Teaching in a Multicultural Classroom
Schools across the US continue to diversify, making multicultural classrooms more of the norm than the exception. Children of color comprised 43% of the public school enrollment in 2004 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2006a). By 2020, it is estimated that students of color will make up half the student population (Weis-man & Garza, 2002). The number of English language learners also continues to grow, representing 19% of public school students in 2004. This gain reflects a 162% increase in students who speak languages other than English at home over the last 25 years (National Center for Education Statistics, 2006a). While widely believed to be an issue confined to urban schools, changing demographics impact schooling across the US. In 2004, students of color made up 23.6% of the public K-12 enrollment in Kansas; in 2005, 23% of students in Minneapolis public schools were English language learners (National Center for Education Statistics, 2004–2005, 2006b). While the US will serve as the focus for this chapter, immigration continues to impact schools around the world. Canada enrolls 40,000 new immigrant students in its public schools each year; 80% do not speak English (Strum & Biette, 2005). European schools also serve students from a variety of language, cultural and religious backgrounds. For example, ~5 million Muslims live in France (Judge, 2004). Issues around culture, identity, and patriotism recently came to a boiling point regarding the wearing of head scarves by Muslim girls in French schools. French law consequently banned pupils in public schools from wearing any conspicuous sign of religious affiliation (Judge, 2004). This example illuminates the “realness” of cultural clashes in school. Regardless of place, teachers find themselves charged with educating children from diverse backgrounds. How can teachers be responsive to this need?
KeywordsAfrican American Student English Language Learner Immigrant Student Multicultural Education Relevant Pedagogy
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Banks, J. (1997). Multicultural education: Characteristics and goals. In J. Banks & C. M. Banks (Eds.), Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives (pp. 3–31). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
- Banks, J., & Banks, C. M. (1995). Equity pedagogy: An essential component of multicultural education. Theory into Practice, 34(3), 152–158.Google Scholar
- Burnett, G. (1994, June). Varieties of multicultural education: an introduction. Digest number EDO-UD-94-4. New York: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education.Google Scholar
- Cooper, P. (2002). Does race matter? A comparison of effective Black and White teachers of African American students. In J. Jordan Irvine (Ed.), In search of wholeness: African American teachers and their culturally specific classroom practices (pp. 48–63). New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- Erickson, F. (1997). Culture in society and in educational practices. In J. Banks & C. M. Banks (Eds.), Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives (pp. 32–60). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
- Gay, G. (1994). A synthesis of scholarship in multicultural education. Retrieved October 2004 from http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/educatrs/leadrshp/le0gay.html.
- Gay, G. (2003). Introduction: Planting seeds to harvest fruits. In G. Gay (Ed.), Becoming multicultural educators (pp.1–16). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Irvine, J. J., & Armento, B. (2001). Culturally responsive teaching: Lesson planning for elementary and middle grades. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
- Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). The Dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Ladson-Billings, G. (1995b). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465–491.Google Scholar
- Martin, R. (1995). Deconstructing myth, reconstructing reality: Transcending the crisis in teacher education. In R. Martin (Ed.), Practicing what we teach: Confronting diversity in teacher education (pp. 65–78). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
- McLaren, P. (2003). Critical pedagogy: A look at major concepts. In A. Darder, M. Baltodano, & R. Torres (Eds.), The critical pedagogy reader (pp.69–96). New York: Routledge Falmer.Google Scholar
- Murrell, P., & Diez, M. (1997). A model program for educating teachers for diversity. In J. King, E. Hol-lins, & W. Hayman (Eds.), Preparing teachers for cultural diversity (pp. 113–128). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- National Center for Education Statistics (2004–2005). Common Core of Data. Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Available at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch/.
- National Center for Education Statistics. (2006a). The condition of education 2006. Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Available at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/.
- National Center for Education Statistics. (2006b). Public elementary and secondary students, staff, schools and school districts: School year 2003–2004. Washington, DC: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Available at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006307.pdf.Google Scholar
- Nieto, S. (1999, May). What does it mean to affirm diversity? School Administrator, 56(6), 32–35. Available at www.aasa.org/publications/sa/1999_05/nieto.htm.Google Scholar
- Nieto, S. (2002/2003). Profoundly multicultural questions. Educational Leadership, 60(4), 6–10.Google Scholar
- Strum, P., & Biette, D. (2005). Education and Immigrant Integration in the U.S. and Canada. Wilson Center Report. Available at: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.print&event_id=110761&stoplayout=true.