Math & Beyond

What is Multicultural Education? How to adopt them in the classroom?

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. What Is Multicultural Education?
3. Why Do We Need a Multicultural Curriculum?
4. Ways to Implement Multicultural Education in the Classroom
5. Conclusion
6. About Cuemath
7. Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
8. External References

21 Jan 2021

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Introduction

Do you teach diverse groups of students? Are you looking for an effective way to address students from different cultures? You must adopt multicultural education and effective teaching strategies in your classroom

Multicultural education enables students to understand the need to accept diversity and eliminate racism and issues based on ethnicity or diverse groups for a better future. Read to know how you can adapt education programs that incorporate the interests and backgrounds of all your students.

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What is Multicultural Education? How to adopt them in the classroom?

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What Is Multicultural Education?

Multicultural education is a modern teaching model that aims to foster principles of equity amongst all students despite their varied cultures, ethnicities, races, beliefs, and backgrounds. It is an effective form of education that integrates the values, histories, and viewpoints of all student groups in a class. 

Group of ethnic multicultural students sitting at table.

From language barriers to social skills, behavior to discipline, and classroom involvement to academic performance, multicultural education aims to provide equitable educational opportunities to all students. Furthermore, it is a set of teaching strategies formed to help guide a teacher to remove barriers faced in a multicultural class. It also helps teachers respond to the issues faced by diverse students and eliminate them.

Regardless of social class, caste, gender, or creed, a multicultural classroom serves all students and nurtures young minds to learn together. It also seeks transparency and acceptance of all cultural identities in a class without any bias or partiality. A multicultural teacher hence accepts the differences, identifies the negativity, and is always conscious to procure the cultural identity of all the students.


Why Do We Need a Multicultural Curriculum?

Multicultural education is highly focused on bringing together students from all backgrounds and promoting collaborative learning. However, there are many more reasons to implement a multicultural curriculum in our classroom.

  • A multicultural curriculum exposes students to various cultural values through activities, lectures, discussions, etc.
  • It allows students to identify cultural as well as physical differences.
  • It also develops a sense of respect amongst classmates.
  • Implementing a multicultural curriculum at a young age nurtures students to reflect on their cultural diversity with pride.
  • It implants patience, liberalism, and individualism in students.
  • It fosters friendships, encourages interaction, and improves communication skills.

Multiracial group of young people taking selfie

  • A multicultural classroom boosts student engagement and improves the attention span.
  • Students who are taught through a multicultural curriculum tend to have better confidence.
  • A multicultural classroom is hence, more inclusive and positive.
  • It also promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • It enables students to understand the need to accept diversity and eliminate racism and issues based on ethnicity or diverse groups for a better future.
  • Eventually, a multicultural curriculum produces better thinkers and improves academic performance.

Not just students, teachers who provide multicultural education reap many benefits as well:

  • Interacting with students from different cultures accelerates the professional growth of a teacher.
  • It provides the teacher with an opportunity to learn something new with each class.
  • Catering to the needs of multicultural students makes a teacher more conscious, patient, and positive.
  • It also keeps the teacher up to date and ready to face challenges.

Front view multiethnic people approving

  • It nurtures a teacher’s experience and enhances the social as well as communication skills.
  • Continuously inspiring the students to be open-minded and accepting improves the outlook of a teacher.
  • It gives the teacher a great chance to elucidate issues of diversity, racism, ethnicity, etc., and connect it with education.

Ways to Implement Multicultural Education in the Classroom

In a rapidly changing world, it is becoming more and more important to promote education programs that cater to the needs of diversified students. If you want to adopt multicultural education in your class, here are some of the most effective ways to do so.

1. Understand Your Students

First and foremost, it is very important to understand the cultural backgrounds of all your students. It helps in knowing all the cultures to address and lessons to plan.
  • You can know your students by interviewing them on the first day of the class.
  • You can also go through their personal records.
  • To understand the students better, you can also ask the previous teacher about them.

2. Identify their Strengths and Weaknesses

As an effective multicultural teacher, it is your responsibility to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your students to know how to eliminate them. You can do so by:

  • Checking previous academic records
  • Individually interviewing each student, and
  • Frequently assessing the student’s performance in the class.

Two business men arm wrestling aggressively

3. Encourage Them to Share Real-Life Experiences

Organizing casual sessions where students share their past stories and experiences help them open up, relate with each other, and build strong communication skills.

4. Organize Open Discussions

Selecting a current cultural or social issue and holding an open discussion on them allows the students to share their thoughts, be better listeners, and know about the issues faced by other communities.

5. Plan Group Activities

Planning group activities that focus on teamwork and collaboration help overcome cultural barriers, increase student involvement, and embrace cultural differences in a class.  

6. Cultural Food Swap

Occasionally, you should ask the students to bring their cultural food for lunch and swap it with one another to help them embrace and know about various dishes.

Business team celebration party success concept

7. Encourage Cultural Storytelling

Every household has some folktales that are told to its children. Ask the students to share their cultural stories and draw moral lessons from each one of them.

8. Hold Multicultural Seminars & Events

Bringing in guest speakers from different cultural backgrounds by organizing seminars and events helps boost multicultural education at its best.

9. Schedule a Monthly Culture Day

You can encourage students to wear their cultural dresses once a month to help them learn about other students’ backgrounds.  

10. Celebrate Native Festivals

Celebrating cultural festivals also helps each student feel valued and eventually make the classroom culturally responsive.

Celebrating native festivals with their friends


Classroom Resources for Multicultural Education

If you want to nurture inclusivity in the classroom and promote collaborative learning, you can plan interesting games and activities. Organizing group activities encourages students to learn quickly, involve & perform better, and share their heritage.

Hence, the best classroom resources for providing multicultural education and encouraging student interactions is to plan lessons and group activities beforehand. Here are some of the most effective classroom resources that you can adopt to involve students in your classroom in different teaching styles.

Textbooks

No matter how contemporary our teaching methods are, textbooks can never be missed upon. Reading stories from different cultures and in various languages is the best way to promote multiculturalism in a classroom.

You can choose stories that focus on characters from different cultures to help the students relate even more. Board games allow the students to interact with each other. You can find various board games related to different subjects and academic concepts such as maps, business, vocabulary, etc.

Quizzes

You can organize quizzes based on different themes to motivate students to respond timely and improve their cognitive skills.

Arts and Crafts

Form student groups and allot multicultural art projects to each one of them to help them engage and share what they know.

Debates

Frequent debates on thought-provoking topics improve the oratory skills of the students and help them embrace other cultures.

The Bottom Line

There are endless benefits of providing multicultural education in a classroom. It not just helps each student feel welcomed and represented but also empowers ethnic minorities.

Moreover, students who study in a multicultural classroom easily adapt to their new surroundings when they opt for higher studies or work in a new place. Eventually, it also promotes secularism and socialism needed to establish a peaceful society.


Conclusion

This blog tells us about multicultural education and effective teaching strategies that can be used in the classroom. It highly focuses on bringing together students from all backgrounds and promoting collaborative learning.

Also, helps teachers interact with students from different cultures that accelerate the professional growth of a teacher. So, in a rapidly changing world, it is important to promote multicultural education programs that caters to the needs of diversified students.


About Cuemath

Cuemath, a student-friendly mathematics and coding platform, conducts regular Online Live Classes for academics and skill-development, and their Mental Math App, on both iOS and Android, is a one-stop solution for kids to develop multiple skills.Understand the Cuemath Fee structure and sign up for a free trial.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the main goal of multicultural education?

Multicultural education focuses on nurturing admiration and appreciation about diverse ethnocultural heritage, in young minds. Children are imbibed with greater knowledge and understanding about how to behave in a more culturally responsible manner. They acquire skills to navigate various cultures.

What are the four approaches to multicultural education?

James Banks, one of the most famous researchers in the field of multicultural education, identified four approaches: (1) the contributions approach; (2) the additive approach; (3) the transformation approach; and (4) the social action approach (Banks and McGee Banks, 2004). The contributions approach.

What is an example of multicultural education?

Instructionally, multicultural education may entail the use of texts, materials, references, and historical examples that are understandable to students from different cultural backgrounds or that reflect their particular cultural experience—such as teaching students about historical figures who were female and disabled


External References

To know more about multicultural education, please visit these blogs:


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