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Multiculturalism and Education
- The world has witnessed a lot of growth, change and varying response to the topic on Multiculturalism and diversity. This is because the world has become a global village, where people move from one continent to the other. Many thinkers have put ample effort in clarifying the concept of Multiculturalism and diversity. Some have looked at the characteristics or factors making Multiculturalism and diversity contentious in the society today. Others have deliberated on the constituents that make diversity and multiculturalism effective in the society.
Banks and McGee-Banks describe multiculturalism education as an educational reform movement, idea and a course whose main objective or aim is to change the structure or construction of educational institutions. The intention of such change according to Banks and McGee-banks is to make both the female and male students outstanding learners and students who can live, learn and work in a diverse ethnic, language, racial and cultural different environment. All children are allowed or given an equal chance to learn in school. This is regardless of their cultural background such as disabilities, race, gender or class. In comparison to this, the National Council for Social Studies defines multiculturalism as an education system that aids students in understanding the conflicts, experiences, ideals and reality of human society. Writing on diversity, Maya Angelou said that people should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry. As a result, people should appreciate that all the threads of the tapestry are identical in value regardless of their color, race or cultural practices.
Most the descriptions given by the above thinkers on the topic of diversity and multiculturalism are not expressively different. These definitions elaborate why education should be given equally to all students. All the definitions show that teachers should focus on empowering learners so that they are in a better position and learn in any environment. What could be different is the manner by which these definitions are practiced in the classroom. My ideas of diversity match those of the leading thinkers, but my ideas of multiculturalism were those of one who would teach culture not multicultural. For example, I assumed that multiculturalism is a practice where a teacher exposes learners to numerous cultures rather than gives the students an identical chance to learn in the classroom regardless of their culture. At my school, I see the definition of diversity and multiculturalism between students as well among the teachers. I usually see that students and teachers need to learn how to work together with each other. This is because quarrels and disagreements rise whenever there is a variance amongst people of diverse cultures.
- My perception on black and white according to the Brown is that victory has not been won because of the Supreme Court ruling. The court failed to give a complete solution to school segregation. Brown v. Board of Education decision has had a significant impact on the United States’ education system among black and white student’s educational attainment. Even if this doctrine required that separate facilities be of equal quality, black students have continued to lag behind. More than 70 % of white students successfully complete school. This is more than half of Hispanic and blacks students. Black American students make up only 8.5 % of all students in the United States’ graduate programs. This has led to great economic disparity among blacks and whites in America. The rate of joblessness among the black Americans is twice that of whites in America. Additionally, Brown v. Board of Education decision can be attributed to the high poverty rate among the blacks. The poverty rate of black Americans is 24.1 % while that of whites is 7.8%. The segregation created by the ruling is responsible for the different socio-economic trend in America. Many schools are funded by property taxes, which have led to inequality in the districts. Despite the fact that the law desegregated schools, a large number of black students only go to poor inner cities schools. This is because better funded schools are usually found in the suburbs.
- Levi M Clancy Levi vs. O’Connell who was the administrator of education for the state of California is a unique case. Levi Clancy was a remarkably gifted student who began attending college at a tender age of 7 years. Levi's mother took a legal action against the California education system, because it did not contemplate the special ability of her son. She argued that her son was not supposed to pay extra fee as required by law. The idea of the case was to seek help because the educational structure was inadequate in providing certain services to students with a suitable level of education. The student’s educational needs were not being met because he was not getting a fair treatment.
Levi Clancy’s mother Leila Levi confronted Jack O'Connell because she felt that her son was not getting just and equal treatment. The respondents in this case were not providing the plaintiff with the same degree or level of service. This was despite the fact that his needs were as high and specialized as the other students’ who normally receive reimbursement or vouchers for the provision of specialized services and needs. The state was supposed to cater for her son’s school fees. The state of California decided that gifted students or children did not fit this category. Therefore, the state refused to pay school fees for her son. The failure of this case implied that extremely gifted children can be denied free education because the law does not consider such issues.
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