Adapting Curriculum For Multicultural Classrooms Course Work Samples

Published: 2021-06-18 06:12:12
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Category: Education, Sociology, Students, Society, Culture, Diversity

Type of paper: Essay

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Introduction

Multicultural education is essentially designed to prepare all students to be good citizens in a democratic society. This is done by teaching the students to be considerate of the needs of every single individual in the society. Multicultural education essentially clarifies how issues related to culture; race, gender, religion, disabilities and ethnicity are intertwined or connected with the process and content of education (Banks, 2009). This is why there is a great need to adapt the current curriculum for multicultural classrooms.

At my current placement, the curriculum cannot be considered to be considerate of multicultural student body. Although most of the classes comprise of students who have various cultural orientations, the curriculum has not been adapted to fit with a multicultural setting. Therefore, the current curriculum cannot be considered to be teaching students to be tolerant of people from various cultural backgrounds and to be considerate of the needs of every single individual in the society. The curriculum at my current placement is indeed consistent and synonymous with a large number of American public school systems. For a long time, the American public school system has shown little enthusiasm for welcoming student difference (Banks, 2009). This may be perhaps why the rating of the American education system has plummeted in recent years being overtaken by countries such as Japan. The aspect of non-inclusion of student difference is very conspicuous in my school, and this has generally affected student outcomes even after they leave school. This is why an immediate curriculum change is mandatory.

A multicultural curriculum includes all students. To accommodate them all, the curriculum will be altered across all subject areas to include multicultural elements. Special focus will be given to culturally sensitive subjects such as social studies as well as the technical subjects.

The alteration of the current curriculum will generally begin the expansion of the current curriculum and the addition of perspectives that will enable educators and teachers to discuss ideas and views that are often underrepresented and less common. The addition of these perspectives will enable the students to get a more holistic and comprehensive understanding of the subjects being taught. In addition to this and in order to inspire all students, the curriculum will incorporate role models from various cultural groups and different social backgrounds so that students can be shown that it is possible to succeed irrespective one’s social and cultural orientation.

The other method through which the current curriculum can be adapted is by incorporating or encouraging the discussion of social issues in the course of learning (Banks, 2009). The classroom can be transformed into one that is inclusive of all students by fostering an environment whereby students are able to freely discuss various social issue such as good citizenship, discrimination, racism and prejudice (Gay & Howard, 2001). The students will be given a platform to discuss how aspects such as racism and prejudice are detrimental to a democratic society and will also discuss how they can be more respectful and sensitive to social differences.

The next step of adapting the curriculum for multicultural classroom will be altering the current lesson plans. The current lesson plans which are very restrictive will be transformed so that they can allow students to engage in more critical thinking and enhance their self-understanding. Educators will be tasked with the roles of simulation social and cultural situation that prompt students to utilize their critical thinking skills so that they can learn and at the same time recognize their feelings, their beliefs, their values and their biases (O'Grady, 2014). By doing this, the students will be able to rectify any elements of their behavior that are deficient, for example, the bias that they may have towards students of other cultures or social backgrounds.

Differences in cultures and language obviously determine the level of understanding education concepts (Banks, 2009). The current education system or curriculum seems to be oblivious to this aspect, and this has serious affected the overall quality of education. The curriculum needs to be transformed to be inclusive of students who may speak other languages apart from English as their native language and who come from unique cultures (American Psychological Association, 2003). This is the only way that students will be taught to live in harmony in a democratic society.

In adapting the curriculum for multicultural education, there are obviously some pitfalls that must be guarded against (Gay & Howard, 2001). If these outfalls are not avoided, they may derail the entire process and the goals of multicultural education may not be achieved.

One of the pitfalls is the failure of the organizational and administrative structures of the school to change accordingly. These two functions must adapt accordingly in order to facilitate and support the curriculum adaptation initiative (American Psychological Association, 2003).

The second initiative is the lack or failure to include teachers in developing the new multicultural curriculum. It could be hard for the teachers to implement something that they did not have an active role in formulating.

The other common pitfall in the implementation is the lack of staff development. The staff cannot adopt and implement the new multicultural curriculum unless they are exposed to developmental training in order to assist them in implementing this initiative (American Psychological Association, 2003). The final pitfall that must be avoided inadequate evaluation and monitoring efforts. If they are inadequate, they will not support the intuitive fully.

These pitfalls need to be avoided if the process of adapting the curriculum for multicultural classroom is to succeed.

The big idea in this entire process is generally to revolutionize the current curriculum that has already been seen to be defective. This plan hopes to create re-defined classrooms where students are not only wary of diversity that exists between them, but also appreciate this diversity. The current society is very diverse. They are various social grounds and people of all cultural backgrounds. These people are required to relate well with each other and generally collaborate in order to propel the society forward. If these people do not have the skills that would enable them to relate well with each other and live in harmony, then the society is bound for chaos and is likely to be characterized by negative elements that include biasness, racism and general social inequality.

The school offers the perfect environment to prepare students for a social and culturally diverse society so that when they enter this society, they will have no problems interacting and relating with their peers from different cultures. This is a big idea behind the proposed adoption of the curriculum for multicultural classrooms. In addition, the adaptation will also enable all students to have an equal opportunity in life. Education is often seen as the key to success. Unfortunately the current system favors others and facilitates success for others more than it does for some and therefore, by adapting the curriculum for a multicultural classroom, every student regardless of their social and cultural orientation will have an equal chance and opportunity to succeed.

Instructional methodology is one of my areas of expertise and in this regard, I plan to incorporate the multicultural element fully. Adaptation of curriculum for a multicultural classroom cannot be complete if it is only the content has changed. The instructional method also has to change. I will greatly facilitate this, for instance by ensuring the instruction method is culturally sensitive and does alienate some students or exhibit bias. For example, some ethnicities might be said to be more talented in subjects such as math but I will ensure the instructional method in a subject like math does not seem to favor the members of the perceived ethnicity but instead applies equally to all students.

The shift towards multicultural curriculum will improve education achievement. As mentioned earlier, the current system has not been accommodative of student differences and diversity. This has had a detrimental effect on achievement overall. Normally, when the education system or when a curriculum is not inclusive of each and every student, some students may feel left out and may not even have the motivation to learn (O'Grady, 2014). In addition, the current curriculum may be leaving out several key elements related to this alienated group of student that affects their overall achievement. However, when a multicultural classroom with a an appropriate curriculum becomes a reality, these students will have an equal opportunity as everyone else and education achievement will be raised.

The role of the family and the community in this process cannot be underestimated. The planning process for the curriculum adaptation must include the input of the family and the community since these are ones who feel the first impact of the change or shift. The students who learn using multicultural curriculum will interact first with their families and the immediate community and, therefore, the change will first be felt by these two entities. This is why their input is key.

References

American Psychological Association. (2003). Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists. The American Psychologist, 58(5), 377.
Banks, J. A., & Banks, C. A. M. (Eds.). (2009). Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives. John Wiley & Sons.
Gay, G., & Howard, T. C. (2000). Multicultural teacher education for the 21st century. The Teacher Educator, 36(1), 1-16.
O'Grady, C. R. (Ed.). (2014). Integrating service learning and multicultural education in colleges and universities. Routledge.

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