Becoming a multicultural educator today is imperative to the success of the future of our country. In the past our education system has primarily been built around educating white students. In more recent years researchers have found that something has to change as an increase in minority students begin to fill the seats of our classrooms. The faces in our classrooms are starting to change. Therefore, it is important as educators that we are ready to support these changes. New changes taking place need to support all students in the classroom.
Curriculum and self-assessments
Exploring the curriculum that is presented in the classroom is imperative in supporting these changes. Our diverse student body consist of speaking multiple languages, and celebrating unique customs and traditions. It is key to include these experiences in everyday instruction. It is the educators responsibility to provide students with curriculum that is in depth and raises cultural awareness. A curriculum that is considered multicultural will reflect the multicultural history of this country. While highlighting the students it has served. Expanding curriculum to meet the needs of all students will help broaden their perspective.
Culturally responsive teaching has taken a rise in the education system as educators gain knowledge about the culture of their students, stereotypes and bias among groups of people. It is vital that educators explore their own personal thoughts and ideas about others before teaching a diverse group of students. Educators who want to be responsive in their instruction provide students with an ample amount of opportunity to feel included and respected. Having tools in place will help teachers raise their own awareness, examine the curriculum along with the overall morale of their schools.
Strategies/Tools for success
- Teaching and learning-Implementing professional developments and workshops into a school district. This will help educators develop an understanding of their students and their cultural backgrounds. It is imperative that schools respect the diversity of the student body and create a unified environment.
- Student learning-Schools should encourage students to take a look at their own bias and stereotypes towards others who are different from them. Developing a strong sense of community among the student body will increase student awareness. Students should be able to collaborate with their peers. They should engage in curriculum that will enhance their knowledge of other cultures around them.
- Inter-group relations-Educators should help students acquire the social skills needed to hold a conversation with their peers. Inviting students to form clubs and groups that are related to other cultures will help in building a strong sense of community.
- School governance, organization and equity-It is the responsibility of the education leaders to ensure that all students are funded equitably. Too often schools in low income or impoverished areas have the least amount of funding from the state. But, these schools they should actually have the most. Therefore, it is important to create a strong sense of community. Developing an awareness to those that are members of the neighborhood will help fight against these type of inequalities.
- Assessment-Educators need to use multiple strategies in order to assess student understanding. Standardized testing should not be the only way. Getting to know each students strengths and weaknesses will help teachers in creating meaningful assessments.
Implementing strategies similar to the ones above will help to advance educators in this field. So, it will not only enhance their understanding of themselves and their own bias, it will also enhance student perspective and awareness.