Multicultural Education

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Here are some issues and ideas, based on current research, for increasing academic achievement in urban schools - especially those with high concentrations of poverty and multicultural populations.

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Multicultural Education

  1. 1. Multicultural Education Issues in Urban Schools By Bill Breitspecher Urban Education, 716 UW-Milwaukee Fall 2007
  2. 2. Learning is More Than: <ul><li>Course content </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom experience </li></ul><ul><li>Test scores </li></ul><ul><li>Final grades </li></ul>
  3. 3. Learning Is: <ul><li>Actively constructed </li></ul><ul><li>Developed on experience </li></ul><ul><li>Creating & recreating ideas </li></ul>
  4. 4. Contradiction in Schools <ul><li>Transmitted by teachers, yet actively constructed by students </li></ul><ul><li>Distrust teachers & students can construct meaning </li></ul><ul><li>“ Teaching basics” under-serves students, assumes they can’t do more </li></ul><ul><li>Severe with high concentrations of poverty, non-majority students </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cultural Capital <ul><li>Experiences give advantages in learning </li></ul><ul><li>Schools serve some students </li></ul><ul><li>Fail to recognize experiences of other students </li></ul>
  6. 6. Teachers Need To: <ul><li>Build on what students have </li></ul><ul><li>Not lament what students don’t have </li></ul><ul><li>Not penalize students </li></ul><ul><li>Realize all students can learn </li></ul>
  7. 7. Cultural Differences <ul><li>Influence learning </li></ul><ul><li>Constantly change </li></ul><ul><li>Are not barriers to learning </li></ul><ul><li>Are opportunities to reach out </li></ul>
  8. 8. Context of Learning <ul><li>Social, political, economic factors influence learning </li></ul><ul><li>Affect teacher perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>What & how teachers teach </li></ul>
  9. 9. Cultural Sensitivity <ul><li>Negative messages devalue some, often non-majority students </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to identify with school </li></ul><ul><li>Students de-emphasize school achievement, protect self-esteem </li></ul>
  10. 10. Zone of Proximal Development <ul><li>Schools must make learning accessible to students </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher’s actions influence whether and to what extent students learn </li></ul><ul><li>All children learn given opportunities for appropriate interactions </li></ul>
  11. 11. Inequities in Schools <ul><li>Intentional or unintentional, doesn’t matter </li></ul><ul><li>Results are same </li></ul><ul><li>Students respond to high expectations, caring, respect </li></ul>
  12. 12. Culture & Learning <ul><li>Student identification, maintenance of native culture is good </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher is cultural accommodator, mediator </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on differences in isolation of broader context does not increase learning </li></ul>
  13. 13. Transforming Teachers <ul><li>Learn about students </li></ul><ul><li>Identify with them </li></ul><ul><li>Build on strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge displays of privilege, inherent biases </li></ul>
  14. 14. School Reform <ul><li>Anti-racist, anti-bias </li></ul><ul><li>All students have talents, strengths </li></ul><ul><li>Those close to students must be meaningfully involved </li></ul><ul><li>High expectations & standards </li></ul><ul><li>Empowering & just </li></ul>
  15. 15. Multicultural Education <ul><li>Framework for rethinking schools </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize all students as capable, worthy </li></ul><ul><li>Give hope, affirmation </li></ul>

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