultural Educator? A 4-Step Model
Section Assessment
Section 2. Knowledge
3. Historical Perspectives on a Multicultural America
4. Foundation Knowledge for Culturally Responsive Teaching
Section Assessment
Section 3. Awareness
5. Understanding Cultural Identities and their Influence on Teaching and Learning
6. Developing Awareness of Others as Cultural Beings
Section Assessment
Section 4. Skills
7. Curriculum Development and Lesson Planning
8. Instructional Strategies Needed by Multicultural Educators
9. Developing Skills in Language and Linguistic Diversity
10. Assessment that is Culturally Responsive
Section Assessment
Section 5. Action
11. Becoming a Multicultural Educator
12. Supporting Diverse Learners on a School Wide Level
Section Assessment
Appendix: The Vital Multicultural Classroom: Resources, Organizations and Associations


William A. Howe (Ed.D. Teachers College/Columbia University) is the education consultant for Multicultural Education and Gender Equity at the Connecticut State Department of Education. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut, Albertus Magnus College, Quinnipiac University; and past President of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). Howe has given over 400 workshops, lectures, and keynotes on diversity, multicultural education and organizational development. He is a regular presenter at state and national conferences and has appeared on both radio and television on diversity issues. He is a member of the editorial board of Multicultural Perspectives, the official journal of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). Howe is the Chair of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.

Penelope L. Lisi is Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Central Connecticut State University and has been on the faculty since 1994. She teaches courses at the masters, 6th year certification, and doctoral levels in leadership for teaching and learning. Her research interests focus on leadership for school improvement and building learning environments that value diverse learner needs. For a number of years, she has taught graduate courses at Sam Sharpe Teachers College in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and with the Teachers College of New Jersey in their masters degree program in Palma, Mallorca. She presents regularly at national and international conferences and has served as Editor ofMulticultural Perspectives, the official scholarly publication of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), since 1998.




“I think the organization of the content and related topics is strong. I also think the varied pedagogical features component has the potential to engage students in a manner not generally found in texts of this nature.”

Jose Cintron, California St Univ-Sacramento – Sacramento

“I would definitely consider adopting this textbook in my class because of the pedagogical features such as, vignettes, profiles in multicultural education, case studies, and activities and assignments. The chapters are well chosen. Each chapter opens the window to the cocncepts that are carefully and meaningfully covered throughout the textbook.”

Sagini Keengwe, University of North Dakota – Grand Forks

“I was very impressed by this text. The author did an excellent job in making the information releveant and understandable to a student.”

Jamie Berry, Armstrong Atlantic State University – Savannah

“I believe this text would be a valuable resource for Education professors teaching diversity courses as part of teacher preparation programs. The activities, exercises, journaling, applications, etc. are awesome!”

Sherry Green, Georgia Highlands College – Rome

“I am so pleased with the chapter topics. They cover all of the information I currently cover and more in a very sequential and organized manner. I like the assessments, activities, and opportunities for journaling provided with each chapter. The profiles are an asset to the book, as well. They give students and instructors a good look at individuals in the field that are making significant contributions. Students and instructors may follow up on these individuals to learn more about their work and get additional ideas, strategies, and relevant information.”

Jamia Thomas Richmond, Coastal Carolina University – Conway

“It is a great resource for teacher educators and pre-service teachers. The concepts are well explained and at a level that undergraduate students can understand. Hopefully it will guide them in their educational pilgrimage in becoming effective multiculturalist educators.”

Carmen Sanjurjo, Metropolitan State College Of Denver

“I liked the writing style and the approach the text took to the topic. I also liked the practical application of text. Case studies, activities, lesson plans, and journaling were an added bonus to accompany the text.”

Schrika Shell, University Of Texas – El Paso

“I am very likely to adopt this text. I found it very easy to read and wanted to read more. Love it compared to the text I’m currently using.”

Alaric Williams, Angelo State University – San Angelo

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