Multicultural Education in Your Classroom

SOURCE: https://techfeatured.com/5412/multicultural-education-in-your-classroom-2

America has always been referred to as a melting pot, but ideally, it’s a place where we strive to invite everyone to celebrate exactly who they are. As the US population is becoming increasingly diverse and technology makes the world feel increasingly smaller, it is time to make every classroom a multicultural classroom.

What is Multicultural Education?

Multicultural education is more than celebrating Cinco de Mayo with tacos and piñatas or reading the latest biography of Martin Luther King Jr. It is an educational movement built on basic American values such as freedom, justice, opportunity, and equality. It is a set of strategies aimed to address the diverse challenges experienced by rapidly changing U.S. demographics. And it is a beginning step to shifting the balance of power and privilege within the education system.

The goals of multicultural education include:

  • Creating a safe, accepting and successful learning environment for all
  • Increasing awareness of global issues
  • Strengthening cultural consciousness
  • Strengthening intercultural awareness
  • Teaching students that there are multiple historical perspectives
  • Encouraging critical thinking
  • Preventing prejudice and discrimination

Advantages of Multicultural Education

According to the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), multicultural education:

  • Helps students develop positive self-image.
  • Offers students an equitable educational opportunity.
  • Allows multiple perspectives and ways of thinking.
  • Combats stereotypes and prejudicial behavior.
  • Teaches students to critique society in the interest of social justice.

Road Blocks to Implementing Multicultural Education

Contrary to popular belief, multicultural education is more than cultural awareness, but rather an initiative to encompass all under-represented groups (people of color, women, people with disabilities, etc) and to ensure curriculum and content including such groups is accurate and complete.

Unfortunately, multicultural education is not as easy as a yearly heritage celebration or supplemental unit here and there. Rather, it requires schools to reform traditional curriculum.

Too often, students are misinformed and misguided. Not all textbooks present historical content fully and accurately. For instance, Christopher Columbus is celebrated as the American hero who discovered America. This take on history completely ignores the pre-European history of Native Americans and the devastation that colonization had on them. Some history books are being revised, but often, it’s much easier to teach that “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

Most curriculums also focus more on North America and Europe than any other region. Most students have learned about genocide through stories of the Holocaust, but do they know that hundreds of thousands of people are being killed in places like Darfur and Rwanda? Despite our close proximity to Latin America, American schools typically spend little time reading Latin American literature or learning about the culture and history?

Thus, multicultural education is most successful when implemented as a schoolwide approach with reconstruction of not only curriculum, but also organizational and institutional policy.

Unfortunately most educational institutions are not prepared to implement multicultural education in their classrooms. Multicultural education requires a staff that is not only diverse, but also culturally competent. Educators must be aware, responsive and embracing of the diverse beliefs, perspectives and experiences. They must also be willing and ready to address issues of controversy.  These issues include, but are not limited to, racism, sexism, religious intolerance, classism, ageism, etc.

What You Can Do in Your Classroom

Just because we’re facing an uphill battle doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take those first steps. To integrate multicultural education in your classroom and your school, you can:

  • Integrate a diverse reading list that demonstrates the universal human experience across cultures
  • Encourage community participation and social activism
  • Go beyond the textbook
  • By supplementing your curriculum with current events and news stories outside the textbook, you can draw parallels between the distant experiences of the past and the world today.
  • Creating multicultural projects that require students to choose a background outside of their own
  • Suggest that your school host an in-service professional development on multi-cultural education in the classroom

Favorite Lessons in Multicultural Education

Analyze issues of racism through pop culture.

Example: Study the affects of WWII for Japanese Americans through political cartoons, movies, photography, etc.

Analyze issues of socioeconomic class through planning and development.

Example: Design a development project with solutions to the needs of those living in poverty stricken communities.

Analyze issues of sexism through media.

Example: Make a scrapbook of stereotypical portrayals of both men and women. Compare both positive and negative stereotypes and determine the struggles they face as a result of these stereotypes.

Recommended Resources:

Books

Becoming Multicultural Educators by Geneva Gay

Beyond Heros and Holidays by Enid Lee

Lies My Teachers Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James Loewen

Professional Development

Teaching Diversity: Influences and Issues in the Classroom

Customize for Your School

Courses & Seminars in Your Area

 

Author Event – Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

February 15, 2017 7-8:30 PM

Teja Arboleda
Mixed Feelings and In the Shadow of Race…Again

Dr. Bill Howe, also leading the discussion

Teja Arboleda, M.Ed. is a living example of diversity: Multiracial, multicultural and multiethnic, with a mixed family, having grown up in three countries, and having traveled around the globe. His personal and professional mission is to harness the power of diversity to create educational media and live events for a multicultural planet. He firmly believes that we don’t have to think outside of the box… because there is no box!

Multicultural educator Dr. Bill Howe joins the discussion. Dr. William (Bill) A. Howe provides training and consultation in multicultural education, culturally responsive education, diversity awareness and gender equity (Title IX). He is the former program manager for culturally responsive education, multicultural education, bullying & harassment, gender equity and civil rights at the Connecticut State Department of Education. He is also an adjunct professor of education at the University of Connecticut, Albertus Magnus College and Quinnipiac University. He is Past-Chair of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission and Past President of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME).

Reservations:
https://64527.blackbaudhosting.com/…/Teja-Arboleda-Author-E…

 

To counter ‘Trump Effect,’ love must trump hate

SOURCE: The Philadelphia Tribune

  • Marian Wright Edelman

This is usually a season of familiar scenes in schools across the country, with holiday programs featuring messages of peace and goodwill to all. But this year many teachers and students have been seeing another story.

In the week since the election I have personally had to deal with the following issues:

Boys inappropriately grabbing and touching girls, even after they said no (this never happened until after the election).

White students telling their friends who are Hispanic or of color that their parents are going to be deported and that they would be thrown out of school.

White students going up to students of color who are total strangers and hurling racial remarks at them, such as, “Trump is going [to] throw you back over the wall, you know?” or “We can’t wait until you and the other brownies are gone”. . . — Middle school teacher, Indiana

We have had many students fighting, especially between the Latino and African-American population, as well as many more boys feeling superior to girls. I have had one male student grab a female student’s crotch and tell her that it’s legal for him to do that to her now . . . One of my students from last year who is Muslim has not worn her hijab since the election. — Elementary school teacher, Minnesota.

In over 15 years of teaching high school this is the first year that swastikas are appearing all over school furniture. — High school teacher, Washington state

We have worked really hard over the last 10 years to change our climate. The last year has nearly undone all of that work. It is disheartening. — High school teacher, Maryland

These were just a few of the responses to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project’s online survey of more than 10,000 educators in the new report, “After Election Day, The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools.”

SPLC says: “Ninety percent reported that their school’s climate has been negatively affected, and 80 percent described heightened anxiety and concern among minority students worried about the impact of the election on their families . . . More than 2,500 said they knew of fights, threats, assaults and other incidents that could be traced directly to election rhetoric.”

The report echoed the findings of another SPLC survey taken earlier in the campaign season, and reinforced the sense many educators and parents have had for months of a rise in bullying and hate speech from children influenced by behavior they’ve been seeing in adults.

What can schools and teachers do right now to fight back against hate?

Linda Darling-Hammond is president of the Learning Policy Institute and a faculty director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education at Stanford University. In a recent keynote speech at the National Association for Multicultural Education conference, she shared her recommendations, starting with a key first step:

“First, and most obviously, this is a moment both for explicit anti-racist teaching and anti-racist action in all public spaces. The ‘good news’ is that the explicitness and widespread public eruption of racist, sexist and hate speech of all kinds gives us a direct opportunity to bring anti-racist teaching out of the closet – to motivate schools and systems to adopt anti-racist curriculum, to pay attention to the tacit bigotry that is often under the surface in schools:

• To proactively ensure that the images and messages on the walls and in textbooks are multicultural and anti-racist.

• To get every teacher and administrator reading and using Teaching for Tolerance, Facing History, and other resources for equitable, anti-racist teaching.

• To ensure that the allocation of time, attention, and resources in schools attends equitably to all children – and that the divisions and segregation created by tracking and similar practices are challenged.

• To mobilize the resources of foundations and people of good will to tackle the festering issues that America has been dealing with since its inception – when slavery was legalized, African Americans were defined as 3/5s of a person, Native Americans were massacred and driven at gunpoint across the country in the Trail of Tears, and students of color were segregated by law — and later by redlining and other racist customs. It is time for Teach-Ins at every school.”

Darling-Hammond went on to explain that there is much more we also need to do to confront and change every strand of institutionalized racism and intolerance that are embedded in our schools in order to really create a more equitable and just education system and society. But explicitly teaching tolerance must be a building block right now. All children must know that adults expect them to understand the difference between right and wrong. Children who feel afraid at school must know that adults will help keep them safe. Children who are doing the bullying must know that adults will not allow the next generation to grow up steeped in more hate.

In his last Christmas sermon, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The Christmas hope for peace and goodwill toward all men can no longer be dismissed as a kind of pious dream of some utopia. If we don’t have good will toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power . . .

“Love is understanding, creative, redemptive good will toward all men. And I think this is where we are, as a people, in our struggle for racial justice . . . We must never let up in our determination to remove every vestige of segregation and discrimination from our nation, but we shall not in the process relinquish our privilege to love. I’ve seen too much hate to want to hate, myself , and I’ve seen hate on the faces of too many sheriffs, too many white citizens’ councilors, and too many Klansmen of the South to want to hate, myself; and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear,” he said.

Hate is a burden our children cannot and should never have to carry. And it is a deep blemish on what it means to be an American. Love must always trump hate.

Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children’s Defense Fund. For more information, go to www.childrensdefense.org.

The lasting impact of white teachers who mispronounce minority student names

SOURCE: http://qz.com/775492/what-minority-students-hear-when-white-teachers-mispronounce-their-names/?utm_source=atlfb

Taking the attendance at the beginning of class may seem a routine if not mundane task to many educators. But to students, their name can be a powerful link to their identity. Pronouncing students names correctly – during attendance, a classroom activity, or any other time of the school day—should always be a priority for any classroom teacher.

Names holds ancestral and historical significance for many minority, immigrant, and English learning students. Names bring stories, which students are often forced to adapt to an “Americanized” context.

That transition, however, is often painful and forces many students to take on a name that is not their own.

 

What is Fair Use?

What will you learn in this chapter?

Fair Use is the allowance made for the use of copyrighted material for the purpose of commentary, criticism, or parody. This chapter discusses the legal framework for Fair Use and the specifics of when Fair Use does and does not apply.

Copyright is a restriction on free speech

In the United States, we have a constitutionally guaranteed right to Freedom of Speech and also of the Press.

At its most basic, this means that you can say, write, or publish anything you want to and the government is not supposed to be allowed to do anything to restrict that.

However, we know that this is not completely true. Certain forms of speech are restricted because society has determined that the benefit of restriction far outweighs the infringement on freedom.

For example, fraudulent advertising, libel, false accusations, and other types of lying are considered criminal behavior. The classic example of yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater falls into this category. These are restrictions on free speech put in place to protect the public from certain types of harm.

Copyright functions similarly, except it doesn’t protect form harm. Rather, it promotes a benefit — artists having control over their work and being able to profit from it.

The restriction occurs because if someone had absolute freedom to publish whatever they wanted, that would include the ability to publish something originally written by someone else. The benefit of artist control comes at the cost of a restriction on freedom.

However, the restriction carries its own costs which may be harmful to society. If you need someone’s permission to quote them in order to argue against their position or expose them as a liar, you would likely never get that permission. And this type of criticism is precisely the purpose of Free Speech and Free Press rights in the first place.

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