Globalization is a phenomenon that has invariably changed the way of life in this world. Business is done with global markets and global competitors among the considerations that make up the scenario. Communication and relationships do not anymore have to put up with impediments arising from such factors as distance and accessibility. Globalization has torn down the walls of division and the borders that used to separate distinct nations, races and culture from each other. In these present times, technology has enabled man to conveniently travel from one point on the world map to another.
Products from all over the world have become locally available – a lot of them can even be purchased any time at the nearest convenience store. People representing different skin colors have come to live in our country – a lot of them have even become our neighbors. People have become citizens of the world. Thus, societies are now diverse in terms of membership. These are today’s realities that cannot be denied. As an influential sector, the educators’ group should then be the one to blaze the trail.
Educators ought to be primed to provide the multicultural sort of education – something that is seen to significantly contribute to the solutions to the problems of the society today. After all, the numbers show that there is no turning back. The percentage of the American population representing the so-called minorities (the black and the Hispanic people, the American Indians, the Alaskan natives, the Asians, the Pacific Islanders, and the rest of the non-white people in USA) will continue to grow year-on-year.
They altogether make up a community that will become either a huge advantage or a crippling disadvantage for the American nation. Problem Statement There should be a multicultural education system that will be uniformly available for all students throughout the country. This resolution is, however, much more difficult than it seems. It has been decades since the first attempts to reform the educational structures of schools were made, but the pleas of the minorities for schools that will truly be devoted to multicultural education remain to be unanswered.
There have been sincere efforts from leaders in the academe to champion this needed development in the country’s educational institutions. However, the total transition would require necessary paradigm shifts even of professors, particularly those who remain blind to their own tendencies to be prejudiced. Thus, it has been an evolving process. Everybody has role to play – the teachers, the students, the parents, and the society. Most of the necessary changes will require more time before they come to fruition.
And some of them remain unattainable unless issues that get in the way are resolved. Through it all, the continuing process and the series of attempts to make the existing educational system more and more relevant to our times will have to be acknowledged. The mileage and successes achieved by people who have been contributing to multicultural education as a cause will have to be recognized, based on set deliverables that will not be questioned. There has to be an organized way to tackle multicultural education in all its aspects.
Plenty of materials have been written regarding multicultural education. They have been authored by heads of universities or departments therein, officials of the U. S. Department of Education, professors, researchers, student leaders, parents, psychologists, sociologists and just about anybody with points about multicultural education to write about. Definition of Multicultural Education Multicultural education has been defined in so many ways.
Author Geneva Gay was right when she wrote that multicultural education means different things to different people (1994). It signifies the need for changes in the curricula, methods of instructions, and organizational structures upheld by schools and then in the applicable policies administered by the government (NCREL website). Multicultural education has turned out to have existed as a concept as early as the 1970s. In 1979, Author Baptiste called for a sweeping reform that would institutionalize cultural pluralism as a philosophy.
Social justice, mutual respect, equality, and acceptance for the so-called minority groups have constituted the ideals of multicultural education (Gay, 1994). Cultural Pluralism As depicted by the chart bolw, the percentages of the non-white students enrolled in the country’s university have been growing annually (NCES website) and there is no reversal of such trend in sight. To this time, multicultural education advocates have been repeatedly drumming that the cultural pluralism of the United States should be soundly reflected by the educational structure erected by schools all over the country.
The minorities are not meant to be driven away; their group heritages are irrefutable proofs of America’s democracy (AACTE, 1973; Hunter, 1974). Multicultural education also becomes more relevant and more necessary with each passing year. The changing demography of the United States is a reality that cannot be denied. It is believed that by the year 2020, almost half or 46% of the student population of public schools will be children of color, and that a one-fifth or 20. 1% of all children in the country are bound to live in poverty (Banks, 1997a).
These foreseen sad pictures of the country’s youth should instill the urgency of providing the right kind of education to the multicultural student population. Needless to say, the same students will become the grown people of tomorrow’s society. The impact of how we deal with the minority groups today cannot be emphasized enough (Hanley, 1999). “Anything But Desegregation” The author Jonathan Kozol describes in detail the desegregation that has ever been prevalent in the major cities of America both in the 1970s and in the 21st century – representing