This sample APA paper from Ultius analyzes the role of multiculturalism on education. It was written to serve as a sample of an essay at a high-school level. In this sociology paper, the tenets of multiculturalism are reviewed in connection to the pluralistic teachings of James Banks in order to construct a lesson plan for kindergartners.
The importance of multiculturalism in education
Cultural diversity is one of the most important fields of growth for education to prioritize in for the coming age. Increasingly, the presence of multiculturalism has grown over the past few decades as globalization has thoroughly changed the face of numerous fields of interrelation. With this massive cultural shift comes the need for greater comprehension of other cultures and the best rules of engagement for those cultures so that effective cultural interchange is achieved. Failing to uphold and/or understand the roles of other cultures can lead to alienation and even cultural plagiarism, an appropriation that occurs as dominant cultures devour and steal from less dominant ones (Ziff & Rao, 1997).
James A. Banks and multicultural education
Developing cultural plurality is a necessity in as information, business, and society becomes globally intertwined with various cultures. As education has always been about preparing students to better understand and thrive in each of these areas, educators must take charge for teaching students how to build and manage the new connections and complexity that results from this diversity. According to James A. Banks, there are five dimensions of educational instruction necessary for full cultural pluralism to be realized. Use of his model is particularly practical for instructors as teacher demographics reports indicate they largely show a homogeneity bias of being White and middle-class, and therefore they may be lacking the information, familiarity, and skills to properly guide their students in multicultural diversity (Causey, Thomas, & Armento, 2000).
The five dimensions of multiculturalism
In total, the five dimensions described by Banks are content integration, the knowledge construction process, prejudice reduction, an equity pedagogy, and empowering school structure and social structure (Banks, 2015). Content integration refers to the extent that teachers will use examples and content from diverse cultures to illustrate the principles, theory, and concepts that they are teaching. The knowledge construction process is for teaching students to understand, investigate, and adjust their culturally biased frames of reference and assumptions to build a more objective and thorough perspective (Banks, 2015). The prejudice reduction is the specific part of the teaching model designed to aid students in correcting racial attitudes to reduce discrimination in education. With equity pedagogy the teachers modify their teaching to accommodate for the diverse learning styles associated with various ethnicities so that they can rightly achieve education goals like the dominant class (Banks, 2015). With empowering school and social structure teacher look at the labeling practices, disproportion of achievement, sports participation, and the interaction of staff find where adjustment is necessary so that fair opportunity and expression exists for minority and majority cultures (Banks, 2015).
For a kindergarten plan that integrates these principles, a specific prejudice reduction lesson plan is required so that they may effectively know the arbitrary and painful effects of racism personally. This is a ½ hour lesson plan that entails walking the students to the drinking fountain and then dividing them into groups based upon their hair or eye color. Pick the minority of that hair or eye color and then have only them drink from the fountain. The others will have to stand and wait. Then minority group has had their turn, the students goes back to the room where they are led in discussion about the effect the lesson had on them. Students will be encouraged to express their feelings and reflect on the injustices that so frequently occur due solely to arbitrary circumstances and privilege derived therefrom. After they have shared, the students can go to the drinking fountain together and all may fairly share the water.
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Banks, J., (2015). Cultural diversity and education. Routledge, 2015.
Causey, V. E., Thomas, C. D., & Armento, B. J. (2000). Cultural diversity is basically a foreign term to me: The challenges of diversity for preservice teacher education. Teaching and teacher education, 16(1), 33-45.
Ziff, B., & Rao, P., (1997). Borrowed Power: Essays on Cultural Appropriation. Rutgers University, 1997.
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