Multicultural Understanding Essay

Total Length: 1182 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

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The following facts have been established with regard to preschoolers' cultural understanding, tolerance, influences and attitudes:



• At the early preschool age, kids begin developing definite attitudes with regard to their own ethnic and racial group, and other ethnic/racial groups.



• Toddlers are able to tell if people they interact with are different from themselves, and by the time they reach preschool, they are easily able to grasp negative stereotypes.



• Caregivers' cultures, views and mindsets are readily adopted by preschoolers. Hence, a caregiver's views of other racial and ethnic groups may shape children's attitudes towards racial/ethnic minorities.



• Early childhood instructors may elicit positive attitudes among preschoolers through getting to know and promoting their pupils' diverse cultures.



• Preschoolers may begin stereotyping other cultures if their elders fail to highlight the similarities among human beings (Teaching with a Multicultural Perspective Article).



An issue underlying the existing emphasis of multicultural education at the preschool level is its lack of focus (or inadequate focus) on teaching kids to identify victimization of fellow human beings because of bigoted societal attitudes. To eliminate societal oppression towards ethnic/racial minorities, there is a need to (Teaching with a Multicultural Perspective Article):



• Acquire knowledge of the depth and forms of oppression.



• Look at one's own reactions to cultural diversity, dedicating maximum possible effort towards altering them if they are unfair or biased.



• Nurture diversity and make multicultural education an active societal process to ensure clarity with regard to one's societal status and ascertain how to improve it.



• Include multicultural literature in school curricula to help kids discover the important contributions of different cultures to human civilization.




Multicultural education aims at:



• Familiarizing students with other nations and cultures.



• Helping them understand and get used to the concept of diverse ways of living, views, languages, and cultures.



• Developing positive feelings towards multicultural learning experiences to ensure all kids feel appreciated and included, as well as develop respect and amicability towards other cultural/ethnic groups.



• Ensuring both parents and educators realize that they are also unavoidably influenced by societal bias and stereotypes.



The "process" of multicultural education (Bode, 2009):



• Emphasizes constant, active development of people, schools, colleges and universities that involve relationships between individuals.



• Indicates multicultural education's intangible aspects less perceptible compared to definite curricular matter like child achievement expectations, classroom settings, cultural factors and learning preferences impacting their experience at school/college.



"Critical instruction" draws on pupil experiences via their scholastic, linguistic, cultural, artistic, familial, and other knowledge forms and helps pupils go beyond personal experiences, understand viewpoints conflicting with their own, and undertake critical analysis regarding multiple standpoints, resulting in praxis, or deliberation plus action.



Activities Parents and Teachers Can do to Promote Multicultural Understanding



• Howard M. Miller's idea of a classroom multicultural library (Fish):



• This simple process will help incorporate multicultural content and ideas….....

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References


Bode. (2009). Education.com - #1 Educational Site for Pre-K through 5. Multicultural Education - Education.com. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://www.education.com/reference/article/multicultural-education/

Fish. (n.d.). Edchange - Diversity & Equity Education Resources and Workshops. Building Blocks: The First Steps of Creating a Multicultural Classroom. Retrieved October 29, 2016, from http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/papers/buildingblocks.html

Teaching with a Multicultural Perspective Article

ZIRKEL, S. (2008). The Influence of Multicultural Educational Practices on Student Outcomes and Intergroup Relations. Teachers College Record, 110. (6). Retrieved, from https://www.mills.edu/academics/faculty/educ/szirkel/zirkel%202008%20tcr.pdf

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