In todays society there are many cultures and each of these has a different perspective of the world around them. In schools there is a growing need to address cultural differences. This includes biases that happen when there is a lack of understanding of other cultures.
One way to begin is to understand exactly what culture is. According to Richard Gargiulo, culture is the attitudes, values, belief systems, norms, and traditions of a group that collectively form their heritage (2006). By understanding what the term culture encompasses, one can endeavor to demonstrate sensitivity to peoples differences.
Multicultural education is an important aspect in the education field. It is defined as ...view middle of the document...
This can benefit the entire classroom, even the instructor, by encouraging tolerance and understanding of one anothers differences.
By implementing instruction with an emphasis on cultural differences and commonalities students can begin to develop an understanding of the plurality of our society (Hanley, 1999). This can then lead to the examination of commonly made assumptions and biases of other cultures and even their own cultures.
By using these concepts teachers will provide students the tools to address cultural differences and biases. This can be achieved with multicultural education teaching students to have an open mind when addressing issues, to have a greater concept of oneself and others, and sensitivity and understanding of others of any culture. This will also enable students to better understand different cultural interpretations of events and behaviors.
By changing the way one sees different cultures it can affect a teachers viewpoint and the students. Effective multicultural education can lead to a better understanding and more tolerance for any multitude of differences. This will not only help the student in the school setting, but also later in life.
ReferencesBanks, James A. (2001). Diversity within unity. New Horizons for Learning. Retrieved January 13, 2010, from http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/multicultural/banks.htm.
Gargiulo, R. M. (2006). Special education in a contemporary society: An introduction to exceptionality. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Hanley, Mary Stone. (1999). The scope of multicultural education. Retrieved January 13, 2010, from http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/multicultural/banks.htm.