Download While there are a handful of studies that challenge the link between school desegregation policy and positive academic outcomes, they represent only a small slice of the literature. Furthermore, these positive academic outcomes, particularly the closing of the achievement gap, make sense given that integrating schools leads to more equitable access to important resources such as structural facilities, highly qualified teachers, challenging courses, private and public funding, and social and cultural capital. The gap in SAT scores between black and white students is larger in segregated districts, and one study showed that change from complete segregation to complete integration in a district would reduce as much as one quarter of the SAT score disparity.
What Makes a School Multicultural? Old words take on new meanings and new words enter the vocabulary, resulting in another way of "seeing. Such cultural and political upheavals have given rise to knowledgeable players in the game of social change, while leaving most people as confused bystanders, desperately hanging on to a past which in part is dysfunctional to the present and in many ways irrelevant to the future.
The needs of the 21st century demand a citizenry that is culturally sensitive and internationally focused, with an orientation toward the future rather than the past. Diversity is "in," much to the dismay of defenders of the past, the likes of Arthur M.
Bloom and Rush Limbaugh. The American demographic landscape is such that by the year nearly half of the population of the United States will be comprised of People of Color. This is that non-dominant, non-white status segment of the population, which, by virtue of the negative meaning placed on them, has been granted limited access as a group to the societal rewards of wealth, power and prestige, and whose value and contribution to society is continually minimized.
Multiculturalism, as the new paradigm for education for the 21st century, is a political ping-pong term greatly misused and highly misunderstood.
Since for many it is also a value-ladened concept, it has come under fire from diverse segments of the population, who due to their social position view the world differently.
The fact that where you stand determines what you see is a reality in most situations, and it is especially true for the concept of multiculturalism. The purpose of this article is to provide an operational definition of multiculturalism as a basis for understanding the changes coming to our society, and to propose a model for what makes a school multicultural.
The concept of multiculturalism embodies a new orientation toward the future. Unfortunately, in all the heated discussion around the term no clear definition of the concept has yet emerged. People are thus left to read into the term whatever their biases and self interests dictate.
Let me put forth an operational definition of multiculturalism as a starting point to better clarify our human interactions. Multiculturalism is a system of beliefs and behaviors that recognizes and respects the presence of all diverse groups in an organization or society, acknowledges and values their socio-cultural differences, and encourages and enables their continued contribution within an inclusive cultural context which empowers all within the organization or society.
There are the four pairs of action phrases that give substance to the definition: It includes what people believe about others, their basic paradigms, and how these impact, and are impacted by, behavior. The first is recognition of the rich diversity in a given society or organization.
The one-sided approach to history and education has been a testimony to that fact. With recognition should also comes respect. Respect and recognition are not the same, since recognizing the existence of a group does not necessarily elicit respect for the group.
In a slave economy, for example, the presence of slaves was recognized but their humanity was not respected. The presence of American Indians in the Western expansion of the continent was constantly recognized by whites, but their environmentally conscious cultures were never respected.
The contribution of women has usually been relegated to a footnote status. Our nation has a long history of not respecting the rights of the powerless. Multiculturalism also entails acknowledging the validity of the cultural expressions and contributions of the various groups.
This is not to imply that all cultural contributions are of equal value and social worth, or that all should be tolerated.
Some cultural practices are better than others for the overall betterment of society. These cultural expressions and contributions that differ from those of the dominant group in society are usually only acknowledged when there is an economic market for them, such as music for African American, native Indian dances for tourism or Mexican cuisine.
When the business sector wants our money, the advertising industry pictures people of color in a positive light. But in most other cases the entertainment media simply caricatures minority stereotypes, such as women usually in supportive roles.
Multiculturalism thus means valuing what people have to offer, and not rejecting or belittling it simply because it differs from what the majority, or those in power, regard as important and of value. Multiculturalism will also encourage and enable the contribution of the various groups to society or an organization.
Women and persons of color, for example, often experience discouragement because what they bring to the "table" for discussion is often regarded as of little value or worth.How Racially Diverse Schools and Classrooms Can Benefit All Students.
Report K - “the benefits of school diversity run in all directions.” There is increasing evidence that “diversity makes us smarter,” a finding that selective colleges long ago embraced and increasing numbers of young parents are coming to appreciate at the K.
Multicultural education may increase the resentment encountered by students who feel that changes in school traditions, curriculum, and academic standards are not necessary to get along and respect students from ethnic minorities.
Benefits and Challenges of Diversity The diversity of a university’s faculty, staff, and students influences its strength, productivity, and intellectual personality. Advantages of a Multi-Cultural Society Living in a Multi-Cultural Society makes you more open minded on other cultures.
A multi-cultual society allows you to feel a connection to different cultures simultaneously and the ability to understand different cultures and culturally different points of view.
Other benefits include a development of vocabulary, stimulating imagination, facilitating empathy, increased knowledge of one’s own heritage, and fostering positive self-concepts and identity (Taylor, ). What Makes a School Multicultural? By Caleb Rosado Department of Urban Studies Eastern University Philadelphia, PA.
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