Diversity In The Classroom: The Changing Face Of Multicultural Education

With America becoming continually more diverse, contemporary educators must be prepared to assimilate multicultural education in their curriculum.

Multicultural education is an important issue in modern American education; an issue that has evolved dramatically over time. The premise of the multicultural education movement is to produce critically thinking, socially active members of society. It is a movement that promotes new attitudes, new approaches, and a new dedication on the part of educators, students and society in general.

Multicultural education focuses on the importance of individuality while at the same time helping students successfully interact with others of various ethnic, religious and sexual backgrounds and beliefs. Additionally, How children learn is focused on more extensively than what they learn.

Part of an educator's responsibilities in regards to multicultural education center on ensuring that class materials and discussions do not create or perpetuate stereotypes or limitations based on race, color, national origin, sex, or physical handicap. Consequently schools need to equip educators with appropriate training that helps them to identify both subtle and overt stereotypes in school materials, as well as how to go about eliminating bias in these materials. In addition, by seeking out and acquiring materials that portray males or females, minorities or physically challenged individuals engaged in activities and occupations in which these groups traditionally have not been adequately represented, educators could significantly influence student attitudes towards diversity.

The challenge is to provide an educational experience that improves and expands the equal treatment and assimilation of minorities, females, and handicapped students and thereby helps to overcome unacceptable behaviors and attitudes. This means that an educator needs to have an understanding of how to recognize discrimination and other barriers to equal educational opportunity before he can take the appropriate steps to address these barriers and help all students to develop to their highest potential

The United States has experienced one of the highest rates of immigration ever in the past twenty years. Which means schools are continually learning to adapt to the concept of teaching an increasingly diverse population. Educators need to be well equipped to deal with these issues, viewing effective multicultural assimilation and the prevention of bigotry and prejudicial suppositions as some of the most significant issues concerning today's young people.

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