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Concepts of Multicultural Education

When a child opens his first puzzle and the pieces fall to the ground, it may seem very confusing. What are they supposed to do with this pile of shapes in front of them? It often takes a parent to explain to them that all the different pieces fit together into one whole picture. Although every piece is different and unique, when they are all put into their place they form one whole picture. In the same way, teachers can teach multiculturalism in the classroom. Every member of our society is unique, with different cultural backgrounds, but we all fit together to form one picture. As Noel said "Understanding our own identity and the culture of our community requires knowledge and recognition of our cultures and communities and how they have shaped us" (267). By adding a multicultural section to their curriculums, teachers can help students, like myself, see how each individual fits into the big picture. If we can do this on a class to class basis, I think that it will dramatically improve the community in a good way.

There are arguments against multicultural education (Banks 84). For example, some critics believe that multicultural education is directed toward only minority groups, therefore discriminating against middle class, white, and heterosexual males. Others believe that multiculturalism is against Western and democratic ideals. The final argument is the claim that multiculturalism will divide our united nation. Although critics of multicultural education may feel they have reasonable arguments against the issue, I feel that the goals of multicultural education make it an important part of the curriculum that every student should experience. I agree with Wurzel and Noel when they stress awareness as a main part of multiculturalism. Students must be aware of their own culture, and how they are similar and different from others. Awareness also involves an understanding of issues involving differences in culture, and a knowledg

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